San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Amax, a U.S. distributor of consumer electronics, has begun marketing a trio of flash-memory portable media players and video-capable MP3 players that record audio and video directly from consumer electronics devices such as CD players and TVs.
Multiple companies — including Axiom, Cowon, LG and Samsung — have announced flash-memory portables that play back audio and video, but a flash-memory handheld that records A/V without the use of a PC is unusual. Handheld Entertainment, for instance, announced a pair of flash-memory portables that record audio and video but hasn't shipped them yet.
Among hard-drive-equipped portables, models from iRiver and RCA record directly from home A/V components.
The new V-Pods, made by Systec, are offered by distributor Amax through its Web site, www.vpod-usa.com. They'll also be available on the sites of select content providers that will provide content to V-Pod users for free for a year, on the sites of other online retailers, and through brick-and-mortar retailers, said Amax national sales manager Brian Sulpizio.
The three Systec flash-memory models feature 128MB embedded memory and a slot for SD/MMC cards up to 4GB. All play back MP3, WMA, and WAV audio files and JPEG images. They also play back MPEG-4; DivX; XviD; ASF; AVI; and DivX 3, 4 and 5. All feature audio and video inputs to encode music in MP3 and to encode video in ASF.
Video recorded directly from a TV, DVD player or DVR is recorded in real time and can be displayed on another TV through the devices' A/V output. Prerecorded DVD movies can also be transferred in real time to the devices.
Supplied media-conversion software will quickly rip movie DVDs for transfer as ASF files to a V-Pod in less than 15 minutes, the company said.
The V-Pods also feature voice recorder, stereo speakers, stainless-steel metal casing and rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
The company's V-Pod Extreme with 20GB HDD also offers these capabilities.
The flash-memory V-Pod 250, retailing online for $199, features a 2.5-inch color TFT display, while the $299 V-Pod 360 features a 3.6-inch screen. An opening-price model, the V-Pod 100, features a 1.8-inch color TFT screen. The $399 HDD model also comes with remote, cradle stand and DC car adapter.
Amax distributes a variety of handheld consumer electronics, including Coby and System portable DVD players.