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Archos Bows HH, HD-Based Multimedia Centers

Las Vegas – Archos, the Irvine, Calif.-based peripherals supplier, will introduce two new HD-based ‘hand-held multimedia entertainment centers’ during International CES for shipment in the first half to complement an existing model.

All feature 20GB drives.

All three models accept a dual-use digital-still-camera/MPEG-4 video camera attachment. Still pictures and videos can be viewed on their color LCD screens or on an attached TV screen. They also incorporate MP3 encoding and decoding, for voice recording, data-file storage, and PC and Mac compatibility.

The current model, available since July, is the Jukebox Multimedia 20, which accepts a dual-use 1.3-mexpixel camera attachment and retails for a suggested $315, or $449 with camera module.

The module is available separately at $99.95.

Optional card readers can be used to offload images taken by a digital-still camera.

The new models, the 120 and 320, can be docked into a TV-top module for recording TV video.

They also come with wired remote equipped with an FM tuner, whose audio can be recorded onto the hard drives. Pricing was unavailable.

The 120 is due in first quarter to dealers and on the company’s Web site.

The step-up 320, due in the first half, boosts color-screen size to 3.8 inches and uses a 3.3-mexapixel camera attachment rather than the other models’ 1.3-megapixel attachment.

The attachment also boasts a built-in flash.

Another new product, available since October, is the $299-suggested 20GB Jukebox FM Recorder 20 with built-in FM tuner, ability to record FM stations, B/W LCD display, up to 12 hours of battery life on the internal lithium battery.

It lacks the multimedia capabilities.

The company’s first flash-memory portable, called Ondio, features FM tuner, MP3 encoder, 128MB built-in memory, Compact Flash slots, 12 hours of use on three AAA batteries, and MP3 encoding.

It’s already available in stores and the Archos Web site at a suggested $149.95.