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Personal Video Players Debut At CES

Las Vegas – Intel announced Wednesday that ViewSonic and Samsung have signed on to produce personal video players (PVP) based on an Intel developed media codec and processor and that Microsoft will create a software application to operate these devices.

ViewSonic and Samsung join SONICblue, which already stated its intention to develop a PVP. Microsoft’s contribution to this emerging category will be a Windows CE-based portable meida application dubbed ‘Media To Go.’

According to an Intel spokesman, Media To Go will use several Windows Media components and will handle all aspects of downloading and viewing video, audio and digital images.

The PVPs are not expected to hit retail until late 2003 or early 2004.

Pricing and specific feature sets are not available, but Intel said all will have at least a 20GB hard drive, have a USB 2.0 connection and offer about 10 hours of battery life.

A 4-inch LCD is expected to be standard and Intel developed a specific codec that will deliver MPEG4 quality video to the LCD.

The PVP is designed to download hours of video in a matter of minutes, the Intel spokesman said. The PVP should be slightly larger than a PDA.

The content can be pulled from any USB 2.0 equipped PC, or in the case of SONICblue’s device, through a ReplayTV box.

Intel does not intend to launch a branded PVP, but expects several other major CE companies to sign onto the format.