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SanDisk V-Mate memory-card video recorder

Keep your favourite TV shows on a memory card

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Review Video content on mobile phones today is rich and diverse, but the cost is also rich and diverse - with an emphasis on rich. Are there any affordable alternatives to watching a variety of video on mobiles and other portable devices? SanDisk seems to think so...

SanDisk announced the V-Mate at Berlin's IFA 2006: a dinky device that can record video to various types of memory card for playback on mobile devices. Handy that, since SanDisk manufactures a wide array of memory cards. That's its angle, as simple as that.

SanDisk V-Mate

The unit has the appearance of a plain card reader, which it can be, if you want, connecting to a PC via a USB cable. The V-Mate can handle any SD, MMC and Memory Stick PRO cards – only CompactFlash is off the guest list. This isn't a huge loss, but there's still a range of handhelds that will be left incompatible.

The V-Mate takes a composite-video input, converts picture and sound to digital, and writes the resulting video file straight to the memory card without any PC intervention. It sounds straightforward and is pretty much just that. Two cables plugged into the rear, one for the input signal - VCR, DVD, Freeview, Sky or Telewest/NTL box - the other for TV output so you can view the recording or just for set-up and scheduling.

Here’s where we hit a minor problem. Not many video sources have a composite-video output. What’s needed here - and is sadly missing from the box - is a composite-video to SCART adaptor. Realistically this is the only way to get a signal to the unit as no Sky, Telewest or Freeview unit we could find has composite-video output.

After this hurdle is overcome, setting up recording is elementary. The V-Mate boots and requires time and date to be entered via remote control. This is used to name video files, which are just the time and date. No other alternatives are possible. A minor quirk is that every time the power is lost, date and time has to be re-entered, which can be tiresome. For this review we kept the unit on standby when not in use – as it functions as a pass-through for the video signal.

New hybrid storage solutions

Next page: Verdict

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Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.