The 605 is well endowed with features, to say the least. But it's not all good news, as several of the default menu icons link to sections where peripherals are required. Peripherals you have to buy, that is.
Archos' 605 Wi-Fi: feature-packed... if you buy the add-ons
A case in point: Archos likes to describe the 605 as a handheld DVR. But you can only record TV shows if you also avail yourself of the £70 DVR Station TV Dock, which also lets you play back video content on your TV. It supports 720p HD and even 5.1-channel audio. The Archos' seven-day electronic programme guide schedules your recordings and is village idiot simple to use. You can even copy content direct from your Sky+ box or existing DVR via RCA leads.
The 5G Archos also provides wireless streaming from PC to TV, allowing you to watch online content on the big screen. It connects to a PC via USB, accessing tried and tested drag and drop functionality in Windows for use as a portable hard drive. In our tests, everything worked impressively smoothly and quickly, with ample file support including PDF, BMP, PNG and, of course, JPEG.
A raft of audio and video formats are also fully catered for. Sonically, MP3, WAV and WMA (protected and unprotected) are compatible out of the box and support for AAC and AC-3 5.1 sound files is available via paid-for download for around £13 each. Video-wise, WMV and MPEG 4 (no DivX) are supported to DVD resolution, though H.264 and MPEG 2 are again only available as downloads.
Wi-Fi is the big draw where the 605 is concerned, and Archos has slipped some tidy tricks up its sleeve. Access to the net comes via the Archos Content Portal, but first you have to download and pay for - notice a theme here? - the Web browser. It's a quick and painless process, but not for your wallet.
Once running though, the 605's browser work well. It's fast enough - if not exactly speedy - and sites like Google loaded glitch-free, but it was a one-way ticket to YouTube for us, as the 605 features Adobe Flash support. Watching videos of idiotic people hurting themselves for fun in full-screen mode was a truly joyful experience, the screen standing up to the test flawlessly.
How about SDK?
If only there was an SDK available, or SSH I could manage my web sites without a bulky laptop...
Archos and EXTRA stuff needed..
I personally get very pissed off at all these reviews and their constant complaining about how Archos wants to charge you for the Browser or the Dock or something as opposed to bundling them.
Not ONLY are you getting the Archos for the same price as previous models EVEN if you bought the DVR station, plug ins or whatever but you also get MORE for your money than previous models.
Why the hell is that so hard to understand?
When you do a review and you harp about this fact THREE times, you are effectively misleading the people and getting them to think the way YOU think which is not necessarily correct.
Objectiveness would be nice. Say something like, "I don't like the fact that they do this...but in all fairness, the initial price IS much lower than it would be for bundled..." now THAT would be more accurate..
I think it's a good idea and you HAVE a choice. NOT going to record from TV? Save yourself $99.
Hell, I had the station with my AV500 and only used it a couple of times.
I don't see how it's better to ship it all with the player and charge $150 more and besides, the review would look a lot better if you quoted the actual cost for the player and not the higher cost you quoted.
Second, it's head and shoulders above the pathetic offerings from Apple. It's simply in its own league as the apple only Plays music and video, that's it.
I'm sure you know what you are talking about as far as you are privy to the information - but I doubt that will include the intricacies of the deal struck with Microsoft...
foxyshadis: pity that document doesn't even mention that royalty-free options exist.
Codec license fees:
It's just a nickel & dime profit center for Archos, you have to decide for yourself if it's worth it on principle.
I am not a representative
But I am webmaster of http://archosfans.com and http://forum.archosfans.com
So I know what I'm talking about.
I guess Ogg can technically be added, though it might not be easy to add, but probably that the firmware engineers have a ton of other priorities.