Archos TV+ launched in UK
Time to take on the likes of Apple TV
First seen at CES in January, the Archos TV+ launched in the UK this afternoon and will be available in two variations: the 80GB and 250GB model, priced at £180 and £250, respectively.
It combines a Wi-Fi media player with a hard drive to allow you to stream or store movies, music, photos, podcasts and web video, while the Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) enables the device to be used in a Sky+ style and can be updated automatically over Wi-Fi.
Archos' TV+: full DVR, but no HD
To take advantage of the device's internet browser capabilities however, an additional outlay of £20 is required. The H.264 plug-in and the MPEG 2 plug-in are also extra, but price details for these weren't available yet.
The unit can transfer content directly to an Archos portable media player with alleged speeds of around ten minutes for a two-hour movie. It can also record from DVD.
Browser-friendly remote with mouse pointer
Like the Archos PMP range, the TV+ supports most file formats, however, it doesn't support DivX and is not HD compatible. Plug-in dependent, supported formats include: MPEG4, WMV, H.264 up to DVD resolution and AAC sound, and MPEG2 MP@ML up to 10Mb/s and AC3 stereo sound.
What is called the Archos Media Club is live in France now and promises to have movies available for download. According to Tony Limrick, MD of Archos, the company is currently engaged in talks with most major Hollywood studios. He did stress, however, that the Archos Media Club was different to the content portal that will feature on the Archos TV+.
@ Evil Graham
I only used a full size case to give me loads of expansion room, it would have all fit into a half size case, and the £400 also included a cheapo monitor. If you're churning out thousands of them then you could reduce the price to £300 and still be able to stick in ultra-quiet fans. There must be a market for this kind of thing or did they all get scared off by the expensive Windows media systems from a few years ago?
Hours wasted. Very poor...
I was at the press conference yesterday and took one of these to review.
Here are my initial thoughts:-
Setting this thing up is a herculean effort. Instructions are poor by omission of critical information.
-The default settings are for NTSC so don't show up on a standard SCART PAL system on initial device power up. It took over an hour to find this problem and had to initially use HDMI to see the screen.
-Connectors on the back of the device are RGB / phono with 6 each for input and output (making a total of 12).
-There is an HDMI output socket but no HDMI capability in the device (max 576p).
-The device forces you to "register" online to access most of it's functionality. Unfortunately, to register you need to go to your office PC as there is no native browser support (it's an extra plugin at 20 quid).
-EPG doesn't work (even after registration). Unhelpful numeric error code.
-Plugins don't work. 3 plugins downloded all of which returned another unhelpful numeric error code. On further investigation, we found the Archos website was sending us HTTP 404 (file not found) plugin files.
-To install the web browser plugin you need to hook up the TV+ to your PC using a USB cable (not supplied). This would certainly be beyond an average home consumer.
-No HDMI support. The video low resolution output (576p) shows up on HDMI 40" capable TV.
-Plays streaming media from home network. Extra plugins (extra cost) required to play video files.
-Large capacity (250GB version).
-We have yet to get the input (from a HD satellite box) to work with the Archos. It just displays a blank screen but audio works ok.
-The TV+ uses IR to "control" your satellite box, DVD, Freeview or whatever. This means that it need to sit FACING these devices to operate. This is simply "weird" as most home would stack the device underneath / on top to the IR will NEVER work.
At the end of the day (5pm), this is working working:-
-Connected TV+ to TV by SCART (HDMI is a waste of a good TV socket).
-Browse networked media server.
This is NOT working:-
-Internet browser (plugin failure)
-Recording. (EPG failure, video input not working)
-IR control of other devices. (this is simply BARKING mad how Archos design a unit to beam IR horizontally when your external devices are stacked vertically!)
The idea (convergence of media to your living room) is good, but (like many good ideas) it's implementation sucks at the moment.
The humble PS3 outshine this unit in every respect other than the TV+ PVR capabilities (which I've yet to get working). As well as native HDMI support, PS3 has a pretty fine web browser built in (no extra charge / hassle of registering, downloading and installing plugins.
All in all, we have currently a hard disk under the telly. I'll give it a week and try again but this device might end up relegated to a simple external HDD for backing up PC files.
Would I buy one? A resounding No... Sorry Archos.
My sisters boyfriend has one
and it kicks arse. This is a seriously nice toy. Runs on Linux.
The stand has 2 scart sockets so you can record live TV ala sky+ and watch films at the same time. You can surf the web on your TV and if you play a streaming video (youtube) it will show it full screen on the TV. It's also an mp3 player.
I want one.
quicktime and flash
if you buy the web plugin you get flv support and one of the other plugins supports .mov files so you can get both flash and quicktime support it's simply going to cost you :P
good ol' archos ;)
Not bad - could do better.
Glad to see comments from other users that it _does_ support XVid and DivX.
Shame it doesn't go as far as my XBMC and play Flash and Quicktime videos :->