From out of no where Apex Digital, Inc. has just announced that they will be entering the Portable Media Player market and will have a device ready for consumers to purchase as early as next month.
TWICE reports that the $399 Apex MP-2000 “can be used to play video and music transferred from a PC or copied directly from a TV, DVR, VCR, DVD player or stereo system. The device stores audio and video on a 1.8-inch 20GB HDD. Digital still images and video can be viewed on its 3.5-inch 320 by 260 color LCD screen. Audio can be heard through stereo headphones or the device’s single mono speaker.
People can use the device to view recorded video when they’re on the road, but they can also plug it into a TV to display video or still images on a friend’s TV. The device won’t play Macrovision-protected prerecorded video, but it is upgradable to support DRMs that authorized movie-download sites it might support in the future, Brothers said.
The 8.5-ounce device decodes audio in the MP3, WAV, unprotected-WMA and PCM formats; decodes video in the MPEG-4, DivX, motion JPEG and WMV9 formats; and displays JPEG, GIF, TIFF, and BMP digital-still images. Files can be transferred from a PC via USB connection. To copy directly from the analog outputs of home electronics products, the device features built-in MP3 audio and MPEG-4 video encoders.
Other features include the ability to encode and store 640 by 480 video for playback on connected TVs. The 20GB HDD stores up to 40 hours of MPEG-4 video at 640 by 480 and 80 hours of WMV at 640 by 480. The consumer-removable 2200-milliamp lithium-ion battery delivers 12 hours of music playing time or four hours of video. The device also doubles as a voice recorder and portable data-storage drive.
In July, Apex plans an RF adapter that will stream the PMP’s music through a home or car stereo system at a possible $39.95, said Brothers. In 2005, Apex plans PMPs with higher screen sizes and HDD capacity, said national sales manager David Ficken.”
While the screen size and hard drive space seems a bit small for our tastes, the fact that it’s upgradeable to support future DRM (Digital Rights Management) systems, compatible with many of the popular digital media formats, and at a price that almost palatable, Apex might have an instant hit on their hands.
News Link: Jospeph Palenchar, “Apex Broadens Its Portfolio With First PMP, Cameras, DVR,” TWICE, June 22, 2004.
Filed in: Portable Media Players