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Archive for July, 2007

Archos partners with french CPFK, announces Moovyplay

Posted by Charbax on 31st July 2007

Archos is developing a special player to support some kind of on-location movie rentals solution that the leading french movie rental company is implementing. The solution will let users load one or several movies instantly from the actual movie rental stores, and to then watch them on their TV. There is not many official details about the form, shape or price of the Moovyplay service and hardware yet, but here are my speculations:

I guess that this could be an ultra cheap sub-100€ player with hard drive or flash memory but without the battery, that only works in a dock to be connected to the TV and through a charger to the electricity. And it would also work when physically connecting it to a usb plug on one of the video rental machines at CPFK, which is Vidéo Futur, Cinebank and Vidéo Pilote. Now I also guess that the complete 5th generation will also perfectly be compatible with this service. So one could have a choice to either get a ultra cheap little storage and playback product that is only useful for physically actually going to the video rental vending machine on location at a video renting store or possibly it could be installed at any store and public place.

Does this service sound strange? Well it is simply Archos partnering also with the established video rental market, which is currently the second largest income for the film industry after the Cinema market and infront of TV broadcasts. This video rental market knows that with the video-on-demand technologies being invented by companies like Archos, that their old business model is threatened, so to stay competitive that video rental industry needs to follow with the latest digital video trends. And what other better way is there for the video rental industry to guarantee their long term survival, then to parner up with Archos which is one of the technology leaders with the 5G in terms of hardware and software for digital video distribution solutions.

Since not everyone in the mass market might have fast broadband yet at home, might not yet know how to setup or connect to a WiFi network, and might not be totally confident giving their credit card details online in the Archos Content Portal to rent, buy or subscribe tp video content, then this partnership probably is to be combined with a digital video renting vending machine technology. You could simply put in a few coins in that video vending machine and connect your Archos or specially designed and super cheap Moovyplay to that vending machine, and I guess not instantly but over a few seconds per movie, you could do your selection of films on the touch-screen and then immediately go back home with a few rented videos ready to play on your TV at home as soon as you connect the Moovyplay to the dock for it.

My guess is the Moovyplay might be available for less than 100 euros, thus maybe even distributed for free by CPFK to customers who sign a contract that they are not owning the Moovyplay but only renting it which could be for free as long as they rent a movie for example at least once a month. And if the user doesn’t rent any movie during the month, that user might have to pay some kind of 5€ fee or something.

The Moovyplay might look a bit like an over-sized usb thumbdrive, thus maybe a bit like the 104 but without an LCD screen, and I guess that it could replace the need to authenticate with a video rental membership card. There could be this offer: for 100€ the customer gets the Moovyplay with 100€ worth of video rentals. Thus it would be as easy as just renting a bunch of videos drawing from that membership credit. The whole thing hopefully also will perfectly work with the whole 5G series.

This Moovyplay solution will effectively replace the need to handle DVD discs, which cost money to manage, exhibit and which get scratched, and it also effectively replaces the DVD and VHS player. I really expect the Moovyplay package to include a cheaply made dock with only the tv-outputs and the power connector. I guess that the complete video collection can also be accessed online from the video rental’s homepage video-on-demand system connecting the Moovyplay to a computer, but it’s thus mostly for customers who don’t mind going to the physical store and connect their Moovyplay to the vending machine to get their dose of video content. I also guess the vending machine will broadcast a WiFi signal giving access to the whole video contents on the 605 WiFi and 705 WiFi with the fastest possible WiFi local network download speeds.

You can read the press release here in french:

You can discuss this product in the forum:

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Video of the Archos Content Portal

Posted by Charbax on 30th July 2007

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Video of the Electronic Program Guide

Posted by Charbax on 30th July 2007

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Archos vs iPhone, Archos wins!

Posted by Charbax on 25th July 2007

Here’s an awesome video comparing the Archos 605 WiFi with the iPhone, posted by Greg at

Archos 605 WiFi and iPhone perform similarly for pictures and music but Archos wins since it has got the better and larger screen.

Archos 605 WiFi performs certainly better in terms of video playback since it has better screen, better codecs and Internet video compatibillity.

The browser doesn’t necessarilly seem faster on the iPhone, other than for scrolling when the snapshot of the webpage has been downscaled to an unreadable 320 or 480 pixels width. Basically you have to zoom in on anything that you want to read or click on using the iPhone’s small browser screen.

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Archos COO Larry Smith on

Posted by Charbax on 23rd July 2007

Listen to the Mp3 here:

About WiMAX, HSDPA and VOIP:

Our focus for 2007 has been easy access to content and personalisation. However going down the line, WiMAX, 3G, VOIP.. the question is to pick the one that really matches the product. We are definately talking to partners about this for future applications.

About Echostar and the next PocketDish:

We’re actually working with Echostar right now to try to integrate the PocketDish into the new Gen5 line of products. As you know, anytime you try integrating digital services like we are, it just takes a little bit of work to make sure that it’s going the right way. So yeah, that partnership is active, and we are working on integrating the new products with the new Dish Network receivers and we hope to get it done here in the not too distant future so that we will have it available for this fall.

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605 WiFi vs. 604 part 1

Posted by Charbax on 21st July 2007

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605 WiFi vs. 704 WiFi part 1

Posted by Charbax on 21st July 2007

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Archos 605 WiFi vs. iPhone part 1

Posted by Charbax on 21st July 2007

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605 WiFi does work with the DVR Station Gen4

Posted by Charbax on 21st July 2007

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It is to be seen if the Gen5 special remote control will be available separately and work with the DVR Station Gen4.

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Google ads in the Archos Content Portal

Posted by Charbax on 20th July 2007

This is just some speculation thus far.

Google has partnered with Echostar which is the top American satellite TV provider that controls 19% of Archos shares. Google will sell commercials over DISH Networks 125 satellite channels.

Echostar has plans for IPTV and Video-On-Demand, and it is to be expected that Archos 5th generation series will be marketed by Echostar on the American market, and be made compatible with Echostar’s satellite TV content, as well as IPTV and Video-On-Demand.

Will Google provide targeted advertising in some parts of the Archos Content Portal? Would you like to have the choice to watch video content in the Archos Content Portal either by paying the normal fee or to watch it for free interrupted by some targeted Google Video advertisements? I think that there is a huge potential for the Archos Content Portal getting more free content, as well as providing a whole personalized access to all content, all based around your identity, since you have to register with Archos before being able to access the Archos Content Portal. Personalized Archos Content not only means it will be able to generate personal recommendations to you for more free or pay content to watch or download, but it could also provide you with Google content in the form of advertisements that can provide you with more content of higher value, providing a business model for independent video producers allowing them to improve the value of their productions.

According to Google’s IPTV representative, being able to skip advertisements is a god-send since it let’s Google know which kind of advertisements you wouldn’t mind watching that can pay for the IPTV or Video-On-Demand content that you will want to watch.. And skipping advertisements is possible using the Archos 5G remote control.

How much will Archos be part of Echostar’s IPTV and Video-On-Demand strategy? I think that there is plenty of potential, although Echostar’s DVR 622 set-top-box model, which has been out for a year and a half, does have an Ethernet port and Mpeg4 support already, it is just waiting for Echostar to activate all the IPTV and Video-On-Demand features. But I expect that Internet video access to potentially be compatible with the kind that comes with the Archos 5G series.

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