portable media player
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IOGEAR's 'Portable Media Player' announced

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I’m not quite sure what to make of this so I’ll see if I can’t get my hands on a review unit to take it for a spin. The IOGEAR Portable Media Player is 3.2-inches wide by 5.25-inches long by .75-inches thick and contains a 120GB hard drive.

You hook the device up to your computer via USB, dump videos and photos onto it, and then hook it up to your TV via composite or component cables. No HDMI, though, which is kind of an odd choice considering that IOGEAR says that it “enhances standard definition video playback viewing up to 720p resolution on an HDTV” and is pushing this as a portable device. There’s nothing all that portable about the five different connectors that come along with component cables.

The Portable Media Player can handle full DVD menus, DVD folders, DiVX, Xvid, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MP3, WAV, and JPEG formats. WMV support is non-existent. It doesn’t appear to support Mac, either. Just Windows 2000/XP/Vista, according to IOGEAR.

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So we have a “portable” solution that consists of a device that needs to be plugged in and uses has a bunch of cables running into the TV. I could see a market for this at maybe $99 but IOGEAR has priced it at $349, which doesn’t make much sense to me. For that price, it should maybe have some sort of built-in networking so you could stream and/or download content from your computer. Maybe a web-browser too. As it stands, it’s basically just an external hard drive with media playback capabilities.

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