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Sonicblue, Intel to Join Forces for Pocket-Sized Video Player

September 10, 2002|Jon Healey

Hoping to do for digital video what its Rio MP3 players did for digital music, Sonicblue Inc. on Monday announced plans to make a pocket-sized portable video player that can store and display programs from a ReplayTV personal video recorder or a personal computer.

The company based the new ReplayTV Portable Video Player on a design developed by Intel Corp., which will supply the chips. No price was disclosed for the device, which is expected to hit the market next year.

Representatives of Intel and Sonicblue say there is significant demand among consumers for a portable device that can display TV shows. One market is for consumers who own personal video recorders and are accustomed to watching shows on their own schedules, said Richard Bullwinkle, a product manager at Sonicblue.

The major Hollywood studios and television networks have sued Sonicblue, accusing the company of violating copyrights with the latest ReplayTV models. Bullwinkle said the portable players would support as many of the copyright-protection technologies as possible and would be unable to transmit shows to other devices.

Few details of the product were released Monday. Bullwinkle said it would include at least a 40-gigabyte hard drive--enough to store at least 40 hours of high-quality video--and support at least two high-speed connections.

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