Digital Photo Frame


Portable video, TV, a photo frame, standalone DVR, and wireless media adapter

GeCube has unveiled a new line up of Multimedia2Go products. The new lineup includes three portable video devices, a digital photo frame, a standalone digital video record and wireless media adapter—the PMP100, DVB100/DVB200, Digital Photo Frame, DVRBOX and MediaLink respectively. Portable video players are becoming quite popular with the advent of digital video recorders and Apple’s iTunes video service. Every manufacturer wants to hop on the portable video player bandwagon. GeCube has three new video players—the PMP100, DVB100 and DVB200.

PMP100 is the entry level video player with a small 3.6” color LCD display. The screen is capable of displaying a respectable resolution of 320x480. Video formats such as MPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX and XVID are supported. Audio formats such as MP3, WMA, AC3, AAC, and WAV are supported. It will also have an internal microphone for audio recording. JPEG images up to 12 MP are also supported too. A 20GB hard drive provides plenty of storage room for full length videos. The PMP100 comes equipped with a USB 2.0 port, Composite TV-out, headphone jack and CF Type I/II slots for greater expansion capabilities. Battery life is respectable with 6 hours of video and 8 hours of audio playback.

Next up on the portable video device chain is the DVB-100. It sports a 3.5” LCD display capable of 320x240 resolutions. MPEG-1, MPEG-2, DivX and XVID video formats are supported like the PMP100. Audio support on the DVB-100 has been neutered a bit with only MP3 and WMA formats supported. DVB-T broadcast support is the big feature of the DVB-100. With the DVB-100 users can watch NTSC or PAL DVB-T programming on the 3.5” LCD display or output it to a TV via composite video output. SD cards are the only storage medium available on the DVB-100 instead of the hard drive and compact flash combination the PMP100 has. This means the DVB-100 has no video recording features and operates solely as a DVB-T device. USB connectivity is severely hindered with only support for USB 1.1, however there’s not much data that needs to be transferred to and from the device. Battery life is rated for 3 hours of TV viewing, 8 hours of video and 8 hours of audio playback.

If the 3.5” LCD display of the DVB-100 is too small, GeCube offers the DVB-200 with a larger 7” LCD display. The larger 7” display is capable of displaying 480x234 resolutions for wide screen enjoyment. Features and support are very similar with the DVB-100 except the DVB-200 supports USB 2.0 transfer speeds to a PC. It also has a USB 1.1 host controller so users can connect USB flash drives and other storage devices. Battery life for TV viewing is rated the same at 3 hours while video playback time has been cut back to only 4 hours due to the larger screen. Audio playback remains the same at a rated 8 hours.

Digital cameras have become a regular electronics item in most households. As the media format is digital, images don’t have to be developed or printed to view images. GeCube has a Digital Photo Frame for customers that want to display images taken from a digital camera without having to print them out or view them on a computer. The cleverly named Digital Photo Frame has a 7” color LCD display capable of 720x480 resolutions. A large variety of digital media formats are supported including compact flash, SD, MMC, and memory stick. The Digital Photo Frame is capable of being used as a digital photo album or a photo slideshow. A USB 2.0 interface is also available for users that would like to use the card reading capabilities of the Digital Photo Frame.

Users that want a portable video device but have no need for a built in display may be interested in the GeCube DVRBOX. As the name implies the DVRBOX is a hard disk based standalone digital video recorder. Video recording is available via composite video input and two RCA audio jacks. MPEG-4 SP and MPEG-4 ASP are the only recording formats available, though various bit-rates up to 4.5Mbps, resolutions up to D1 (720x576) and frame rates of 15, 25, and 30 fps are selectable. Video playback capabilities are limited to MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and DIVX. Maximum supported video resolutions of 352x240 for MPEG-1, 720x480 for MPEG-2 and 720x480 for DivX. Frame rate of supported video formats is limited to a maximum of 30fps. ADPCM and MP3 audio formats are supported. MP3 audio playback is limited to 32-320kbps, though there’s no word on VBR support. The DVRBOX will also display JPEG images up to 16MP too. GeCube will offer the DVRBOX with a variety of storage configurations from 40GB-100GB—plenty of storage for videos and recording. SD/MMC and MS/MS Pro slots accompany the hard disk storage capabilities of the DVRBOX. A USB 2.0 interface allows speedy transfers to and from the hard disk drive too.

Lastly on the list is the MediaLink wireless media adapter. The MediaLink will operate with any PC system and does not require Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 like some wireless media adapters. It will support virtually every video format including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, XVID, WMV9, and h.264. MPEG video playback is limited to 352x240 for MPEG-1 and 720x480 on MPEG2. Resolutions up to 1080i/720p are available for DivX, XVID, WMV9 and H.264 video playback. MP3 and WMA audio streaming and JPEG image streaming up to 16MP is supported too. Composite and S-Video output capabilities are standard on all MediaLink models while component video, SCART and DVI are optional. RCA stereo and optical S/PDIF audio outputs are supported on the MediaLink. The MediaLink has support for 10/100Mbps Ethernet on all models while 802.11b and 802.11g are available as an option.

Retailers can purchase GeCube Multimedia2Go products for $210 for the PMP100, $130 for the DVB100, $150 for the DVB200, $99 for the DVRBOX, $130 for the MediaLink and $150 for the Digital Photo Frame. There’s no word regarding availability of the products.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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