Print 13 comment(s) - last by skoka123.. on Jan 9 at 10:59 PM

A prototype version of the USBTV, complete with box - Image courtesy Engadget

The USBTV unit is actually a combination of flash drive and remote - Image courtesy Engadget
It reads off USB media to output a signal to the TV, hence the name USBTV

One of the most common efforts shown at this year’s CES is enabling consumers to easily move digital content from their PCs to their televisions for viewing in full, big-screen comfort. At its CES press conference, SanDisk Corporation introduced the USBTV, which, as the name suggests, hopes to accomplish the feat using the USB interface.

USBTV is a new platform that will enable consumers to transport downloaded digital content from a personal computer by using a small flash memory-enabled media player and plug-and-play it directly on virtually any TV. While more consumers are watching video on the Internet, their preferred entertainment center remains the TV. Once they've taken the time to download and store personal videos and movies on their PC, consumers often want to enjoy that content with others in the living room. Today, this process typically requires burning blank DVD optical media so that it can be played back on the DVD player attached to the TV, which some may find to be a cumbersome and time-consuming proposition.

A USBTV player can tackle the problem by plugging directly into the USB port of virtually any personal computer where it acts as a USB storage device for a rapid "drag and drop" of any desired file. At a press conference at CES, SanDisk demonstrated a product concept that employs a TV cradle and a remote control, allowing USBTV to connect to virtually any TV set. A key innovation incorporated into USBTV is a multimedia processor that converts the stored files into various TV video/audio formats for direct playback on virtually any TV without the need for any changes to the TV set.

The first pocket-sized players expected to be available this spring, allow consumers to access an on-screen guide where they can pick and choose from content they've stored on the USBTV player and play it on a TV. No wireless set-up or networking equipment will be required. SanDisk has not revealed pricing on USBTV products but did comment that it will be priced affordably.

"We believe that USBTV represents an exciting new category of flash-based products that will bring digital downloading of video to a broad spectrum of new consumers who prefer viewing on their TV sets rather than on a PC screen," said Eli Harari, SanDisk CEO. "USBTV has the potential to become an industry-transforming category as significant as the introduction of the DVD and VHS players, because in the convergence of the Web and home entertainment, USBTV solves in a simple, elegant way the ‘last 10 feet' of the content portability problem in the home between the PC and the TV," he said.

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By Gigahertz19 on 1/9/2007 4:25:44 AM , Rating: 1
Sounds good I'll have to see how well this performs but what I use now is very convenient.

I download movies off bittorent onto my 160GB Seagate USB 2.0 portable hard drive. After the movie is finished downloading I unplug the portable hard drive from my computer then plug it directly into the USB port on my Philips DVP5960 DVD Player where a menu pops up displaying all the movies on it. I choose which movie I want to watch and it loads it and plays it no matter what format the movie is encoded in divx, xvid or anything.

The best thing I ever bought in my life was that DVD player. Before I had to burn movies I downloaded online on DVDs or CDs then put the disc in my DVD player. Took way to long and had to many discs laying around.

As far as I know Philips is the only one who makes a DVD player with a USB port. Smartest thing ever, more companies need to do this I don't understand why they aren't catching on.

This device from SanDisk though looks like a good step, be able watch movies on your portable hard drive on any TV even if it doesn't have a DVD player with a USB port.

Only thing is I bet this won't store many movies since it's flash based. Maybe a handful of movies so there's no point in buying it.

More DVD players with USB ports please!

RE: Interesting
By OrSin on 1/9/2007 10:36:28 AM , Rating: 2
Never new a dvd player like that existed. RIght now I use my Xbox to steam movies. I also use AVS media exterter. They used to run $200 but now they only cost $50. For $50 they steam all my shows wireless. Thats pretty good deal.
The reason why it so cheap is everyone review sayed it was crap becasue it didnt work with DRM shows. Well us bit torrent user and dvd rippers dont care about that so it still pretty sweet for us.
But not everyones house is set up for wireless. Also with something like this I can drop off a Portal drive to a friend and he can watch all the movie without the whole house setup. I need to look into the DVD player too.

I think it will take flash card and since 4GB are pretty cheap now that good enough for me. Just pop out the card move the fiel then pop back in. 5 minutes and you can have several movies. Definately some thing i will look at.

RE: Interesting
By OrSin on 1/9/2007 10:38:08 AM , Rating: 2
Completely wrong about the flash card thing but I still think it should be come in 2 or 4GB of memory.

RE: Interesting
By SunAngel on 1/9/07, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting
By skoka123 on 1/9/2007 10:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
There are plenty of network DVD players that play from any pc that is connected to your LAN. Most of these support USB. For example: Iodata's AVEL Linkplayer ( ) and Snazio's Net DVD Cinema ( ).

Why bother...
By Runiteshark on 1/9/2007 4:42:42 AM , Rating: 2
What I don't understand is why someone won't get together and offer a full HTPC package with decent, but low end equipment at a low price. I'm pretty sure if they made say a small form factor computer (remember the old Compaq machines with P2s in them) slapped an old pentium M or something in there with 512mb of ddr or ddr2, and tv tuners and whatever else you wanted with your model, and then just had it nicely connect through your selection of ports to your TV.

If a manufacturer stepped up to that plate, and dished out a winner, and the cost wasn't insane, I'm pretty sure they could move a lot of systems. People don't need core 2 duos with 2GB of DDR2 ram and a 8800GTX just as a simple HTPC, they want something so they, as this article said, can play stuff from their home computer on their TV.

Even I would be in the market of a cheap HTPC like that.

RE: Why bother...
By SunAngel on 1/9/07, Rating: -1
RE: Why bother...
By borowki on 1/9/2007 1:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
At one point Apex, known for their dirt cheap DVD player, was going to build such a device. The basic version, sporting a VIA CPU and chipsets was going to cost $299. Unfortunately they got this idea in their heads that it ought to be a gaming console. When they finally realized that there's no way they could compete with the PS2 and Xbox selling for much less, the thing was dropped.

RE: Why bother...
By Flunk on 1/9/2007 4:44:57 PM , Rating: 2
Also the name of said player was terrible. Who would buy something called Apextreme?

Additional information
By crystal clear on 1/9/2007 5:08:01 AM , Rating: 2
SanDisk has consulted experts from leading CE manufacturers on product and port requirements to encourage the incorporation of USBTV directly into television and display monitors. Included on the list of such manufacturers are the following:

-- LG Electronics

-- Mitsubishi Digital Electronics

-- Pioneer Electronics

Other companies contributing to USBTV initiatives include Akimbo Systems, Inc., a pioneer in Internet-to-TV video-on-demand and aggregator of brand-name and specialty video, and Guba, a leading online entertainment destination. Movielink is also working closely with the Forum to enhance concepts focused on supporting and protecting movies and other rights-managed video content.

RE: Additional information
By ShizNet on 1/9/2007 9:32:41 AM , Rating: 2

Been done already
By whypick1 on 1/9/2007 5:01:09 AM , Rating: 2
Lacie came out with portable hard drives with A/V out called the Silverscreen (Link: ) which basically does the exact same thing as the USBTV, the only difference being the USBTV appears to use flash storage (Silverscreen uses a 2.5" HD) and has a dock. I own the Silverscreen, and it was a lifesaver last year when my house was without a DVD player (the person who owned it moved out, and we're poor college students), plus most of us had more AVIs than DVDs anyway. Even though I spend a lot of time in front of my computer, sometimes I just want to lie down on the couch and watch something on the TV, which is what my SS lets me do.

Try Hauppauge....
By Souka on 1/9/2007 10:15:44 AM , Rating: 2
Try Hauppauge....

I have a Hauppauge MVP that is hooked to my TV...I can remotely access files on my main PC and display video/pics on my TV. It's an older/basic device so its ethernet based, but thats fine...

TV---Hauppauge MVP--Ethernet cable--Router--PC

A remote sends signals to the MVP device which are then relayed to the PC running a background app.

Works nicely..... I don't have to burn DVDs, I don't have to unhook some external HD...and I dont' need a "special" dvd player to access the files.

My $.02

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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