iRiver is readying a Linux-based media recorder/player comprised of a detachable mobile unit and tethered docking station. The Unit2's base station offers a DVD/CD player, TV tuner, and PC-style I/O, while the detachable display features a 7-inch WVGA (800×480) touchscreen, WiFi, and USB.
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Apparently, the idea is to use the docking station to record DVDs, music CDs, or TV content onto the portable unit, which can then be carried with the user. The portable unit presumably recharges when plugged into the unit, and reportedly connects to the unit via WiFi, offering voice- and video-over-IP phone features as well as media playback capabilities.
iRiver Unit2 photo gallery
iRiver offered sneak peeks of the Unit2 at last January's CES, and leaked more photos and details in June (see thumbnails above). However, few real specifics are available at this time. iRiver did not respond to requests for information prior to publication time; however, it seems likely the company is readying the Unit2 for the 2008 holiday shopping season.
It is known that the Unit2 will use A/V codec software supplied by Spirit DSP. Spirit's “Voice and Video” codec is said to support ARM AudioDE as well as TI C64x DSPs, when combined with ARM application processors. Thus, the Unit2 may well be based on a TI DaVinci or similar RISC/DSP processor.
According to Spirit DSP, iRiver's Unit2 will offer VoIP, videoconferencing, DVD playback, and a TV tuner. The device will reportedly handle voice- and video-over-IP conferencing, plus music, movies, photos, eBooks, and WiFi streaming. Spirit DSP also reports that the unit is powered by an unspecified embedded Linux OS, and includes a USB connection and a slot for SD CompactFlash.
The display is said to offer WVGA (800×480) resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and to be equipped with media playback controls. The base unit is reported to include a CD/DVD slot, a 30GB hard drive, plus extensive I/O capabilities that include video in/out, and connections for cable TV, MP3 players, optical audio I/O, DC In, Ethernet, and phone. According to various reports, the Unit2 also is equipped with a charging station, 2.1-channel speakers, GPS, and a remote that doubles as a 78-key controller.
Seoul-based iRiver, now a subsidiary of Korean PMP (portable music player) manufacturer Reignco Ltd., was a pioneer in Linux-based MP3 players.
Neither iRiver or Spirit DSP have disclosed information on pricing or availability of the Unit2 PMP.
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