I will start with the good.
1: The screen size 800 X 480 7" diagonal would not watch video on a screen any smaller. So far I have left the screen mode in auto, it does not distort the video at least what I can see from a viewing distance of 1-2 feet.
2: Connectivity to a media center PC. I first connected it to my media center PC running the latest version of windows media player. The Archos player then prompted if I wanted to connect in media player or hard drive mode ( i selected media player mode). It proceeded to down load all my music files and pictures from the mediac enter PC to the Archos player. It then proceeded to convert and down load 3 shows each from 2 different series and one other show that was in my recorded TV folder on the media center PC. I let this run over night as each conversion of a 1 hour show tool slightly longer than 1 hour itself.
3: Connection via wifi to my home network. Connection was straight forward and easily configured for a secure network. I use the wifi connection to transfer converted DVD and recorded shows to the Archos while it sits in the DVR docking station. Also its Opera web browser work's well I was able to browse AVSforum with no problems.
4: Portability, about a little larger but thinner than a paperback and weighs 22 oz.
Sits well on the dash of my car when waiting for the wife to arrive at the bus station. Allows me to catch up on the shows she does not really like to sit through.
5: Touchscreen works well and is really cool.
Now the down side.
1: Converted video compatibility. The latest version of windows media player converted recorded TV to a playable format but you do not have the functionality of the Bookmark function or the Video drag bar that is at the bottom of the video playback screen allowing for FF through commercials. Archos has replied they are aware of this and are working on a fix and have notified Microsoft as well.
2: Converting recorded TV takes awhile. Converting a 1 hour recorded Media Center TV show at 720x480 resolution takes about 3 hours on a 3 year old dell workstation. Once converted copying to the Archos via wifi takes about 20 minutes. I have recently converted some recorded shows to a lower resolution but have not watched the shows on the archos.
3: DVR station, I have also added the DVR station to the mix. It does record programs as advertised but I have had some compatibility issues with IR control. After setting up the IR control using the archos player and testing it from the on screen test buttons it fails to change channels that are 3 numbers long consistently and accurately. I have not tried other codes listed for motorola brand cable boxes as of yet. Also when it starts a scheduled program it sends out a power on signal for the motorola box. Since I usually leave the box powered on it shuts the box off. For now I use the Motorola box guides reminder function to change the channel and the Archos scheduler to start and stop the Archos record function.
Minor bugs aside I really like the quality of the player, it combines all my CD recordings a good amount of my family photo's as well as recorded TV and converted DVD's with a 7" quality screen.
So far I like the following file conversion utilities:
In A/V reproduction accuracy, there is no concept of "accounting for taste". We don't "pick" the level of bass any more than we get to pick the ending of a play. High fidelity is an unbiased, neutral, exact copy (or "reproduction") of the original source's tonal balance, timing, dynamics, etc..
I guess we can thank the paranoid movie and cable industry, god forbid we be able to record anything in high quality.
oh geez... that was a big blow. Guess I won't be getting that. Is that for the gen 5 dvr too? I'm hoping I can use the remote with the micro key pad for when I'm online.