Okay fine, their portable media players are not exactly the best looking products on the market. And they are not the ones with best user interface. But you can’t deny that Archos, does know how to jump ahead of the technology curve. One of the first few to offer hard drive based MP3 players, and more recently, the portable video players/recorders, the company has come up with a fancy new portable DVR, they call AV 700 which resembles the old Newton in size and shape. It works with all sorts of video formats like Divx, MPEG4 and Windows Media, even though it is a linux-based device, with a nice 7 inch screen. It can record television shows with nary a computer in sight.
This track record apparently has been good enough for the company to attract a shade less than $10 million investment from Echostar, the owners of the DISH networks. That has bought the #2 satellite television company about 25% of the French gizmo maker. Archos will develop a range of products including AV 700 that will be DISH branded and will be able to take content right off the Echostar set-top boxes via a USB 2.0 connection. Other products like AV 400 are also being planned.