Friday, October 21, 2005

Pocket Dish from Dish Network

I just discovered that Dish Network is releasing a new "Pocket Dish" device, and it looks incredibly cool. Comes in three different sizes, with progressively bigger screens and hard drives. You can transfer video directly from your Dish DVR to the Pocket Dish, and away you go.

Can I have one please?

Also apparently does music, photos and games. Prices apparently range from about $300 for the 2.2 inch screen to about $600 for the 7 inch screen. Seems like a pretty good deal, compared to the price of, say, buying a laptop to watch tv on the go. Then again I suppose a laptop is a little more generally useful than a tiny TV with a hard disk.

Yet more goodness on these things. Apparently they're going to support MPEG-4 video, which means you can actually store a very significant amount of video, even on the smallest 20GB hard drive. Go Dish Network!

MPEG-4 is the encoding that all the video pirates use out there to transfer movies over the internet. A 2 hour movie can generally be crammed into about 700MB while still keeping acceptable video and audio quality. It's not going to be DVD quality or anything, but do you honestly need DVD quality video on your 2.2 inch screen?

The bigger Pocket Dish models (4 inch and 7 inch screens) will apparently come with stands, external spekers, and remote controls, so the road warriors will be able to set up a teeny tiny home theater in their hotel rooms.

I'm not yet sure if you can load any old MPEG-4 video onto these things, or if they'll only work with Dish Network DVR's. Seems a shame to limit them, but I can imagine the studios would make a stink if they were allowing any old pirated video file to be played on your Pocket Dish. Then again your iPod can easily play pirated MP3 files, so maybe that won't be a problem.

Here are some pictures from the official Dish Networks site for the thing:

2.2" model:

4" model:

7" model:

Here's the link to the Dish Network "get one" page: http://www.pocketdish.com/getone.jsp

I think I might need one of these!

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