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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Video Equipment

Video is everywhere today. You can find it on the Internet. Many portable devices now display video and audio. People are watching videos on the train, in the car, and even in the doctor's office. Great video devices add a lot of entertainment value to our lives.

Archos AV420

Model: AV420

Manufacturer: Archos

URL: http://www.archos.com

Price: $550

The Archos AV420 is a video-music-photo player that can also record from just about any source. It comes with a cradle that you can attach to your TV, DVD player, VCR, or CD player. Then you simply drop the AV420 into the cradle when you want to record.

There is a lot to like with this media player. It has a great screen, excellent video replay, a wireless remote, a removable battery with excellent battery life, and it supports TV recording with a program guide. It comes with a carrying case, but it is small enough to fit in a purse or baggy pants pocket. Also, the Archos has a built-in speaker so that you don't have to use the included ear buds unless you want to.

The Archos is an excellent jack-of-all-trades. It offers a built-in microphone for live audio recordings and can double as a portable hard drive. The CompactFlash memory-card slot allows you to use it to store photos from a digital camera when you are on the road. Copying videos from your computer to the Archos is a bit complicated, yet this player is a winner. And it works with any version of Windows and with the Macintosh.

ForceField DVD

Model: ForceField DVD 30-Pack

Manufacturer: Imation

URL: http://www.imation.com

Price: $39.99

DVDs were made to be handled with care. To prevent fingerprints, you should only touch the edges. To prevent scratches, you should handle them with care. To keep them dust free, you should keep them in a case. The problem is people don't always adhere to these care instructions. They throw disks in piles, drag them across desks, and leave them lying around to accumulate dust.

Imation has found an answer to this type of treatment by creating disks with a special ForceField scratch-resistant coating. Standard DVDs are made with a polycarbonate cover layer on the recording site of the disk. The ForceField DVDs have an extra polymer layer of protection on the recording side of the disk. This provides more resistance to scratches, smears, and dust. Imation ForceField CDs are also available.

Bose 3-2-1 Home Entertainment System

Model: GS Series II DVD

Manufacturer: Bose

URL: http://www.bose.com

Price: $1,299.00

The 3-2-1 provides theater sound from a compact home stereo system. The package includes two Gemstone speakers that are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The larger Acoustimass module can be hidden behind a piece of furniture. Because there are no rear speakers, you don't have to run wires to the rear of the room.

Installation is easy, and sound quality is exceptional. I was blown away when I watched my first movie with the surround sound system. The Bose 3-2-1 includes a CD/DVD player, AM/FM runner, and universal remote control that you can program to run most of your entertainment devices in addition to the 3-2-1 system. The system is not cheap, but the quality is excellent, and technical support is great.

ZVU

Model: ZV003

Manufacturer: Handheld Entertainment

URL: http://www.ZVUE.com

Price: $99.95

The ZVUE is a portable music and video player plus a photo viewer. At 4.33" x 2.91" x 1.1", it feels a little chunky in the hand, but the audio and video capabilities are good for the price. The 2.5-inch TFT color screen is bright and clear. It comes with two stereo headphone jacks so that two people can use it at the same time. Controls and menus are easy to navigate.

Although most players of this type use a rechargeable battery, the ZVUE uses four AAA batteries, which last for about eight hours of video playback. Batteries can get expensive, but this can also be a useful feature. When the batteries run out, you simply insert new ones without having to wait for recharging.

The ZVUE comes with a USB cable and the software necessary to put your own videos on the player. Moving videos and music to the ZVUE is easy. It also comes with a 32MB memory card, or you can purchase a ZVUE with a 512MB card for $159.95.

DigitalMovie DVD

Model: 4.7GB 4X DVD +R

Manufacturer: Verbatim

URL: http://www.verbatim.com

Price: 3-pack $9.99

Another link to the past... The Verbatim DigitalMovie DVDs look just like old-fashioned movie reels. They are available in several speeds and formats. The Verbatim DVDs use a high-performance metal azo recording dye and boast superior archival stability, but it is the look of these DVDs that is so enticing. They exude nostalgic charm.

Use them for giving out videos of that special wedding video or to transfer your VHS tapes to digital format.

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