I’ve wanted an AppleTV for a while now, not because I particularly like their interface, but just because it seemed like a slick little piece of hardware. Now Archos is showing off the “Archos TV+” and it looks like a winner, although perhaps not as powerful as the AppleTV could be, as video playback seems to be restricted to “DVD resolution” instead of 720p, the standard at which the AppleTV can output. That makes the Archos TV+ a standard definition device, not an HD device, which is a big thumb in an otherwise delicious pie.
Still, it’s inexpensive at $250 for an 80GB model and $350 for a 250GB model, comes with a variety of outputs including HDMI, slurps up data over Ethernet and Wi-Fi, and even includes a slick little square remote with a thumbpad and QWERTY keyboard. (Handy for surfing the web via Opera, which is included.)
It really looks like a fine device. Why didn’t they make it HD capable? I would have paid another $50 for a video processor that could handle higher resolution.