Intel, Microsoft Pitch Portable Video Player

Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2003: Digital video will become as portable as MP3 music files if a portable media player being developed by Intel and Microsoft catches on.

The two companies are working together on a ‘mobile entertainment device’ that would allow users to take videos, still pictures and music with them. The portable media player (PMP), with a 4in screen and a 30GB hard disk, would be small enough to fit in a coat pocket and would play video and music downloaded from the Internet or a PC. The devices would transfer video or music from PCs through high-speed connections such as USB ports.

Samsung and ViewSonic are among the hardware companies that will develop PMPs incorporating Intel’s XScale processors and Microsoft’s Media2Go software platform, which is based on the Windows CE .NET operating system. Bill Gates has said that hardware partners are expected to offer products based on the reference design by the end of the year.

The devices will use the MPEG-4 Part 10 video codec, with a frame rate of about 30fps. The price range for a fully-featured PMP should be $US399 and up, but devices without integrated hard drives or smaller screens could cost as low as $US199, according to Bryan Peebler, Market Development Manager for Intel’s Emerging Platforms Lab.

Price: $TBA URL: www.microsoft.com/windows/embedded/pmp