Help with choosing Archos AV560 or AV5100

Discussion in 'Video Streaming Boxes & Services' started by ricstu, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. ricstu

    ricstu
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    Hello all - this is my first post despite being a member for over a year!

    Anyway I wondered if anyone could help with a couple of questions I have about the Archos 500 series.

    First off I know that the AV560 is only available at Currys/Dixons/PC World - and the price at time of posting (17/8/06) is £279.

    Second, the cheapest I've seen the AV5100 is £399 (unless I'm missing a deal somewhere).

    I've think I've read that the only difference between the 2 models is the 40gb size difference - so my first real question is would I really be paying an extra £120 just for 40gb?

    Do Currys/Dixons/PC World sell the AV560 with the TV docking pod or will I have to buy that separately?

    Finally I'd just appeal to anyone else who has bought the AV560 to highlight their major pros and cons of the particular model.

    Reason I want one.....I'm mainly interested in keeping my favourite movies on the player as well as recording from the TV with it. I have a separate mp3 player so won't be keeping to many music files on it.

    I'd really appreciate any info you can give me.

    Thanks in advance

    Rich
     
  2. FrankS

    FrankS
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    The only difference is the size of the hard drive the 60GB seems to be a special they have done for the Dixons group. The one I bought before Xmas comes with TV doc, remote etc etc, everything the AV5100 comes with.

    A typical movie file can be anything from 700mb to 2GB depending on whether you've encoded it on your computer and compressed (say using DivX codec) or recorded direct to the Archos at 640 x 480 resolution (for play back on a TV), so say you will get between 30 & 60 movies on the AV560. Once on the Archos it's very easy to back them up on your computer.

    Major pro is the built in screen quality and ability to record direct into the device from anything with AV out. Cons, mines been good but there have been some posts from owners reporting faulty hard drives, the hard drive is "locked" to the unit, although it's a standard laptop drive you can't just change it out, the unit would have to go back to Archos for repair replacement. Whether there is a technical reason for this or Archos have done this to stop you from cheaply upgrading them is open for debate.

    Lastly the 604 series is due out very soon. www.t3.co.uk/news/247/entertainment/personal_media_player/hands_on_with_the_archos_604
     
  3. sonic

    sonic
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    Hi Ricstu

    Pros: I bought the AV560 to record from TV to watch on my commute. Apart from one major flaw (detailed below), it does this very well. The screen is fantastic, and quality of the recordings is fine even on the default settings, and it is truly portable (unlike, say, the AV700tv). There is also a scheduler so you can make timed recordings, and you can get it to switch channels on your set top box.

    Cons: The major flaw is that it cannot handle widescreen anamorphic broadcasts. If you don't know what that means, check out this link:

    http://www.dvdweb.co.uk/information/anamorphic.htm

    The problem with the AV560 is that it doesn't do the horizontal stretching, so you get a picture cropped top and bottom and with people looking tall and thin. The fix is to set your set top box to display in 4:3 Letterbox mode, but this can be a pain.

    The other con(s) is that the accessories are cheap and badly designed. The TV docking pod has a ridiculously short lead and no cradle to slot the AV560 into. The case doesn't have a hole for the earphones. And you get cheap component leads/SCART adaptors.

    Overall though, I think it is a great little gadget, it has certainly livened up my commute!
     
  4. ricstu

    ricstu
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    Thank you both for your swift replies. Thanks also FrankS for pointing out the new models which are coming out in September. Having looked at the previews of these models I can see that two of them are 30GB (too small for me) and 160GB (too big??). If there was some kind of happy medium then I might be seriously tempted to go for one of these - but the £279 deal for the AV560 is looking the right one for me at the moment.

    Rich
     
  5. Louis Mazzini

    Louis Mazzini
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    I would echo Sonic's point about the AV500's inexplicable failure to handle anamorphic broadcasts; it's a pain having to constantly remember to switch the Sky box to 4:3L (not to mention the drop in potential picture quality this results in).

    Also, whilst the AV500's little screen is great, even at the highest quality settings playback via a TV can be a tiny bit disappointing (anyone agree)?

    Those are my only real negatives. Yes, it would be nice if it had stereo speakers built-in, and if you could get album artwork to sync with the mp3 side of things. And the carry case could use some socket holes in it... But it really is a fantastic gadget though.

    Does anyone know if the scheduler will control a Sky HD box?
     
  6. ricstu

    ricstu
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    Hmm - Amazon.co.uk have just brought the price of the AV500 (100GB) down to just £315.99 - now I have another dilemma!
     

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