CES - USBTV: USB your movies from PC to TV

There are many exotic, and not quite there, technologies that want to help consumers get video and other multimedia content from their PC to their TV, but SanDisk may just have come up with the easiest way of all: a USB drive.

It's so simple sounding, I have to wonder why no one thought of this before. Basically, you drag and drop your video onto a media-enabled flash drive. You then take the drive and put it into a into a small dock that is connected to any TV you own via S-video or composite AV connections, which are standard on modern televisions.

Audio connections are also included on the dock. You click an included remote, and it plays the stuff you've got on the drive. That's all there is to it, at least from the end-user side.

When you think about this, this product means that you no longer have to waste time burning a DVD, which is a pain in the neck, nor do you have to spend money on any complex networking equipment or wiring.

Company officials say that internal hardware in the drive produces much higher data transfer rates than standard USB 2.0 devices and consumers will not see any lag when they play back their video. The drive will come with all major video codecs installed and has a built in media player to handle playback on the TV.

The first USBTV devices are expected to come out in the late spring or early summer of this year and will be 2, 4 or 8 GB drives. Prices haven't been announced.

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Ramon G. McLeod

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