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SanDisk VMate

Mark Peters
Photokina report
Saturday 9th, September 2006
Posted by: Mark Peters

SanDisk VMate is a video memory card recorder, allowing users to record video from video inputs such as over-the-air television as well as cable, satellite, DVD players, personal video recorders (PVRs) like TiVo and video cassette recorders (VCRs) onto their flash memory cards. Consumers can then take their memory card from the V-Mate and insert it into their mobile phone, PDA, handheld game console like the Sony PSP (PlayStation Portable), video music player or notebook computer to play back their videos on the go.

SanDisk VMate

Video Memory Card Recorder
“Today’s increasingly mobile consumer wants to be able to watch their favorite shows and videos, whenever and wherever they want,” said Wes Brewer, vice president of consumer product marketing at SanDisk. “The V-Mate is an easy-to-use, affordable way for millions of people to use their mobile phones or other mobile devices to watch video content that resides primarily in the living room when they are away from home.”

SanDisk VMate
The SanDisk V-Mate lets users record up to 3.5 hours of high quality video per gigabyte, using industry-standard video formats. Memory cards supported include SD, MMC, MMCplus, MMCmobile, SDHC, MiniSDHC, MicroSDHC, Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick PRO Duo. “The SanDisk V-Mate provides consumers with a convenient way of place-shifting content from a largely stationary - living room-bound environment - to a high mobile environment comprised of mobile phones, portable game consoles and even notebook PCs,” said market analyst Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts. “The ability to re-purpose consumer owned content is a great compliment to many of the newer pay-per-view services rolling out now with many mobile operators and service providers around the world.”

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Generate recording files for playback
Matthijs Hutten, SanDisk product marketing manager, said, “The number of mobile devices with a card slot and video playback capability is huge and growing rapidly. The V-Mate will make it easy for consumers to watch video on their devices by doing the analog to digital conversion for them, compressing the video into MPEG-4 in multiple formats and then creating the correct file format for the target mobile device - all features unmatched by any product today in this price range.” With a maximum recording resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, the VMate can also generate recording files for playback on larger screen devices such as the TV it is connected to or a notebook PC. Solid state memory (flash cards) consume less power than the hard drives or CD/DVD drives in mobile entertainment devices and therefore offer longer video playback time on a battery charge.

SanDisk VMate

SanDisk VMate - Remote control
The SanDisk V-Mate, which connects to the analog audio/video output of a set-top box, DVD player, PVR or VCR and the analog audio/video input of a TV, is easy to use. A remote control and TV-based graphical user interface let users control settings, record and access content. It has multiple programming slots for entering channel, date and start/stop times to schedule recordings. At initial set-up users select their playback device (such as a mobile phone or handheld game) to ensure the recordings are playback compatible.

SanDisk VMate Price & availability
The unit includes an infrared emitter. This will automatically turn on the TV tuner box (cable/satellite/terrestrial receiver or VCR) and select the right channel when programmed to record. The V-Mate also includes a mini-USB connection and cable to connect to a personal computer. The SanDisk V-Mate measures just 5.1” x 2.6” x 0.8,” so it will fit snugly next to almost any-sized television. The V-Mate, expected to be available in October 2006, will sell for $129.99 MSRP.

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