September 4, 2006 The increasingly mobile consumer now has the ability to watch their favorite shows and videos, whenever and wherever they want – it’s really just that most of us need a way to get the show from its original source into a form we can watch it on our mobile phone or PDA. SanDisk, the inventor of flash storage cards and world's largest supplier of flash data storage card products has introduced an interesting and potentially very useful Video Memory Card Recorder called the V-Mate which overcomes this problem entirely, regardless of the format of the original. The US$130 V-Mate enables 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. The V-Mate prepares the video, drops it on your memory card which is then inserted 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.
The V-Mate was unveiled at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany.
"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," said Wes Brewer, vice president of consumer product marketing at SanDisk.
The SanDisk V-Mate lets users record up to 3.5 hours(2) of high quality video per gigabyte(3), 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."
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 V-Mate 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.
The 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.
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 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 US$129.99 MSRP.