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PRESS RELEASE: HandHeld Entertainment Announces ``Third Generation'' of ZVUEs; Two New Landscape-Format Portable Media Players to be Highlighted at CES 2006
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 3, 2006--
The New ZVUE 400 is One of Two New Landscape-Format ZVUEs; It Features a 3.5-Inch Screen (320 X 240), 512MB of On-Board Flash and Both Compact Flash and SD Card Slots
HandHeld Entertainment(TM) today announced a new "Third Generation" of ZVUE(TM) portable media players, the first ZVUEs designed with a landscape (horizontal) format, a screen twice as large as previous ZVUEs and new support for an additional removable storage format.
Today's announcement was made just prior to the annual Consumer Electronics Show, where HandHeld Entertainment will showcase its family of ZVUE portable media players January 5-8 in booth #70454 of the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Both new ZVUEs add significant new features and user flexibility in the portable media player marketplace. For example, the new ZVUE 400 (Model 400) features a 3.5-inch LCD screen with 320X240 resolution in a landscape-format that supports videos at 30 frames per second (fps). The new ZVUE 400 also features 512Mbytes of on-board flash memory, both Compact Flash and secure digital/multimedia card slots (SD/MMC), a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and is compatible with Windows Media Video (WMV) and Windows Media Audio (WMA) through the use of Microsoft's secure Digital Rights Management (DRM) software. The company will have working ZVUE 400 devices at CES 2006.
"The quality of the 3.5-inch screen on the new ZVUE 400 is awesome," said Jeff Oscodar, president and chief executive officer of HandHeld Entertainment. "The clarity and expanded size significantly improves the viewing pleasure for users and expands the type of video genres realistically available to users on the ZVUE 400.
"Savvy observers will recognize that we've taken the opposite approach from virtually every other PMP manufacturer. We started with a simple, yet at-the-time, revolutionary Entry Level ZVUE priced at less than $100, and now we're giving customers more for their purchase. For example, last week we announced that we'd added legal downloading capabilities to our $99 ZVUE. This week we're highlighting three new ZVUEs at CES, each more impressive than the other, capped off by our new ZVUE 400 and the WiFi ZVUE. And yet, each still offers customers exactly what they need and no more, providing the utmost in customer friendly flexibility and pricing."
The "Third Generation" ZVUEs are the first ZVUE devices to support a Compact Flash slot, which allows users to easily add additional storage capacity to their devices. Compact Flash cards are readily available at up to 8GigaByte (GB) capacities today. The ZVUE 400 measures approximately 3.5- X 5.5- X 0.5-inches (height/width/depth).
"We've added Compact Flash support to these 'Third Generation' ZVUEs to give our customers the flexibility to add more storage capacity if they choose to do so," Oscodar said. "Unlike some of our competitors in the portable media player marketplace, we want our products to get better over time, not become obsolete. Our upgradeable software and modular hardware insure that a ZVUE purchase today means owning a great product today and an even greater product tomorrow.
"Our storage modularity also acknowledges that people use video differently than audio, For example, people will often listen to the same songs over and over again, which is why we want to store all of our songs on one portable device. However, although videos take up a lot more storage capacity than songs, it's rare that anyone will watch the same movie or video clip over and over again. Instead, what most people do is either grab new videos off the Internet to watch while they're on the road, or they store their most favorite videos on their computers and then download a specific favorite selection to take with them when they want to watch it while they're on the go.
"In addition, not all video is best suited for smaller screens and most tend to be shorter clips that fall into what we call the Media Snacking(SM) category. Hence, when most device manufacturers stuff their PMPs with storage capacity their customers don't need and really won't use, they're doing their customers a real disservice. We won't take that approach."
The other "Third Generation" ZVUE (Model 500) being announced today is identical to the ZVUE 400 with the exception that it comes with 1GByte of on-board Flash memory, has wireless(WiFi) 802.11a/b/g connectivity and also features a phone style button pad on the front of the device. HandHeld Entertainment plans to have initial samples of the WiFi ZVUE in February 2006. (See companion news release from HandHeld Entertainment also distributed today for more information about the WiFi ZVUE.)
The new ZVUE 400 is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2006 with an estimated retail price of less than $225.00.
The new WiFi ZVUE is expected to begin shipping in the second quarter of 2006 with an estimated retail price of less than $300.00.
(First posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2006 at 18:01 EST)