Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
2/4/2013 7:12 AM
While pocket television is becoming the norm, many want a pocket DVR to also be in the mix, recording mobile TV shows for viewing set around your schedule. HP
has developed a new device called the HP Pocket Playlist, and it could be the answer to your mobile DVR scheduling needs.
The actual unit is rather small, about the size of Apple's iPhone but lighter. The first version comes with 32GB, not the largest amount of storage, but later versions are sure to up the size. With that size, you can fit about 16 full-length HD movies, or you could also store thousands of songs or photos. It works via a mobile app that is available for Android, Windows and iOS devices. The device has a built-in battery and serves as a wireless N access point. The Pocket Playlist can stream unencrypted content such as movies or TV shows to up to three mobile devices at once. You do have to subscribe to the PlayLater service, but the unit includes one free month, and this allows recording content for later offline viewing/streaming. The subscription price is a pretty fair $29.99 for one year, and the unit itself lists for $129.
The big question may well be, why would anyone need to record movies and shows that are already on demand? Well the answer could depend on having access to bandwidth. If the user is not in an area that has wi-fi, or is out of range of a cell network, and unable to stream entertainment, the Pocket Playlist may be a good choice for stocking up on content. Consumers planning to travel by trains, planes or automobiles may be in and out of the reach of the Internet, so planning ahead and streaming, while capturing, may be the only choice. Content creators could use it as a nifty tool to scope out the competition, queueing up hours of programming to look at trends. Live programming is another element, some content that is streamed may only be available on a certain day or time, and a device like this could be the one way to capture it.
This year could be the time when we finally see the reinvention of the DVR. With Dyle devices, as well as units and services such as Boxee and Aereo, consumer demand seems to be rising for some convenience and an easy way to record programming via a new wave of web, set-top and mobile devices. Few solutions have focused on recording and playback of streaming content, so HP’s Pocket Playlist could gain some traction to those who want to store and re-stream their favorite programming from current services. The app for the device is free and currently available in Google’s Play Store, Apple’s iTunes and the Windows Phone Store.