Archos today announced the UK launch of the Archos TV+, the Wi-Fi-enabled entertainment centre poised to take on the Apple TV we told you about last month.

The Archos TV+ combines a wireless media player that can record and play back TV content with internet access, movie downloads via the Archos Content Portal, music and video streaming, drag-and-drop file transfers, and the ability to store and view photos and videos.

You can transfer content straight to your computer, digital video recorder, or portable media player. The Archos TV+ also lets you start watching a movie while it’s still downloading in the background, for minimal delay. Archos said a two-hour film takes about 10 minutes to download.

Bridges the gap

“The Archos TV+ bridges the gap between the internet and TV,” said Tony Limrick, managing director of Archos. “We are going where everyone else, including Apple, Microsoft, and Amazon, has failed – we’re providing a device that lets you record and play back TV, as well as all your other entertainment content.”

Supported formats include MPEG4, WMV, H.264 up to DVD resolution and AAC sound (with an optional plug-in), but not DivX. There’s also Wi-Fi, stereo analogue, composite, S-video, RGB, Ethernet, USB, and HDMI connectivity.

The Archos TV+ is available from today in two versions; the 80GB will set you back £180 while the 250GB version (giving you around 450 hours of video) is priced at £250.

Limrick also told us about the Archos Media Club, an online media store due to launch in the UK in April. Archos is in talks with ‘major movie studios’ about partnerships so watch this space for more news as we get it…