Archos: greater iPlayer support not far away

BBC and Archos set to get even closer
BBC and Archos set to get even closer

Archos has confirmed to TechRadar it is testing improved iPlayer support on its PMP range.

The current IMT range and 600 series both allow sideloading of iPlayer content, but the 5 and 7 series also have Flash compatibility, although don't allow streaming direct from the site.

However Archos MD for the UK Tony Limrick confirmed the company is testing new options such as streaming for the devices, and hopes to have over the air downloads as an option in the near future too.

Keen Beeb

Matt Knight of Archos also stated that the BBC was 'very keen' to help out and the tests are now just working out the final bugs:

"[Streaming support] is something we want to do, and the BBC are very keen to help us do it.

"We're now at the R&D testing stage, to work out what the next step is to make [streaming] happen. It's almost there, and hopefully should be coming to products soon."

In a way it's been frustrating for Archos fans who have seen the likes of the Nokia N96 and the Sony Ericsson W995 both able to do both streaming and OTA downloads, but Limrick explained it wasn't as simple as just porting the solution to other platforms.

"The structure and the format are there, it's just a matter of encoding to make the format work on the Archos devices, but we don't think it's too far away.

"Certainly something we want to have [by the next product launch] if not before, although if it hasn't happened by then we won't hold the products back."

Archos 7 not dead

Limrick also explained that users worried the appearance of the 4 Vision and 7 Vision, Archos' new PMP range, aren't replacements for the current 5 and 7 products already on the market.

"The 7 Vision will be scaled down version of the Archos 7. We've got the 4 and 7 at a lower price point and they will deliver a lot, but not all the things, the Archos 5 or 7 IMTs can give us.

"When you think about Vision range, it's a PMP that's all about entertainment and mobility but not connectivity. The IMT range does it all, the Vision range are not connected devices where the 5 or 7 are.

"But certainly the Archos 7 is far from a dead unit."

4 and 7 Vision mystery

There's been very little information on the new 4 and 7 Vision range, which feature 4- and 7-inch screens (surprisingly), and Limrick says this is simply down to the current volume of devices coming to market at the moment.

"We don't have any more information on the new devices as we've worked very hard on main ranges to have launched for August.

"However, the 4 and 7 Vision are not at a level where we have enough parts signed off so we can say exactly what the specs will be, or what's going to happen with them.

"But we can say they will have a very similar form factor to 5 and 7 IMT range."

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.