Archos 5 Internet Media Tablet and DVR Station

DSCF6904

I love gadgets, especially multi-function ones that allow you to take movies and music with you. Portable Media Players as they are called, most people have one for of them or another, be it their phone, an iPod or maybe a Zune, or some other brand of media player. One thing about these things though is that the screen is small, and really watching a movie is something that I wouldn’t do all of the time on one.

Archos has been around for a while, and really they’ve come along way with the quality and functionality of their products, they’ve recently introduced the Archos 5 Internet Media Tablet which features a nice large 4.8″ LCD screen that runs at a resolution of 800×480 pixels to produce a very nice big picture. That’s not the only feature of the Archos 5 though, it can do pretty much anything a laptop can, internet, email, movies, music, and even games. Archos sent me the Archos 5 Tablet for review along with a must-have accessory called the DVR Station which allows you to not only record TV like a DVR, but it allows you to hook up the Archos 5 to your TV for a really big screen view.

So we’ll start this review off with a big unboxing videos of both products, first is the Internet Media tablet and then you’ll see the DVR Station Unboxed, watch and continue on for the rest of the review which is basically a video as well…

Specifications:

Archos 5 Internet Media Tablet

ARCHOS, award-winning for its constant technology innovation and leadership in portable media players now introduces a new concept: the Internet Media Tablet.
The ARCHOS 5 is the flagship of the new range, bringing the customer a new way to enjoy Internet, Media and TV…in a handheld device.

Basic Specs:

Display characteristics: High resolution screen, 800×480 pixels, 4.8” TFT LCD, 16 million colors
User interaction: Direct by touch screen, ON/OFF, vol+ and vol- buttons

Processor(s):
– Main processor: ARM CortexTM-A8, 32 bit, In-order, dual-issue, superscalar core @ 600 MHz
– Additional processor: 32 bit DSP @ 430 MHz

RAM memory: 128 MB* (Low-Power Double Data Rate SDRAM)
Mass storage memory: Hard drive, capacity according to the product version
– 60 GB* (stores up to 80 Movies, 600,000 photos or 30,000 songs1)
Operating system: Linux

Archos DVR Station

Turn your ARCHOS tablet into a Digital Video Recorder.

The DVR Station is the perfect bridge between your TV and your ARCHOS 5: record your TV programs and turn your TV into a real multimedia platform connected to the Web.
Just insert your ARCHOS into the DVR Station and enjoy all the functions of your ARCHOS tablet on your home TV.

With the Electronic TV Program Guide1, scheduling and recording from your satellite receiver, cable box, Digital TV adapter has never been so easy. You can also surf the Web or stream web video to your TV while comfortably laid back on your couch using the included remote control as a keyboard and mouse pointer.

You can also play back on TV in DVD quality through the composite, S-video, RGB or YPbPr video outputs. And with HDMI output, on compatible TV sets, you can watch films or any content in HD quality. The DVR Station includes a remote control with a built-in keyboard and a mouse pointer that will let you experience Internet on your TV just like on your PC. You can navigate through the web directly, write and send emails without booting up your computer. Or pick your evening’s movie on the Media Club. From your couch, on your TV.

My first impression of the Archos 5 was that it was really cool, and I was right with that impression, using it is a lot of fun. I was also pleasantly surprised that the unit boots up rather fast, I was expecting it to take a bit longer since this is basically a mini computer after all.

It’s a touch screen which does take a bit to get used to, but after using it for a few days you’ll get accustomed to it and be using and navigating the interfaces quickly and easily. It would be nice though to have a stylus included with the Archos 5 as typing can be a bit annoying, I always seen to hit the key next to the one I want, if a stylus was used accuracy would be greatly improved. The touch screen though does have good sensitivity, and the on-screen keyboard works well for most things, just don’t expect any speed typing.

I’ve got a rather long video for you showing the Archos 5 in action, of course I didn’t cover everything, but I tried to hit the high points or features that most people will be using most often.

My main complaint is the Opera browser is a bit buggy in that there are times when it just freezes up and you’ve got to cycle the power on the Archos unit, yes Opera is nice, but it’s still in beta so why adopt a beta product to use with something like this? After all the name of this product is the ‘internet media tablet’ so one would think that surfing the internet would be it’s strong point, but having a browser lock up on you just takes quite a bit of the fun out of the whole experience.

For the DVR station, well it does add quite a bit of value to the Archos 5, in that everything you can do on the tablet you can do on the big screen of your TV. This is nice for movies, music, internet and even the games, but I found the remote isn’t quite as sensitive as it could be for these things, especially the mouse or cursor controller pad, it just seems to lag a bit and it’s not very cooperative. I’ve used other types of remotes for HTPCs that include pads like these and they’ve worked well, but this one just doesn’t seem to work as well. Since it’s only a 60gig hard drive in the version I received that limits to what you can really do as to storing music, movies and using it as an DVR, if you plan on using the DVR function a lot I would suggest getting the larger capacity hard drive version. One nice function of the DVR is that it charges the Achos 5 while in the dock.

A suggestion to Archos would be to include a carrying case, and screen protectors with the Media Tablet as it does seem a bit fragile, especially such a large touch screen, I personally would be afraid to break it, or scratch the screen if it was in a bag or pocket. I’ve got a touch screen based cellphone and really a screen protector is a must have accessory to go with it.

Battery life is very good, I’ve used it for a few hours exploring things and just playing around, and there’s still a charge on it. I didn’t constantly listen to music of watch movies, but I’m sure as with anything like this the battery life is shortened by doing things like that.

Images

DSCF6847 DSCF6878 DSCF6881 DSCF6891 DSCF6893 DSCF6896 DSCF6897 DSCF6902 DSCF6904 DSCF6910

DSCF6927 DSCF6937

DSCF6936 DSCF6930 DSCF6947 DSCF6948 DSCF6951 DSCF6953

Conclusion:

I really like the Archos 5 and DVR Station combination, the Archos 5 itself is really actually quite fun to play with, and the quality of the picture is very good considering the small screen. If you’re going to get the Archos 5 then the DVR Station is a must have accessory to go with it, it’s well worth the extra cost for functionality it brings with it.

Surfing the web is a bit of a hassle at times using the buggy Opera browser, but it works well, when it’s not locked up that is… The other bugs are supposedly going to be worked out with future firmware revisions.

Pros:

-Looks great

-Works surprisingly well

-Really is fun to use

-Easy to use overall

-Excellent picture quality for movies

-DVR Station adds  functionality and value

Cons:

-Some bugs still

-Picks up dust and fingerprints easily

-Parts still in beta, inaccessible

-Remote for DVR not sensitive enough for some things

-Appears fragile, could easily be broken if not careful

Grades:

Overall: score-8-10

Design: score-8-10

Performance: score-8-10

  • Pingback: » Archos 5 Internet Media Tablet and DVR Station()

  • dean

    i was thinking of getting a archos but i wasnt sure and now i have just brought one with the dvr station and i bring it everywere

  • Glenn

    Can you provide any additional details (or review) on the DVR station? Does it work as advertised? How does it control a cable and/or satellite tuner? How good is the standard-def video quality for content recorded off the cable/satellite box? Any lag with the voice and video? I’m really interested in the DVR station but haven’t run across an indepth review of this add-on to the Archos 5. Can anyone offer additional feedback?

  • Ricky

    Is there any way to record from a standard coax cable to the DVR dock?

  • Pingback: Archos 7 320gb Internet Media tablet()

  • Martyn

    I have had my Archos 5 a couple of weeks and have rarely managed to record a scheduled programme properly. Two things casue problems. First the internal clock seems to lose time rapidly and if you don’t notice this at the time you set the recording the machhine then records the wrong time slot as it does not actually sync with the transmission. Secondly and much worse it seems to be impossible to get the channel listing on the DVR station to match the numbers on my freeview box. As a result you can set it to record a programme only to find it has recorded an entirely different channel. Although there’s a function to add channels to the list and change the numbering, there’s no function to select a newly added channel to the channel list so it has no real use. ANY HELP PLEASE. The ability to record direct to the tablet was one of the main reasons for buying as I spend many boring hours on trains and fancied filling some time with TV that otherwise I wouldn’t have time to watch

  • Chris

    BUYER BEWARE! The DVR station, while a great idea, is poorly excuted. I have had nothing but problems with it and according to other forums, I am not the only one! First, downloading it is not straight fwd. Often the site is down, the program guide itself is down or it simply doesn’t work. When it does (twice in 2 months) it is very difficult to use. The guide itself is NOT accurate, nor up to date and then you have to do it all over again after just 14 days. I could go on, but suffice to say that I completely regret getting this system. The worst part is the customer support… there isn’t any. I have spent many hours on hold waiting to speak to someone to help me. Try calling them before buying it – you’ll see. The website too does not provide the tech support as advertized. Also, the web browser is garbage too.

  • Nenad Macar

    Archos 5 and DVR station gen 6 for the according Archos player are great when work, but unfortunately they don’t work always. Remote control of DVR doesn’t work at all. I bought the DVR couple days ago and the remote control was dead, never start to work. I like all features of the DVR station but working remote control would be good to have. Is it possible to fix it or replace it at ARCHOS? Could somebody know how and where I can solve my problem with the DVR remote control that doesn’t work at all?

  • Ben

    I love the little gadget but after a few months my DVR started only playing back in black and white regardless of which set of outputs I use. Not too fun to watch recorded shows in black and white :(

  • Ben P

    This gadget is awesome, my friend has one, and says its the best thing he has ever bought. I am planning on purchasing one, in the very near future. I am slightly confused as my friends says there are no apps like the Apple Ipod Touch, there also seems to be a limited supplie of games for it. Could anyone enlighte me and clarify upon these issues.
    Thanks a lot.

  • G Turner

    I purchased the Archos 5 media tablet a week ago, the setup is not straight forward and the sync of the Archos Docking Station with your digital tuner so far has been unsuccessesful. Even the digital TV brand is in the drop down men list (LG) it still will not allow me to record with the scheduler, I have contacted the support via email as i cannot get through by phone and recieved a snotty useless reply “Your TV is obviously not compatible”
    The digital TV is a new one (Week Old) but more annoying is the lack of support and diagnostics, the media tablet could be a world beater but there are some major faults being the staff, the setup of the system and the fact that none at Archos really gives a toss as they already have your money.

    If anyone has a answer to my problem please let me know?

  • david

    i have the archos 5. solid product. dvr remote is crap. dvr video quality doesnt seem to be that good. but well find out at the end of my testing. audio video sync in fine no lag. damn well better be for a 100 bucks. if you guys have any questions or something u want me to explore my email is davidluna7@msn.com write NOT JUNK on the title so i dont throw it away

  • Andre

    Problem with archos 5
    I am having problems with my archos 5 and dvr station , it has less than one month and always stop recording.
    The screen shows the video running with image in pause ( like a ghost)
    Then I need to turn off the arcos and the video could not be open.
    Please !! What can I do???
    Thanks

  • Sabine

    Got the archos 5 with DVR station for a week. Archos is fantastic. I love the quality of pictures, videos (with plugs in) and music. Very easy to use (with a stylus not provided).As for the DVR station it’s not really good. Got not too many problems to record (still some) but to play back on my screen, everything is in black and white when it works! Contacted customer support at archos and guess what!!?! No answer.

  • Jonn Smit

    Remember, you have to buy all plagis separatly and all extras as DVR station, charging dock radio extantion as well. One of the weekest things is the scrin – no protection, even with the lether case you can not just put it into you pocket it will brake and THERE IS NO WARRANTY ON THE SCREEN. Screen repaire price is about 150 USD (for US) + shipping. This is about the price of the device.

  • andrew

    had my archos 5 since last december when i purchased the digital tv adaptor it playd ok for a while then started to freeze up and get quite hot at the back at the back of the device i sent it back to archos under the warrenty and they refused to fix the system saying that i had to have the original reciept which i did not have becuase it was a present to me from late brother even although it was purchasd from archos direct ; im very disapointed by archos i wont buy archos again very poor support in aftersales

  • http://gmail niky

    Can it be used as psp

    Can it be used as mobile

    How to use intenet on it,,what type of connection is required

  • http://technogogBlog KC

    My Archos 5 with screen protector is not sensitive. Oh well.
    My Vonage SVOIP is not supported by Opera…any help out there?
    Other than that, it is drop dead wonderful for travel.

  • Raed Khader

    I have both Archos 5 & the DVR station.

    I have no problems with both, I use the DVR station through my WiFi connection to stream videos from my PC to my TV.

    I also use it to streatm TV & Radion thru. the internet.

    I use it to copy programing from my TV.

    If you have any problems, feel free to contact me.

  • john jefferson

    i bought me a archos dvr station.i dont know how to hook it up to tv.it dont bring archos on the screen.i checked all the channels it wasnt on one.if anyone knows how to hook the archos dvr station up to television please inform me.i checked input and everything.im thinking it takes certain televisions mine is hook up to time warner cable. and the tv style is lcd hdtv sanyo 19″

  • Guest

    Please note – if you purchase this- be aware. Technical support from Archos is non-existent. Despite the following on the website:
    ” Our toll-free number is: 1-877 300 8879
    Hours : daily 7:00am – 11:00 pm CST, 7 days a week
    If your question concerns aspects of using the product, it would be very helpful if you have the product and/or access to your computer when calling. ”
    The toll free number will only take you to a closed office hours recording regardless of when you call. I tried all options. 0,1,2 all ended up saying we are closed….

  • Rapscallion

    Archos has gotten slightly better with their tech support. Their hours of operation have shortened but I was always able to get someone on the line during business hours. If you get someone giving you a hard time about a legitimate gripe (no bitching about the no TV-Guide and android app support) then get their name (so you know not to talk the them again) and call back to try someone else. Their out of warranty repair costs are astronomical (I ended up just buying a new unit and they gave me 20% off if I sent my old non-functioning unit back to them). Their customer service however is still quite combative and very hard to deal with and could stand some improvement. I am getting the Archos 5 IT 500GB and I just ordered a new DVR from amazon.com (was $40 less than on the Archos website go fig). I don’t plan on doing any TV recording with it (I have a capture card in my PC for that) but from what I have read the DVR Station is superb at playback. I am especially looking forward to streaming media from my PC to my TV with it as well as the reduced charging time. I also picked up the snap-on add-on so I can record audio of concerts with my condenser mic. If I remember to, I’ll stop back in and let ya know my experiences once I get it all set up :D

  • Mveisen

    Support from ARCHOS… none, nada, zilch…
    Still waiting for my answers on issues on my Archos 5
    I kinda hoped to buy something better than IPOD / IPAD… but I know now why Apple is ahead: at least they appear to care about their clients.

    Too bad for for them my next buy is NOT going to be Archos

    • spookie

      I coulda told ya that! People diss Apple, but often they don’t take into account Apple Care and Genius Bars. It’s cliche now, but “it just works.” And when it doesn’t, Apple Care and the Genius Bar are there to help you.

  • spookie

    No.

    No.

    Launch the browser and type on the onscreen keypad. 802.11b/g.

  • ANDREW PIOTROWSKI

    I PLUGGED IN THE AC ADAPTER TO THE BACK OF MY STATION AND THE LITTLE PIN INSIDE BROKE RIGHT OFF AND IS JINGLING INSIDE THERE;  TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE THE ONE OF A KIND PAIN IN THE KISSAZZA CABLE THAT PASSES FOR A 6″ USB CORD IS ALSO METAL OUT OF ITS RUBBER HOUSING NOW.;  ARCHOS CAN ADVERTISE “BUY DIRECT FROM THE REPAIRMAN’S GARBAGE CAN” AT LOW LOW PRICES STARTING AT JUST 600.00

Black Friday: Cricket Wireless Black Friday and Cyber Monday Promotions

Black Friday: Cricket Wireless Black Friday and Cy…

Kristofer Brozio
This is a combo post I guess you could say as it’s both for Black Friday and for Cyber Monday. Cric…
Read More
4 hours agoBlack Friday: Cricket Wireless Black Friday and Cy…
Black Friday: 50% Off X-Doria Accessories and Cases

Black Friday: 50% Off X-Doria Accessories and Cas…

Kristofer Brozio
X-Doria is doing a 50% off sale from today through Monday on their cases and accessories. Most of&n…
Read More
3 hours agoBlack Friday: 50% Off X-Doria Accessories and Cas…
Black Friday: Tokyoflash $20 Off Every Watch

Black Friday: Tokyoflash $20 Off Every Watch

Kristofer Brozio
Yeah  no posts  yesterday, it  was Thanksgiving and I cook so I was doing  that…
Read More
5 hours agoBlack Friday: Tokyoflash $20 Off Every Watch
Black Friday: Buy One Get One Free Izon Cameras

Black Friday: Buy One Get One Free Izon Cameras

Kristofer Brozio
Here’s a  good deal, free stuff  is very  good, and I love BOGO or buy one get one o…
Read More
4 hours agoBlack Friday: Buy One Get One Free Izon Cameras
Black Friday: E FUN Nextbook 8" Windows Tablet is Available for $99 at Walmart

Black Friday: E FUN Nextbook 8" Windows Table…

Kristofer Brozio
I think I posted this deal before but I think it’s worth it to post again as $99 for an 8” tablet r…
Read More
4 hours agoBlack Friday: E FUN Nextbook 8" Windows Table…