The 605 really comes into its own however, when teamed up with one of Archos’ compatible multimedia docking cradles. It’s slight annoying that without one you aren’t able to take advantage of the device’s AV input and output capabilities – the necessary cables aren’t included in the box. But with the 605 plugged into the £65 DVR Station, you can do a whole lot more than simply playback files onto a TV and record video from your set-top or satellite box.
It allows you to control the player via infrared, for example. Coupled with the 605’s Wi-Fi ability it also means you can use it as a wireless video streamer. You could even turn it into a wireless digital photo frame if you wanted, quietly flicking its way through your favourite holiday snaps in the corner, as you entertain guests.
But the killer feature is its ability to schedule TV recordings via the EPG (electronic programme guide) on the 605 WiFi. Once it’s set up correctly, all you have to do is pick a programme just like you do with Sky+, or a hard disk based PVR, and set it to record. You don’t have to leave the TV or satellite box on the right channel either because, when the time comes, the DVR Station uses an infrared emitter to switch on the source, change the channel, and begin recording.
So is there anything this device cannot do? Well, yes, I’m amazed to report that, in fact, the 605 is not 100 per cent perfect. File format support is okay, but not brilliant, for instance. You can playback most standard definition video MPEG-4 based formats natively (including DivX), plus WMV files, but you have to buy a plug-in (e19.99) if you want MPEG-2 support including VOB and MPG files. And you have to shell out for another if you want H.264 support, which includes MOV files.