I believe media extenders, like the Apple TV, will be the next big thing in home entertainment. These devices are still having trouble catching on, which is why SanDisk’s introducing the Sansa TakeTV video player makes no sense to me.
In a statement, SanDisk senior VP for audio/video, Daniel Schreiber, said in a statement that the Sansa TakeTV video player is “the most easy-to-use, straightforward solution for watching downloaded personal video content and other shows in the comfort of the living room.”
Ah, no it’s not. Here’s why.
The Sansa TakeTV is just a glorified USB drive. You plug it into your computer and download into it DivX, XVID, or MPEG-4 videos. There are two models. One model holds up to 4 GBs, or about five hours of ordinary video, and costs $100, while the $150 8-GB model can hold up to 10 hours of video. The system will work with Windows, Macs, or Linux systems. Like I said, it’s really just a fancy USB drive.
On the television side, you put the drive into its cradle. It then connects with your television with Composite Video or S-Video for the video and good old analog stereo for the audio. While it can support 16:9 aspect ratio TVs, it , in no way, shape, or form, supports HDTV video. To control the device, you’ll need to use its own remote.
So, what’s the problem? I don’t know about you but I got sick of ‘sneakernet,’ back in the day of 5.25″ floppy drives. Why should I want to physically carry a USB drive back and forth between my PC and my TV today?
Better still, why should I bother with even a $100 Sansa TakeTV, when I can buy a 30-pack of blank DVDs for 10 bucks and burn movies on a PC? Movies, I might add, which I can then play anywhere.
No, there’s no good reason to buy the Sansa TakeTV. Indeed, my only question is why SanDisk released this product in the first place. This isn’t the wrong product for the wrong time. This is the wrong product for any time since PCs started coming with DVD-burners.