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Video Reference Guide, Continued

Reviews of Portable Video Devices

Apple's Video-Ready iPod: New iPod has a nice screen that displays video, but it's still primarily an audio player.

Archos Pocket Video Recorder AV420: This slim $500 device handles your music, photos, and TV and movie viewing in style, but hooking it up to your entertainment center and dealing with the video conversion are not for novices.

Creative's Impressive-Sounding Zen VisionM: A superb screen highlights this capable iPod alternative.

Tiny iRiver Does Video: The iRiver U10 digital media player can handle video files as well as audio ones.

Ovideon's So-So Media Player: Device features an impressive OLED screen, but the unit is expensive and awkward to use.

We Test-Drive Sony's PSP: The portable gaming device is finally available, and looks to be worth the wait.

Plus: Ready for a pocket-size video player? In "The Big Picture on Small-Screen Players," we'll tell you what you need to know before you take your shows on the road. Or, take a look at some of the first portable media players.

Looks at Video-Capable Cellular Phones

Dialed In--Do You Watch TV on Your Cell Phone? Wireless carriers are delivering snippets of your favorite television shows, movie previews, news, sports, and more straight to your phone screen.

Let These Entertain You: New cell phones come outfitted for listening to music and watching TV on the go.

Plus: Looking for a more general-purpose cell phone? Check out "Pick the Perfect Cell Phone." Most cell phones today specialize--in handling e-mail, surfing the Web, taking sharp snapshots, or playing music. We tested 17 popular phones to find the best for every task.

Calling the Future: Cellular Networks Speed Upgrades

To truly take advantage of the new video services and live TV offerings that will soon be coming to your cell phone, you'll need faster networks. Here's a rundown of the improvements you can expect in the next few years.

The Rev. A update to 1xEvDO (Evolution Data Only, or Evolution Data Optimized) networks will increase download speeds to phones from standard 1xEvDO's theoretical maximum of 2.4 megabits per second to 3.1 mbps, and will raise upload speeds from 150 kilobits per second to 1.8 mbps.

HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) upgrades UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) networks to a theoretical maximum of 10.8 mbps down and 384 kbps up; the first version of HSDPA, already available in some areas, offers maximum speeds of 1.8 mbps. Real-world speeds will be lower, but sending video from your phone to the Internet or to another phone will become less painful.

In the United States, Sprint and Verizon run their 3G (third-generation) networks with 1xEvDO. Sprint expects to roll out Rev. A during the first three quarters of 2007; Verizon has made Rev. A technology announcements, but hasn't announced rollout dates. Cingular has rolled out HSDPA in 16 markets and plans to add more throughout 2006. T-Mobile has been rolling out an HSDPA network in Europe this year, and is expected to launch one in the United States in 2007.

Jim Feeley

Jim Feeley is a writer and a producer at POV Media, a California production firm.
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