Sony has always emphasized the multimedia capabilities of its Clie line of handhelds. It has taken another step in this direction by announcing in Japan a small device that can record TV programs onto a Memory Stick in a format suitable for playing on one of its handhelds.
The PEGA-VR100K acts somewhat like a VCR, except that it has been especially designed to work with Sony handhelds. Therefore the images it records are only 320 by 240 pixels. Still, they can also be played on a regular TV if the user wants to.
The user can choose from three levels of image quality, depending on whether a better picture or longer playing time is desired. At the highest quality, a 1 GB Memory Stick can hold a bit over four hours of video. At the lowest quality, even a 128 MB Memory Stick can hold over two hours of video.
It comes with a software for the handheld that acts as a channel guide and allows the VR100K to be programmed to record programs in the future. This device should be compatible with any Sony Handheld running Palm OS 5.
At this point, the VR100K has only been announced in Japan, so details are still sketchy and it’s possible that some of the details have been mis-translated.
It is expected to go on sale in Japan for about 30,000 Yen, which is about $255. It is not known at this time if this accessory will be released in the U.S. or what it will cost if it is.