Skip to main content

Archos 604 review

It's a PVR, but not as you know it

  • £260

Our Verdict

It doesn't have a digital tuner, but if you've got Sky, cable or Freeview it's an interesting alternative to a standard PVR


  • Great picture. Huge capacity. Video recording


  • No digital tuner. Fiddly controls. Expensive

PVRs are traditionally chunky set-top boxes, but Archos has come up with a revolutionary fix, a docking station that turns its portable media player into a fully-functioning personal video recorder - a sort of portable PVR, if you will.

Archos is something of a luxury brand in PMPs, and the Archos 604 system isn't cheap, but then it does also have a 30GB hard disk and a usefully large 4.3-inch LCD widescreen display, a respectable 5-hour battery life (16 hours without the screen), it weighs just 315g and it's only 16mm deep.

So how much can you get on a 30GB disk? Fortunately, Archos has built MPEG-4 recording into the 604, so you can store about 40 movies, or 300,000 photos, or 15,000 three-minute MP3s.

These figures depend on the quality and resolution you choose; movies for playback on a regular TV will require more space than low-res movies for the 480 x 272 screen.

Full review