SanDisk was showing off an interesting device behind closed doors at CES 2007 that we may see in a much more main stream setting at next years CES show. The demo was of a product called USB TV and it is just what it sounds like, only with some very cool features thrown in.
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Unlike some other TV tuners out on the market right now what the SanDisk device actually stores your digital programming on a flash drive that is an integral part of the system. The remote control for playback is set into the case of the device. The portion that hooks to the TV is to allow the custom USB connector to interface with current TVs. Once plugged in you can play your shows back on the TV or PC of your choice. What is hard to tell from these images is exactly how small the USB TV device is. Overall the size is about twice as thick as the latest iPod Nano and about 1 inch longer than said iPod.SanDisk says that the USB connector used by the playback device has two extra pins making it incompatible with the current USB ports on PCs and other electronics on the current market. I was told that SanDisk was actively seeing out partners at CES 2007 and had strong interest from several makers meaning we should see new products that can directly connect to the USB TV device at next years CES show. No word on the pricing or when the item might be available. SanDisk expects that once the new USB port types are available on TVs and PCs the portion of their USB TV device that connects to the TV or PC will no longer be needed.