Sony today unveiled their first portable video player ever designed primarily for still photography and video playback functionality. The Sony Vaio HMP-A1 is capable of playing MPEG 2 and MPEG 4 files and MPEG 1, AVI, WMV and DVR-MS which are converted when transferred to the units 20GB hard drive. Surprisingly Sony decided to add MP3 support over the company’s own ATRAC audio format. Sony must have seen the reaction to their VGF-AP1 Vaio Pocket that they hoped would clean up the market and push aside the Apple iPod.
With a 3.5-inch 320 x 240 colour LCD screen, the HMP-A1 will display downloaded movies or TV shows to a single audience viewer perfectly fine, it can also output to Hi-Fi audio devices and a TV. The 250g device measures 130 x 76 x 22 mm and is slightly larger then the VGF-AP1. The USB 2.0 unit is powered by a Li-Ion rechargeable battery and can play up to four hours of MPEG 2, six hours of MPEG 4 or eight hours of MP3s.