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Cowon A3 PVP gets U.S. price and availability

CNET Senior Editor Donald Bell reports on Cowon's announcement of the U.S. version of the A3 portable video player (PVP).

Photo of Cowon A3 portable video player.
In a year when most companies are running away from the hard-drive PVP, Cowon's A3 looks the devil in the eye and laughs. Cowon America, Inc.

Cowon, purveyor of the most feature-packed MP3 players in the world, has announced the U.S. pricing and availability of its A3 portable video player (PVP), successor to the highly rated A2. According to Cowon, the first shipments of the A3 (pictured above) are due to arrive in early December, priced at $349 (30GB) and $399 (60GB) for the U.S.

From a video perspective, the A3 features a 4-inch TFT LCD display with an 800x480 resolution and integrated component, S-Video, and composite video output. Like most Cowon players, the A3 natively supports an astounding array of file formats and codecs, including video formats such as AVI, DivX, XviD, MP4, ASF, MKV, VOB, OGM, WMV 7, H.264, MPEG, DAT, and MTV--all with a maximum resolution of 1280x720 at 30fps (yes, that's HD, people). As a music player, the A3 can play MP3, WMA, FLAC, OGG Vorbis, OGG FLAC, Apple Lossless, AAC/AAC+, AC3, True Audio, Monkey's Audio, MusePack, WavPack, G.726, and PCM audio formats. You also get support for subtitles, ID3 tags, lyric tags, the full slate of Cowon's JetShell audio enhancement features, a photo viewer (JPG, GIF, PNG, TIF, BMP, RAW), a 720x480 video recorder, line-input recorder (FLAC, WMA), voice recorder, FM radio, and radio recorder. If that's still not enough for you, you can always nerd-up to the Cowon Q5W.

For all you chipset trainspotters out there (all 10 of you), the A3's internal architecture is built around the Texas Instruments DaVinci chipset.

The demo video below is from the Frenchies over at GenerationMP3, so forgive the hideous trance music.