Australian outfit Zensonic Corporation has designed a DVD player with wireless networking features and the ability to connect directly to a hard drive.
Its Z500 digital media player -- due for release in March and priced at $429 -- gives users the choice of wireless networking, gigabit Ethernet, optical disc playback and USB2.0 hard drive connection options.
It supports multiple formats including Windows Media Video 9, DivX, and MPEG4 playback. The company has also included support for HighMAT (High Performance Media Access Technology), a standard method organising digital media files on burned discs for browsing or playback through a digital player, Zensonic said.
Gigabit Ethernet and 54Mb/s 802.11g wireless networking is integrated, Zensonic said.
The server software dubbed Z-Drive is available on Windows, Mac OS and Linux platforms.
"First generation digital media players forced users to compromise," said Raaj Menon, CEO at Zensonic. "It was generally a choice between a DVD-based player or a networked player," he said.
The USB 2.0 port on the machine can be used for a USB flash memory device or a USB hard drive, including Apple's iPod and other players that can be used as a hard drive, the company said.