Repurposing an Archos Video AV320.

September 3, 2006

Years ago, when I got my Archos, I was thrilled. I thought I’d finally have the ultimate portable movie machine to take on trips and otherwise use for my casual movie watching enjoyment. Unfortunately, getting movies on the machine was kind of a pain. While I did eventually build up a library on it, it was kind of temperamental and the battery life was terrible. Ultimately the screen developed a white line down one side and the battery quit working altogether.
I considered selling it broken on eBay, but the tinkerer in me, limited in skills though he may be, decided this little device had too many great parts to just let go of.

For one thing, there’s a 20 Gig Hitachi Travelstar hard drive. I took the Archos apart and extracted it. I bought a 2.5” USB enclosure for it at CompUSA. Now I have a handy, portable 20 Gig drive to play with.

There were some other parts on the Archos I’d like to make use of. It had some extensive video outputs. I once watched Jack Nicholson in the movie Chinatown on a hotel TV on output from the Archos. Perhaps I can use that for a future device.

The sad but true fact is, however, that my 60 Gig iPod with video is everything the Archos wasn’t. It’s smaller and the battery life is pretty good. With my external battery pack, it’s virtually inexhaustible. Plus, it plays movies on televisions like a charm. The iPod is a much better piece of equipment and I expect to continue getting years of use out of it. Especially considering that I have the extended warranty so when it breaks again, I’ll just get another one instead of having to repurpose it.


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