Thomson has introduced a new portable media centre that will connect DIRECTV digital video recorders to transfer programmes and movies to watch on the go.

Although DIRECTV is not currently in the UK, the move paves the way for similar services like Sky to possibly follow suit.

Called the LYRA X3000, the pocket-sized device by RCA allows for the direct recording of up to 40 feature-length films from multiple video sources without using a computer and is ideal for digital subscription music content.

“The LYRA X3000 morphs into a virtual VCR, utilizing MPEG4 technology, with the capability for both real-time recording from any analog source or high-speed transfer of digitized content, plus the advantage of DVD quality picture performance when outputting to a TV”, said Thomson's Dan Collishaw, Chief Operating Officer of Thomson's Americas Audio/Video and Accessory businesses. “These features, along with remote control operation and programmability, make the LYRA X3000 an ideal entertainment complement for the next-generation DIRECTV digital video recorders (DVRs), scheduled for deployment in 2006. A convenient software upgrade, at no cost to the consumer, is all that is required for this remarkable DIRECTV compatibility”, Collishaw added.

The LYRA X3000 by RCA boasts a 3.6-inch TFT ultra-bright colour LCD screen with 320 x 240 resolution. The unit also features a Home Theater Docking Base that can be connected to a home entertainment system. The Docking Base enables easy time-shift recording of TV programs from a tuning source such as the video output of a television or cable/satellite set-top receiver.

The DIRECTV2GO compatibility further expands the LYRA X3000's capability for entertainment on the go. Digital quality content securely downloaded from compatible DIRECTV DVRs to the X3000 can be easily viewed on televisions located in other rooms.

The LYRA X3000 by RCA is available in January with a suggested retail price of $399.