A low-cost portable digital video player receives proprietary compressed data from a source such as a personal video recorder (PVR), and displays the data on an integral display. A rewritable non-volatile memory of the player stores the data and a media decoder of the player transforms and decompresses the data. According to one embodiment the decoder transforms the data to a non-proprietary format, prior to storing the data. According to a second embodiment, the memory stores the data in the proprietary format, and decoder transforms and decompresses the data in response to an instruction from a user input device, and transfers the decoded data to a display. A cradle for the player provides communications to the PVR, a power supply and optionally further storage capacity.

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