SONICblue said it would offer a $9.95 monthly service subscription option on all new ReplayTV digital video recorder purchases.
The program, which is now in effect, marks a change from the company's traditional business model, which built the service fee into the price of each ReplayTV recorder. That program resulted in a significantly higher price for ReplayTV recorders than TiVo or UltimateTV units, which kept service fees separate.
The service continually updates onscreen customized listings of TV programs that viewers use to select programs for the ReplayTV unit to record.
The company said the move came to "give consumers even greater choice and flexibility when purchasing new ReplayTV units."
"The addition of a monthly service option in combination with our recently reduced prices and rebate offers, makes ReplayTV an even more attractive choice for consumers," said Nikhil Balram, SONICblue Connected Home products VP. "We are confident that these changes and our continually expanding retail presence will significantly increase our ReplayTV sales."
The new service fee will be $9.95 per month (lower than the $12.95 monthly fee now charged by rival TiVo), and may be chosen as an option to the existing one-time $250 service fee when activating new ReplayTV units.
ReplayTV's service fees are now virtually the same as the rates originally asked by TiVo, prior to that service's price increase.
Customers must pay one of the service fees for each ReplayTV purchased.
Current pricing for the ReplayTV 4500 series is as follows:
ReplayTV 4504: up to 40 hours of recording capacity for a $399.99 suggested retail price plus a $50 rebate for an after- rebate price of $349.99.
ReplayTV 4508: Up to 80 hours of recording capacity for $549.99 plus a $100 rebate for an after-rebate price of $449.99.
ReplayTV 4516: Up to 160 hours of recording capacity for $999.99 plus a $100 rebate for an after-rebate price of $899.99.
ReplayTV 4532: Up to 320 hours of recording capacity for $1,399.99 plus a $100 rebate for an after-rebate price of $1,299.99.
All ReplayTV 4500 models are compatible with cable, satellite and antenna programming feeds. SONICblue recently expanded distribution for ReplayTV with Circuit City, which joins a host of top retailers in offering ReplayTV products in its stores. ReplayTV can now be found at Circuit City, Good Guys, Amazon, The Wiz and Tweeter.