By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Humax USA introduced, here, its DRT800 combination DVD recorder and DVR with TiVo service as the latest in its series of stand-alone TiVo decks.
The new model, which is shipping now, will combine a DVD-RW/-R recorder with a TiVo 80GB Series 2 DVR, and will carry a $399 suggested retail after a $100 rebate.
To use the product, purchasers will also be required to subscribe to the TiVo service for a $12.95 per month ($6.95 per month for each additional TiVo deck in the home) or $299 per unit for a one-time service fee.
Humax and TiVo opted not to include the TiVo basic service option, which provides a free scaled-down program guide and limited TiVo features, in order to keep the cost of the deck as low as possible, TiVo said.
The Humax DVD DRT800 is available at such national retailers as Amazon.com, Best Buy, Buy.com, Circuit City, Good Guys, J&R Music and Sam's Club. It can also be purchased directly from www.humaxusa.com and www.tivo.com.
Humax said the deck was designed for easy operation of both DVR and DVD recording functions, and allows quick archiving of recordings made on the TiVo hard drive to DVD discs.
It is said to be one of the first TiVo/DVD recorder combination units to apply TiVo's easy interface features during recording and playback of both DVD and DVR recordings.
For example, during DVD playback and recording, the unit presents the same trick-play bar to give a visual reference for the amount of time left in a program. It also applies an info banner to DVDs, allows quickly setting subtitles and allows easy setup of either two-channel or Dolby 5.1 audio modes.
TiVo's 10-second skip-back feature, which is convenient for finding start points when visually fast-forwarding or reversing through content in DVR recordings, is also applied to DVDs.
All TiVo Series 2 DVRs include two USB 2.0 ports which will allow connection to wired Ethernet or wireless (802.11) broadband networks. The unit has a Home Media feature that allows playback of music and photo files stored on a networked PC through a TV or home theater system.
Networked TiVo devices will also allow multiroom sharing of recordings by allowing content transfers between connected Series 2 TiVo units. Additionally, the main TiVo unit can access content stored on the hard drives of other TiVo devices in the home.
The Home Media Feature also allows remote scheduling, which enables users to program a TiVo to record from outside the house via the Internet.
TiVo no longer asks an additional fee for the home networking service option.
The unit will record signals relayed from connected devices such as camcorders or VCRs. All external recordings are made first to the unit's hard drive, from where they are dubbed onto DVD, providing no Macrovision content projection is present in the signal.
When archiving programs from the hard disc, the system allows splitting programs onto two or more discs, if necessary.
Unlike some competitive programs, the deck has multifunctional capability while burning a DVD. As a DVD is made, the TiVo portion of the deck can be used to play back a recorded program, or it can be used to relay a program to another connected TiVo unit in another part of the house.
The DRT800 will control cable and satellite set-top boxes either through an IR blaster or serial port connection. The TiVo service is compatible with all multichannel service providers' channel lineups.
Video content can be output in standard NTSC or progressive scan formats. Inputs include an IEEE-1394 (DV) interface for camcorder transfers, USB 2.0, S-video and composite video. A set of front A/V inputs are offered for easy access to analog video transfers.
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