Tokyo – D&M Holdings said here Thursday it has sold most of the assets of its digital video recorder (DVR) company and brand – ReplayTV – to U.S. direct-to-home satellite TV provider DirecTV Group.
ReplayTV, which started out its life in 1997 as the chief rival to former DirecTV DVR ally TiVo, has produced set-top DVRs for the consumer market and more recently has focused on offering DVR software and services for PC-based entertainment applications.
It continues to offer subscription-based DVR program listings with interactive record-programming capability to customers of both approaches.
The company was said to have “a significant following due to its premium service and advanced technology.”
D&M Holdings said it will remain the operator of the existing service contracts for current subscribers for the foreseeable future while DirecTV will assume most of the other assets of the brand company.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
In a statement on the deal, DirecTV said “the acquisition of Replay TV’s assets will enable us to explore new services as well as the potential of Replay’s IP technology. The assets include the Replay portfolio of patents and pending applications. Replay was a pioneer in the market for DVRs, and we consider this to be a significant portfolio in the area of DVRs and advanced DVR features. DIRECTV has the most advanced DVR technology in the industry today and no decisions have been made concerning the integration of Replay technology with our existing platform.”
“Although we valued this asset and the business was profitable, the sale of ReplayTV to DirecTV makes the most sense for this business, its employees and us,” stated Eric Evans D&M chairman and CEO. “We believe this transaction is a positive development for ReplayTV and this sale allows D&M to further direct our focus on building our brands and executing our growth and acquisition strategies.”
Ironically, DirecTV gave ReplayTV’s rival TiVo a major boost when it reached a deal to integrate TiVo-enabled hardware into its select integrated receiver descramblers (IRDs).
That arrangement ended after DirecTV was sold to News Corp., which has an NDS subsidiary with its own DVR technology. The NDS DVR technology is now used in DirecTV’s DVR/IRDs, but DirecTV continues to offer services for subscribers with TiVo-based equipment.
Meanwhile, News Corp. is now seeking government approvals to sell its controlling shares of DirecTV to Liberty Media, which could open up possibilities for a new DVR direction.
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