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Replay TV To Boost Promotions, Distribution

Strengthened by its acquisition by D&M Holdings, formerly cash-strapped Replay TV plans to ramp up production, resume national TV advertising after a two-year pause, and expand its distribution to all RadioShack stores.

The PVR maker is also adding more networking features to its stand-alone PVR, citing the installed base of home networks in 68 percent of the home of current Replay users.

The TV campaign, consisting of 60-second cable-network spots from August through March, will be part of a more than $2 million promotion program, said Jim Hollingsworth, president of D&M’s Replay TV Products. Beginning Father’s Day, the program will include radio promotions in the top 20 radio markets in which DJs give away Replay PVRs. On top of that, Replay-hired personnel will conduct in-store demos beginning in August.

In contrast, “during the past two years, we’ve done some basic on-line ads and promotions and, during last year’s Christmas selling season, radio promotions [involving product giveaways],” Hollingsworth noted.

The week before Fathers’ Day, Replay’s PVRs will appear in RadioShack’s 5,500 company-owned stores, expanding Replay’s distribution to 7,000 storefronts, Hollingsworth said. RadioShack’s 1,500 franchised stores also have the opportunity to stock the product, he added.

Replay’s current dealers include Circuit City, Best Buy, Tweeter, Ultimate, Good Guys, Magnolia and independent A/V specialists. Replay’s 5000 series will be RadioShack’s first PVRs, Hollingsworth said.

New network upgrades will be included as a running change to the 5000 series and is available as a download to existing 5000 series owners. The 5000 already sports an Ethernet port and the ability to stream programming from one Replay PVR in the house to another. With the software upgrade, Replay is adding four more features, most of them network-oriented. The features are network recording, network pause and resume, first-run recording, and recording priority, which reduces the number of programming steps when a consumer goes to record a program during a time slot in which the machine was already programmed to record another program.