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ReplayTV To Launch Less Controversial DVRs

Santa Clara, Calif. – ReplayTV, now under the stewardship of Digital Networks North America (DNNA), announced a new series of ReplayTV digital video recorders that omit the controversial Commercial Advance and Send Show functions.

The ReplayTV 5500 series recorders are based on the company’s 5.0 software that removes the prior capabilities, which had been the subject of lawsuits, leveled at the company, while under the ownership of the financially troubled SonicBlue.

Commercial Advance permitted Replay users to completely skip commercials on recorded programs, while Send Show enabled ReplayTV owners to share recordings with other ReplayTV owners by sending files over the Internet. The removal of the functions from the new generation devices will not impact units already in the market that have the capabilities, the company said.

ReplayTV 5500 models, which will be available in August at prices to be announced later, will include four new features including home network recording and the ability to skip reruns and eliminate programming conflicts.

The network recording function is said to identify recording conflicts and automatically assign recordings to an available ReplayTV on a home network.

A new pause and resume feature will allow users can pause movies playing in the living room and finish watching them in the bedroom·

A first run recording function alerts the recorder to save only first-run episodes of television series, while skipping re-runs. A recording piority feature automatically identifies conflicts and lets users decide which shows to record.

Although the new software strips out the Send Show and Commercial Advance features, it does retain a QuickSkip feature that offers high-speed fast forwarding of commercials and other sections of a recording. The QuickSkip button enables skipping parts of a recorded program in 30-second increments, while the fast forward button allows users to fast-forward at up to 20 times normal speed.

‘The new ReplayTV 5500 series will provide our customers with the best possible DVR experience, while being responsive to issues and concerns raised by the owners and distributors of copyrighted content,’ said Michael Seedman, chairman of DNNA. ‘It’s our goal to try to resolve issues that emerge in the area of digital media networking and be a positive force in the industry,’ Seedman added.

While the Send Show feature has been removed, the 5500 series will maintain broadband connectivity, giving ReplayTV the option of receiving and sending non-copyrighted material across the Internet to other ReplayTV units and possibly computers, the company said. Potentially, the capability could be used for the delivery of pay-per-view video content in the future, although the company has not formally disclosed plans for such services.

ReplayTV units currently networked within the home can continue to communicate with each other.