ReplayTV Shakes The Hardware Habit

from the hardware-is-so-last-generation dept

Back in the early days of the DVR, it was often seen as a two horse race between TiVo and ReplayTV. ReplayTV often stood out for going against the entertainment industry in certain decisions — such as adding a commercial skip feature and the ability to share shows with other ReplayTV users. However, the legal battles became too much, and the company was eventually sold in a firesale to D&M Holding, makers of consumer electronics products. However, not much has come out of ReplayTV in a while — perhaps because the new owners removed the features that people actually liked while also pulling a few bait and switch marketing tricks. So, now, it looks like the parent’s history in building popular consumer electronics equipment wasn’t enough to keep them in the hardware business. Instead, ReplayTV is looking to get rid of their remaining hardware and will focus entirely on the software business. The company will be packaging the new software with TV tuner cards from Hauppauge Digital, which seems like it can’t be a very big business opportunity. There already are a few software DVR makers out there, as well as some open source offerings. You’d think they might be better off trying to do deals with some of the other hardware DVR makers — almost all of whom have reputations for terrible user interfaces.

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Comments on “ReplayTV Shakes The Hardware Habit”

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dan says:

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This is why it becomes so much more economical to do it yourself. Take an older system, get a graphics card with svideo out (nvidia), and pick up a haupauge card with MPEG2 encoding built in (I use PVR 150).

Use the open source mythTV and Linux and you’ve got yourself a system that is not regulated by any idiotic rules and not tied to a single corporate entity. Heck, you can even use the computer for tons of other things, including sharing all of your recordings etc. over you home network.

While PVR software in Linux is still fairly new and it’s not exceptionally user friendly (they actually do a pretty darn good job in my opinion, though), it comes with many options that make it better. Not only can the computer do normal computing tasks, but MythTV comes with the ability to play DVD,VCD, CD, and other types of media. You can view photos, listen to digital audio, watch movies and ripped dvds from the hard disk, and it even comes able to interface with snes9x and MAME (not to mention other emulators and PC games).

I can’t for the life of me figure out why anybody would purchase a TiVO or the like when they have this option. New livecd distributions are even making it extremly simple to install so the non-1337 can do it.

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