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ReplayTV 4000: It's not your father's Betamax

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eaglebtc    0

This story posted on www.di.fm @ 10:05 AM.

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Check out the latest Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) for television programs, the ReplayTV 4000 line made by SonicBlue. These units are scheduled go on sale this Thursday with prices starting at US$699.

DVRs have been around for some time, but what makes the ReplayTV 4000 unique and controversial is its Internet-ready Send Show feature. This allows you to easily share (send) digitally recorded programs to up to 15 other ReplayTV 4000 owners via a broadband Internet connection. Of course these programs could be pay-per-view that the sender recorded, allowing recipients to watch premium content for free.

Not surprisingly the broadcast TV networks aren??t thrilled with that feature (nor are they delighted with its automatic ad-skipping Commercial Advance?? either). In fact they??ve filed a lawsuit in US District Court to stop this file-sharing recorder, drawing comparisons to Napster.

Of course SonicBlue is no stranger to the courtroom, having previously withstood the RIAA??s attack on its RioVolt portable MP3 players. It claims its ReplayTV 4000 is just a 21st-century Betamax. What do you think? Here??s a good CNET Perspective that gives a fairly neutral treatment to both sides in this latest battle between entertainment and hi-tech.

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