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Replay TV to shut down services July 31

Replay TV, one of the first makers of the digital video recorder (better known as DVR) device, will be shutting down its services to its remaining units soon. In a post on the Replay TV web site, it states that after July 31 owners of a Replay TV DVR won't have access to the device's online programming guide. Replay TV users will also no longer have to play monthly fees effective immediately. Replay TV owners can still program analog TV shows to record manually without having to use the online recording guide. However the device cannot record high definition TV shows.

Launched in 1997, Replay TV, along with TiVo, started introducing its first DVR products in 1999. The device got into legal trouble from the major TV networks in 2001 who filed a lawsuit against Replay TV's then owners SONICblue. They claimed that two of Replay TV's features violated copyright laws. One was the Commercial Advance feature which allowed users to skip through commercials. The other was the Send Show feature which let users send a copy of a TV show they recorded to friends via the Internet. In 2003 SONICblue's went into bankruptcy and as a result the lawsuit went into limbo. Later Replay TV models did not have those two features.

In 2003 SONICblue was sold to D&M Holdings. In 2005 the company announced it would no longer sell Replay TV hardware units. In 2007 D&M Holdings sold its assets to DirecTV while still continuing the Replay TV electronic guide. With its shut down on July 31 the last vestige of the company will be gone.

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