ReplayTV puts ad skipping on pause

ReplayTV said Tuesday that its new digital video recording boxes won't include some of the features that have angered copyright holders. The company said its upcoming ReplayTV 5500 boxes, which are expected to be released in August, will not contain the Send Show and Automatic Commercial Advance tools as the company tries to "address the concerns of copyright holders."

ReplayTV has come under fire from major TV networks and movie studios for offering the features, which let consumers play back TV shows without commercials or send the shows to others. Digital video recorders (DVRs) are similar to VCRs, but instead of storing shows on a tape, they are stored on a hard drive. "It is our goal to try to resolve issues that emerge in the area of digital media networking and be a positive force in the industry," Michael Seedman, chairman of Digital Networks North America, which bought ReplayTV in April, said in a statement.

Two years ago, the major movie studios and TV networks filed a lawsuit against Sonicblue, which at the time owned ReplayTV. The resulting legal tangles were partly responsible for hobbling Sonicblue, which filed for bankruptcy in March. The company was aggressive in promoting commercial-skipping and show-sharing technologies. The lawsuit, which has been combined with a case involving ReplayTV owners, is still ongoing in federal court in Los Angeles.

A representative for ReplayTV's new owner said the company made a business decision not to offer the disputed features in future products after reviewing the matter, but current models will still have them.

News source: C|net

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