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SONICblue's Cheaper ReplayTV

Techstination feature for Tuesday, October 22, 2002

Another price drop for digital video recorders. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. SONICblue has joined Tivo in dropping the price of digital video recorders... ... hoping to win widespread consumer acceptance of the technology. SONICblue has new retail partners... .and has introduced the new 5000 line of ReplayTV devices... .starting at 250 dollars. VP Nikhil Balram...

"What we have found in the past is that the concept of the digital video recorders, sometimes known as the personal video recorder, is something that customers appreciate right from the moment they start to use it, it changes their life. One of the issues with it was the price point."

The company hopes a 250 dollar price for a 40 hour recorder will change that. Buyers also have to pay either a one time 250 dollar subscription fee or 9.95 a month. While ReplayTV doesn't record shows automatically based on view preferences as rival Tivo does... ..which may or may not be a good thing... .it adds other features. The new models include Ethernet and USB ports for networking...

"That allows you to stream video to multiple units in the house. So you might, for example, have one unit... a larger capacity unit, 160 hours for example, in the living room and a smaller unit... a 40 hour unit in the bedroom... and you can flexibly stream content from one to other to suit your convenience."

You can also store digital photos to watch them on TV screens... .and send content to designated friends or family members who may have ReplayTV. On the downside... there is no dual tuner capability that exists in DirecTV Tivo boxes. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.