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Panasonic Takes on Tivo

Techstination feature for Friday, July 18, 2003

Panasonic takes on Tivo. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. It's a box that connects to your TV... and can store more than a month's worth of prime time programming on a hard drive... .and then save the shows or movies you want to keep on recordable DVDs. But the DMR E100H doesn't come cheap. Panasonic says it will sell for about 12 hundred dollars. National marketing manager Alberto Reggiani...

"This really allows a consumer who watches a lot of television to record a lot of TV programs with a 120 gigabyte hard drive. You can record up to 160 hours of video content onto the hard drive in EP mode and almost 27 hours XP mode... which is basically DVD quality recording. Also for the consumer who owns a large library of home movies... they can transfer all their VHS movies onto the hard drive... edit, delete scenes, delete unwanted videos and create nice clean, crisp DVD quality copies of their old movies. And also with our time based correction system, it actually improves the quality of old recorded VHS movies."

The box can't do high definition recording and the decision to use the VCR + system to schedule the recording of shows will save consumers money. But at the same time... without the kinds of program guides used by rivals Tivo and ReplayTV... and without the ability of the box to control separate cable or satellite TV boxes... recording is a lot less convenient. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin