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Big Changes in TV Watching Coming

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, January 13, 2000

They're changing the way people watch TV. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. They haven't caught on in a big way yet....but they will. Digital video recorders are getting better all the time. A simple explanation is, they record on hard drives instead of video tape. But there's a lot more to them than that. The two major brands on the market now are TiVo and Replay TV....and they allow you to pause live programs when the phone rings or if nature calls and they'll go out and find programs to record based on what you like. Replay's Jim Plant says the new 20/20 model can store 20 hours of programming and there are some big new software improvements in the works...

"For instance, in the area of controlling live television, which allows you to pause and fast forward and rewind and skip live television, we've added slow motion...multiple levels of slow motion, multiple speeds, as well as frame advance."

What else is new? Something called Replay Zones...

"We have what we call a Movie Zone for instance. And the Movie Zone will allow you to go in and look at different categories of movies...say action flicks...or romantic comedies and select one of those categories and have the system find all examples of those categories that are playing on your system in the next week."

The price is still on the high side, about 700 dollars. But sooner or later, a digital storage device like this will be in your home.