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New ReplayTV Drops Ad Skipping

Old 06-11-03, 03:46 PM
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New ReplayTV Drops Ad Skipping

Reuters:

New ReplayTV Drops Ad Skipping

The newest version of ReplayTV, due in August, will come without features that allow users to automatically skip commercials or to e-mail shows to friends -- capabilities that prompted lawsuits from television networks and media conglomerates.

ReplayTV president Jim Hollingsworth said the move is a bid to work not as an adversary but in partnership with the entertainment industry, a strategy similarly claimed by TiVo, the company that pioneered the digital video recorder.

Hollingsworth said the ReplayTV 5000, its current model, will remain on the market at least until the new incarnation hits stores. Therefore, he said, those wanting ReplayTV 5000, complete with the controversial "commercial advance" and "send show" features, "should get one by the middle of August."

The commercial-advance feature enabled the unit to detect the beginning of a commercial break and automatically jump to the end of the break, allowing users to watch recorded programs without commercials. That feature, though, was only about 70% to 85% accurate, according to ReplayTV.

And the send-show feature was similarly limited, being that it took about two hours to e-mail a half-hour show and an entire night to e-mail a feature film.

Hollingsworth said a price for the upcoming ReplayTV 5500 has not been set.

Some of the new features include letting the user record a season's worth of shows, though without recording reruns, and the ability to pause a show in one room and resume play in another room that also houses a ReplayTV box.

Digital Networks North America, a subsidiary of Japan-based D&M Holdings, purchased ReplayTV and the Rio digital music player from bankrupt SonicBlue in April.

About 100,000 Americans subscribe to ReplayTV, compared with the 703,000 users TiVo reported as of April 30.
This can only be good news for TiVo, as the "auto skip commercials" feature was one of the big differences between the DVRs.
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Old 06-11-03, 03:52 PM
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Re: New ReplayTV Drops Ad Skipping

Originally posted by Morf

This can only be good news for TiVo, as the "auto skip commercials" feature was one of the big differences between the DVRs.

Show sharing was the other feature and new Replays won't offer that either. However, I still prefer my old Showstopper (no CA) over stand-alone TIVOs.

Fortunately I still have CA on my 4508.

Frankly, I think the biggest winners are the cable companies and the cable box/PVRs that they are rolling out - far cheaper option than TIVO or Replay.
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Old 06-11-03, 04:08 PM
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Emailing the shows was the only reason I would bother switching over to Replay.

My Tivo's ability to fastforward through commercials and then hop back to the break if I accidentaly go into the show a bit makes up for the auto-skip.
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Old 06-12-03, 01:46 PM
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It should be noted that, even without CA, ReplayTV's commercial skipping (and general show navigation) powers are much greater than TiVo's. ReplayTV has the 30-second quickskip button (which Tivo has, but only after entering a certain code) and flexible jump capabilities--i.e. 2 + quickskip jumps forward 2 minutes, 2 + instant replay jumps back 2 minutes--a feature that Tivo does not have. These features are apparently not going to be removed from new models, only the automatic commercial skip and show sharing.

Also, it should be noted that even without Internet Show Sharing, you should still be able to transfer shows to your computer over a LAN with DVArchive. From there, you could send the show via P2P, FTP, etc., to be imported into the receiving party's DVArchive for streaming back to a RTV. Or, you could even send it to someone who doesn't even have a RTV as recordings are basically standard MPEG2 files viewable with appropriate software on a PC.

That said, don't get me wrong, I'm very disappointed that D&M isn't going to step in and fight the battle against the media companies, particularly as it relates to Commercial Advance (a technology that has already been upheld in VCRs). However, it probably makes sense from a business standpoint. Assuming the other parties (EFF etc.) to the lawsuit continue to fight these anti-consumer actions of the networks, there is hope that we will get a favorable judgment. At that point, it is possible that D&M would put one or both of the features back in to these new units (easily done since both are in software).

BTW, these features are NOT going to be removed from current models, so get them while you can if you have an interest.
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Old 06-12-03, 01:49 PM
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Originally posted by JM
It should be noted that, even without CA, ReplayTV's commercial skipping (and general show navigation) powers are much greater than TiVo's. ReplayTV has the 30-second quickskip button (which Tivo has, but only after entering a certain code) and flexible jump capabilities--i.e. 2 + quickskip jumps forward 2 minutes, 2 + instant replay jumps back 2 minutes--a feature that Tivo does not have.

I agree - this is the method I use on my old Showstopper Replay 2000.
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Old 06-12-03, 01:56 PM
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I actually like TiVo's skip method. F-F gives you a very fast forward with a modifiable correction jumpback. This ensures near perfect placement in a quick period of time. You just hit F-F and then play when you see the return of the show; it jumps back 2-3 seconds and resumes playback. It's quick and easy, and I have control so if I see an ad or promo that interests me, I can watch it and then keep moving. I don't like skipping over things in blocks.

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Old 06-12-03, 02:08 PM
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Originally posted by das Monkey
It's quick and easy, and I have control so if I see an ad or promo that interests me, I can watch it and then keep moving. I don't like skipping over things in blocks.
Exactly. Every so often, a commercial catches my eye, and I'll watch it. More often than not, these commercials are for other/newly starting programs.
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Old 06-12-03, 02:55 PM
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Originally posted by das Monkey
I actually like TiVo's skip method. F-F gives you a very fast forward with a modifiable correction jumpback. This ensures near perfect placement in a quick period of time. You just hit F-F and then play when you see the return of the show; it jumps back 2-3 seconds and resumes playback. It's quick and easy, and I have control so if I see an ad or promo that interests me, I can watch it and then keep moving. I don't like skipping over things in blocks.

das
ReplayTV will let you do this also, it gives you 5 F-F speeds (I think it is 5, I don't use if very often) and when you press play it jumps back a bit.
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