Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Replay TV R.I.P.

I am sad to report that my ReplayTV, after 4 years of great service, is in its death throes. I can tell because of tell-tale signs I learned from the two TiVo units I owned before: spontaneous rebooting, pause/skips during playback, garbled menus, delayed response doing anything at all, and just general malfunctioning.

I looked on the ReplayTV site and it appears the company has left the hardware business altogether, and is entering the DVR arena with a software offering. Thus they will compete against the likes of SnapStream, Windows Media Center Edition, among many other projects such as Freevo, MythTV and on and on. I fiddled around with my own SFF DVR using just the stock Hauppauge software and it was quite nice, but clearly a hobbyist thing.

I have an SFF box running Windows Media Center 2005, so it can pinch hit for a bit as well. The problem is computers, even SFF ones, just don't integrate into home electronics very well. Fans and CDROMs are loud, plus the extra cables for keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.

After considering various options, I'm going to give TiVo another chance. I had two previous units that lasted a combined year (8 months on a series 1 TiVo and 4 months on a series 2 TiVo), and I'm hoping that was either just horrible luck or TiVo isn't using junk harddrives for their units anymore.

So I ordered an 80 hour Series2 DT (dual tuner) DVR from TiVo and hope it gets here Friday or Saturday. I decided on the dual tuner model since every once in a while I have a show conflict and would rather resolve it on one unit than be forced get the other systems involved. Yeah I'm pretty lazy!

In the meantime I still have the HD tuner/DVR from the cable company so I'm not completely forced to watch live TV. ;)

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