Quite frankly, I’m surprised ReplayTV services have carried on since DirecTV acquired the intellectual property from D&M Holdings back in 2007. But the curtain call is nearly upon us, as onscreen messaging and the updated website indicate:
The ReplayTV Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) Service will be permanently discontinued on July 31, 2011. After this date, owners of ReplayTV DVR units will still be able to manually record analog TV programs, but will not have the benefit of access to the interactive program guide. Effective immediately, monthly billing for the ReplayTV service to remaining customers has been suspended. The industry conversion to HDTV is complete and ReplayTV DVRs are unable to take advantage of the wealth of HDTV programming. Please contact your service provider for current offerings.
Of course, ReplayTV and TiVo were the DVR pioneers… that disrupted the television industry. (Although, ReplayTV’s founder now portrays the DVR as transitional – perhaps to be expected given his current perch atop Roku.) ReplayTV had a rocky time of it early on as the company flirted with bankruptcy and changed hands a few times, their pricing structure also seemed to regularly vacillate between subscription-free and subscription services as they tried to find a critical mass of customers, and perhaps, most dramatically, the entertainment industry took Replay’s commercial skip functionality into court.
ReplayTV was actually my first DVR. I didn’t care for TiVo’s cutesy presentation or “Live Guide” – whereas ReplayTV provided the traditional grid guide I was looking for, without having to go through Comcast, and component output. Beyond that, the community developed Java DVArchive software took ReplayTV to another level, in allowing me to simply offload recordings and manage the DVR from any computer in the house. As you can see above, from the basement junk pile, Mari was also a ReplayTV customer (on Panasonic hardware). So come 7/31, we’ll both share a moment of silence and shed a tear.