ReplayTV RTV5504 40-Hour Digital Video Recorder

ReplayTV RTV5504 40-Hour Digital Video Recorder

The RTV5504 personal video recorder, or PVR, delivers the ability to pause and replay live TV while recording and storing 40 hours of digital, tapeless audio and video–about a season’s worth of memory for four hour-long programs. Enjoy a broadband or phone-line connection to the ReplayTV service and convenient home networking through a built-in Ethernet port–there’s no extra hardware required. Subscription to ReplayTV service is available either as a $12.95 monthly fee or a one-time lifetime fee of $299.99; a discounted $6.95 monthly fee is available for consumers with more than one active unit.

With the RTV5504 and the other models in the 5500 Series, ReplayTV has made major revisions, enhancing its feature base while removing certain contentious features found on previous models. ReplayTV’s 5.0 software adds four powerful features: recording priority, which identifies recording conflicts and lets you decide which shows to record; network recording, which identifies conflicts and automatically assigns recordings to a home-networked ReplayTV with available hard-disk storage; pause and resume, which lets you pause a movie in the living room and finish watching it in the bedroom; and First-Run Recordings, which records only the new episodes and skips the repeats.

A PVR makes it simple to record favorite shows without the complicated programming requirements of VCRs and without videotape hassles. A PVR frees you from fixed TV schedules so you can watch what you want, when you want. Because ReplayTV uses digital recording to store television and/or cable broadcasts on a hard drive as you’re watching, you’ll also be able to control live television. You can pause live TV to take a telephone call, rewind to see a scene again, use instant replay to jump back seven seconds, or watch a scene in slow-motion.

Remote is well laid out and easy to read. ReplayTV connects nightly to the ReplayTV Service to download the latest channel-guide information. Use this intuitive guide and the main system menu to follow simple–and in many cases, one-button–prompts. A feature called theme record automatically records shows using keywords or themes that you supply. You can also search for programs by keyword, helping to discover programs you might not have known about otherwise. If you forget to program your receiver to record a show before you leave for vacation, no worries: you can access your ReplayTV over the Web and program it from anywhere using MyReplayTV.

With multiple ReplayTV 5500-series models in a home connected via their built-in Ethernet ports, you can bounce programs around the house to different PVRs or to send digital photos between your PC and your ReplayTV units. And, like the 5000 Series, the 5500 Series still offers the option for broadband connectivity, which at this time consists of the future potential (via upgradeable firmware) to send non-copyrighted material across the Internet to other ReplayTV units and, possibly, to computers. The 5500 Series units network seamlessly with 5000 Series units.

And while ReplayTV has removed the Send Show and Automatic Commercial Advance features, the 5500 Series retains the QuickSkip and high-speed fast-forward buttons, so you’ll still have considerable flexibility in your playback viewing. At the touch of a button, QuickSkip hops through a recorded program in 30-second increments–great for news features you don’t care to watch and, yes, for bypassing the less interesting commercials out there. The fast-forward button scans at up to 20 times normal speed.

Built-in Ethernet port allows for convenient home networking.

Other features include room-to-room streaming between networked ReplayTVs, a progressive-scan output (for seamless, flicker-free displays on high-definition and HD-ready TVs), an optical digital-audio output (for direct connection with a compatible AV receiver), parental control (including channel blocking), show organizer, manual record, show extender (which lets you manually extend the start or end times of a recording).

Price: $104.99
(Please note prices are subject to change and the listed price is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of posting)