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Breaking Up With Old Gadgets Is Hard To Do

ReplayTV soon joins the long list of innovative gadgets that faded into tech history (and the back of many closets). Digital Networks NA hide caption

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My DVR informed me last week that our relationship is over. It's giving me until the end of July to find something else to record my TV shows reliably, easily, affordably and with a hint of an outcast vibe.

After July 31, my ReplayTV becomes a big, expensive paperweight.

About 10 years ago, before TiVo became a verb, there was another up and coming digital video recorder: the ReplayTV. It recorded shows just as well as TiVo and made it even easier to skip commercials, view photos and share recorded shows between ReplayTV units and even over the Internet. Users like me loved the extra features. The major TV networks didn't, and they sued. In the wake of the lawsuit and intense competition from TiVo, the ReplayTV brand was sold, and sold, and sold again.

Now, it looks like it's finally finished.

Unless I can figure out how to hack the unit and keep it recording without the ReplayTV service, it will end up in the closet alongside the other now-defunct tech treasures I've yet to let go of: a Palm IIIe, my Sony Aibo, several MiniDiscs (though no player), a pile of 5-1/4 in. floppy disks, a Nintendo GameGenie, a fully functional JVC VHS player and something called an ePod internet appliance that never actually worked.

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Sigh.