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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I see a lot of discussion in various groups about who is going to be buying what. Whether it be a 501, 721, TiVo, or DirectTiVo they seem to be the only units mentioned.

There are alternative, albeit not many, but there are alternatives.

I guess I'm just curious as to whether or not any of the rest of you have seriously considered purchasing a ReplayTV 4000. I very much like the direction that Sonic Blue has taken them and they appear to be taking PVR technology to the next level which is why I am interested in them.

I would appreciate hearing your thoughts. J

Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hi Jamie,

I agree with you. The Replay 4000 looks like an awesome unit. Just the fact that it has an ethernet connector makes it tempting. What is especially attractive is being able to send TV shows to other units in the house and over a broadband internet connection to friends and family with a 4000.

I have also been looking at that unit. For those who are wondering, more information can be found here: www.replaytv.com

Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Chris. I guess my only two questions or hangups with the unit would be whether or not it could be upgraded and the fact that it doesn't currently provide dual-tuner capabilities.

I very much want a dual tuner BUT am extremely interested in their other features as well. The ability to physically upgrade the unit is only of interest to a lesser degree as I am not one of those that needs all that much recording time. J

Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I know what you mean about the dual tuner. I want one myself but sometimes I wonder if I really need one. I already have two DP's in the house and if two shows are on at the same time I simply set both to record. I also sometimes think that since I can already watch a recorded show while recording another, a dual tuner isn't necessary since the DP is already "simulating" a dual tuner.

I do like the Replay 4000 but since I'm wrapped in satellite technology, I'm kind of stuck. Too bad Dish or DirecTV don't have the Ethernet thing going in their satellite receivers. Do you know if the 721 will have it?

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Chris. My knowledge of the 721, or should I say what E* was planning as another internet capable satellite receiver goes back a ways(early 2000) to when I was still talking to people within E*.

To their credit they never revealed a model number or a release date except to say that a unit using other than MS software was coming. Much of the rest of the information has come from the very same sources everyone has seen or heard.

I did raise the question over whether or not they would be using a technology similar to ReplayTV's in order to share programming in a rather <ahem> heated discussion about the 721s connectivity issues in the other group.

Here's the thing. It has been mentioned on at least two occasions that the 721 would provide dial-up access in addition to broadband. Those who visited the trade show and saw the unit confirmed that as well. A VP stated during a chat that the 721 "would not work well" with dial-up. Now we have a guy at dbsforums.com stating that a CSR told him it would be broadband only.

I question that on a number of levels.

First it would be a complete departure from what has been said and seen.

Second the VP didn't say that it would not have dial-up connectivity.

Thirdly we're talking about information coming from a CSR.

So I question what part of the 721 won't work well via dial-up. It can't be the browser as that's just ludicrous. It has to be in the context of uploading, downloading, multimedia play, or sharing programming.

Uploading isn't so much an issue because it can be done quite easily via dial-up. The only time uploading would be an issue is if the file size was extremely large. That wouldn't be an issue unless we are talking about programming.

Downloading isn't an issue via dial-up either unless we are talking the ability to download music or programming...again file sizes too large or inconvenient for dial-up.

Multimedia is of course always better via broadband than dial-up. Be it audio or video it is the optimal connection.

The only other thing I can think of is that E* wants to give a serious push to its satellite broadband solution. I personally feel it too be too expensive up front, too expensive in terms of monthly fees, and that it underperforms as compared to DSL or cable in terms of price vs performance.

Aside from that I see a huge push by E*, especially with this merger, to hit the urban areas like never before. Starband simply can't compete in the urban arena.

If E* is going to share programming between boxes it is the best kept secret in satellite :cool: Still this latest rumor about no dial-up coupled with the comments of a VP have to make one wonder exactly what the deal is because their comments just don't wash when it comes to surfing the net. J

Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If I were making the 721 (and I am not) I would NOT put a modem in the unit, only an Ethernet port.

Dish Network now offers broadband if its not available to you via DSL or Cable and it woould make a great plug in for the 721!

I have my 721 on order and cant wait to get it. (Mainly so I can take a sledgehammer to my Dishplayer)


Discussion Starter · #7 ·
LOL Scott I may not be far behind you with that sledgehammer.

I do disagree with not including dial-up for a couple of reasons.

First it can't really be a manufacturing cost issue as providing that connectivity is cheap.

Secondly cost of services. While I'll grant you that the 721 isn't being targeted to all satellite subscribers, and really is more of a technophile/early adopter product, the fact remains that regardless of where one lives broadband isn't cheap. Be it $70 Starband(not including equipment and set-up costs) or the less costly dsl or cable($40+ per month) it's a huge expense for a second rate browser(maybe Device Mosaic 5.0...guesstimate on my part).

Thirdly the number of broadband users. While the numbers have greatly increased for broadband over the past year the overwhelming majority of internet users are still dial-up and will be for the foreseeable future. I expect that given the price increases by many dial-ups coupled with the continuing rollout of broadband services, that broadband usage will peak for a time before prices drop. Then again they've shown that broadband users spend far more time online than dial-up users so prices may not drop for a while.

The point is they'd be ignoring the more than 85% of users that connect via dial-up. Not a good idea IMO.

Lastly I look at other products for support on this. The DP while a real PITA, continue to generate sales, and even more surprisingly continues to add a small percentage of WebTV subscribers. It made me sick hearing it but the info did come from a corpie.

The Dreamcast also stands to support this. While users wanted a broadband option they demanded dial-up. The users themselves saw the need for dial-up and between them and the exPres of SOA ensured that the DC was shipped with a dial-up modem.

What happened? Several hundred thousand people enjoyed(or not) surfing the internet with the console and enjoyed online gaming. At over $20 a month per pop that runs into some heavy coinage.

It also makes a bit of sense considering that a good many Dish Network subscribers aren't served by broadband of any sort and likely will scoff at the idea of paying $70 per month for starband when their local ISP costs no more than $21.

The point is dial-up connectivity will increases potential sales greatly for negligable cost while excluding it severely affects the attractiveness of the box to many. Granted early adopters, current broadband subscribers, and those hoping for a good PVR will likely still buy the unit. J

Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The main drawback I see to the Sonic Blue is it's requirement for a broadband connection. I had one, loved it, dumped it, now do dial-up simply because I can't see paying $45/month to check my email.

Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Darrell there really isn't a reason to include dial-up access via the new 4000 unit from ReplayTV. People connect, either in home or via a broadband connection, to share programming with other 4000 units. Considering how large those program files are they really can't be sent using a dial-up connection.

If it also included internet access, which it doesn't, and the consumer really didn't care about sharing programming, then maybe I could see a reason to include dial-up connectivity.

Considering how ReplayTV is pushing the envelope with PVR technology I wouldn't be surprised to see their next model include a browser of sorts......of course I'd much rather see a dual tuner first because after all it is a PVR first and foremost. J
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