ReplayTV HDTV PVR

(One of these days, I’m going to come up with an entry headline that is all acronyms!) On Wednesday, ReplayTV announced its “Personal HD” product, which they offer as an “all-in-one solution for the PC with HDTV, multi-tuner, and iPod support.” The package includes an analog/digital tuner that plugs into a USB port on your computer, a remote control, an antenna, and software on a CD. It also includes a one year subscription to the ReplayTV Electronic Program Guide, which costs $19.95 a year after the first year.

The package supports multiple tuners, so you can record more than one show at the same time, and it works with tuners from Hauppauge, ATI, and Pinnacle. The playback feature lets you view recorded shows by when they were recorded, or grouped by title. And the suggested retail price is $99.95, which certainly is affordable provided that you have a computer you can assign to the task.

I’m still looking for a high definition DVR that works as well as our Panasonic SD model. The ideal system will record both analog and digital broadcasts, have a good on-screen program guide to make recording easy, and have easy access to the recorded content. I don’t want to pay any subscription fee — though $20 a year for ReplayTV would be acceptable — and I don’t want to have to rely on an Internet or telephone connection for the DVR because we don’t have either where our TV is located now. ReplayTV fails on this score, but the rest of the package is enticing enough that this could be the tipping point for getting a network connection in the living room.