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ReplayTV Price Drop Bait-and-Switch

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the falco dept.

Television 308

jkeyes writes "Last week on 12/17 DNNA (new parent company of Replay TV) decided to drop the Replay TV 5504 model down to $149, yet the boxes and website said that it came with three years free service. So immediately it appeared on deal sites like FatWallet with Replay telling people on the phone who called that yes all 5504 models include 3 years of service so immediately Circuit City & Amazon sold out. Then on the 12/22 DNNA released a press release annoucing the new price and claiming that the 5504 models NO LONGER have 3 years free with them and blamed the retailers for dropping the price too soon. Even though their own Customer Service Reps were saying when it first dropped that you got 3 years free. Also to add to the issue the actual devices have giant green stickers on them saying Three Years Free AND a paper inside telling you this. Replay went on to say that if you had a problem with this or your replay was deactivated to just return it to the retailer you purchased it from."

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308 comments

I brought one of these recently: Skip this product (-1, Troll)

rkz (667993) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808265)

This is the worst consumer electronics product that I have ever bought. After reading a review in the NY Times, I picked Replay over Tivo. Here is my experience to date:

The first unit shipped to me broke within 24 hours, but not before I had signed up for their listings service. I had to ship the product back at my expense in the original box (with the UPC code attached - see later). Once I got the new box, I literally spent over one week with numerous reps at Replay in order to move my service from my original unit to the one they shipped back to me.

I then decided to cash in the $50 rebate that Replay was promoting. No way. I no longer had the bar code from the package - it was shipped back with the broken unit and the box they sent back had no bar code. Add $50 to the cost!

Then there is the experience of downloading the channel guide...
I get a success rate under 5% - that means I have to try over 20 times before their service will download the updated channel guide information. (I use a cable modem connection - not a problem on my end as I am able to surf the Net via the same connection.)

All in all, a great disappointment. I strongly recommend that you stay away from this company and its products. Even moreso now they are up to these stupid tricks.

Get a Tivo (4, Interesting)

John Jorsett (171560) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808295)

I'm on my second Tivo (upgraded to DirecTV with Tivo in order to get two channel recording capability), and couldn't be happier. I've never had a problem.

TiVo on Bresnan (2, Interesting)

gremlin_591002 (548935) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808555)

Is there such a thing as a TiVo with a built in channel decoder for Bresnan Digital Cable? I'd buy just about anything to be able to watch one channel and record another on my digital cable.

Re:TiVo on Bresnan (2, Informative)

Roark Meets Dent (650119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808598)

I don't know about your cable company specifically, but when I had digital cabe, here is what I did: right where the cable comes out of the wall, I put a splitter. From the splitter, one length of CATV went directly to the digital cable box, then to TiVo, then to the TV Input #1. The cable TV box was controlled exclusively by the TiVo using those "IR Blaster" wires that come with the TiVo and get taped over your cable box's remote control sensors. From the splitter at the wall, the other cable went directly to the TV Input #2 -- so that if TiVo was recording something from digital cable, I would just use the input selector on the TV to change to the other input. Presto, problem solved. Hope this helps!

PARENT'S SIG IS A TROLL!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808356)

Nice try, asshat!

Re:PARENT'S SIG IS A TROLL!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808396)

How is a sig a troll?

FOR XMAS RKZ MUST HAVE GOT A COCK UP THE ASS! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808383)

BECAUSE ONLY FILTHY AIDS-RIDDEN FAGGOTS KARMAWHORE! FUCK YOU FAGGOT!

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a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
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a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
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Re:I brought one of these recently: Skip this prod (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808384)

This bastard enjoys posting porn in his sig... Even the other trolls hate him...

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=31337&cid=7803 986 [slashdot.org]

Mod down people with goatse links!

Look at his post history!


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AC

REMEMBER KIDS, ONLY PEDOPHILE FAGGOTS KARMAWHORE! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808390)

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g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)_______|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
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*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


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Hmm.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808405)

I agree. The last ReplayTV I bought kept on freezing and crashing on me. In the middle of a recording, it would just sieze up and stop.

So I returned the thing and got a Tivo. I've been happy ever since.

I guess ReplayTV is the Microsoft of PVR units.

QUIT FIDDLING WITH LITTLE BOYS YOU FAGGOT! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808411)

THAT JACKO FREAK HAS GOT NOTHING ON YOU! AT LEAST HE DOESN'T KARMAWHORE! DIE, FAGGOT!

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)_______|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


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Re:I brought one of these recently: Skip this prod (5, Informative)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808435)

I also have a Replay TV. I'm on my 3rd unit, as the first two went kaput and had to be RMAd. Customer service during this time was a mixed bag, some reps were great, others did not appear to be native speakers of English and I could only understand every other word they spoke.

However, now that I've got a working box I'm pretty happy with it. Never had any problem with dl'ing the channel guide. And with its "sharing" feature and client software that others have written, you can send shows off to your PC for storage (or I think even burning to VCD, though I've never tried that).

Re:I brought one of these recently: Skip this prod (4, Informative)

blair1q (305137) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808463)

You had a classic bad-product experience. I didn't, but I'd still recommend TiVo over ReplayTV.

I own one of each. I recently upgraded my 4-year-old TiVo to a 120GB HD (30 hours at top quality; 145 hours at low quality) and love it again. My old HD was one of the ones with seek-timing problems, so there were hiccups in video and audio output and the menus ran really slow (I maintain it was a timing-design flaw and the drives were fine; TiVo maintained it was bad drives, but they still sold repairs using newer drives with much tighter timing specs rather than just non-bad versions of the same drives...) Anyway. I got the new drive (dirt cheap from http://www.weaknees.com) with TiVo SW preloaded, had my machine booting within 10 minutes (no, really) of cracking the case, and didn't lose a nonce of my lifetime service. Zero video or audio glitches, and menus are 5-10X faster.

The TiVo Channel guide is far easier to use for surfing.

The TiVo will step single frames both forward and backward; for no good reason, the ReplayTV will not.

ReplayTV's scheduling and playback-menu software is slightly more featurous, and allows you to listen to the currently output program (live or recorded), unlike TiVo's, which requires you to escape to a silent menu system to browse or make changes. Both have backgrounded audio and video in live-schedule surfing. Otherwise, ReplayTV's menuing is a bit more tedious and fragile feeling than TiVo's.

My ReplayTV has automatic commercial-skip, but it can be confused by non-go-to-commercial fades in the program near the commercial segments. So you lose the first or last few seconds of some scenes. For shows like that, I revert to using the "skip-forward" button that skips 30 seconds and is slightly quicker to deal with commercials than the TiVo method of triple-FF and hit the play button when you see the show return.

Tivo's play button backs up to an estimate of the end of the commercials coming out of double and triple FF modes. And it's surprising how good it is at guessing your reaction time within a second, so the triple-FF method is effective.

ReplayTV sometimes locks up completely if it gets stuck dialing home. That might have been a break-in problem, as it hasn't happened since the first couple of days I owned it.

In general, TiVo seems to be the more mature, better designed system. And now that I've fixed my HW problems, it feels like I have a brand new one. If I'd done that before getting a ReplayTV, I'd have got a second TiVo instead. Mea guinea piggus.

Oh. And the TiVo with the new HD is absolutely silent. No more disk-whirr in the living room. No fan noise. Scary "is it on" silence. The dolts at ReplayTV used a fan with a stepper motor (I think) and it sounds like they actually use it to keep the fan speed low. Dumb. Rumbles all night long. Not noticeable during the daytime, but the human ear is capable of 6-7 orders of magnitude of sensitivity increase depending on ambient noise, and if you're susceptible to insomnia, it's a stressor. I'm thinking of ripping it out and cooling the thing with a bucket of ice.

One last thing: ReplayTVs can be networked to send recorded shows from unit to unit; I understand that's supposed to be available on newer TiVos. I have no opinion of its value.

Re:I brought one of these recently: Skip this prod (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808634)

One more thing.

Changing channels on the TiVo is not as fast as on a TV, but it's not terrifically slow (300-800 ms).

On ReplayTV, changing the channel is a 1-5 second ordeal. The only efficient browsing method is to bring up the single-channel display overlay and arrow to the next channel that way. You can use the channel guide, but it's a typical horizontal cable-box type grid, and as I said I don't like it nearly as much as TiVo's two-column system.

Neither brand has a clue about text entry for search boxes, though...I hate those 4x12 letter panels...

Nor about interrupt-driven remote control handlers...they must be polling or why is it so slow and spotty with the response...probably doing it to avoid priority inversion over the video feeds...coulda buffered the remote input then...next time someone builds one of these things, hire an embedded programmer...

Re:I brought one of these recently: Skip this prod (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808569)

now THIS is worth a class action lawsuit.

that many defective products and the bait & switch...this is much more worthy of a Class action than the iPod battery NON-ISSUE.

FP: MERRY XMAS (-1, Offtopic)

aliens (90441) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808268)

Merry Christmas and Happy and Peaceful New Years to all!!

OnTopic: DNNA just killed their business. Way to be.

Duh (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808269)

Kill them!

Happy Nigmas (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808274)

From the GNAA!

Hmm... (4, Insightful)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808277)

Can you say "class action lawsuit?"

I thought you could.

Re:Hmm... (5, Funny)

jokell82 (536447) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808317)

Good idea. That way the consumers that were "had" could get a $5 coupon and the lawyers could get millions!

Can you say "lawyers get all the money"? (2, Insightful)

HarveyBirdman (627248) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808335)

Why is there always calls for class action suits? The leech lawyers get all the cash and the consumer gets a coupon for $20 off any product from the company they had the complaint against.

Re:Can you say "lawyers get all the money"? (3, Insightful)

alecto (42429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808357)

Because it's the only way for lowly customers to punish corporations who could otherwise do things like this with impunity, since no one individual is going to be able to get a lawyer to take his little case on contingency. The fact that the lawyers are the ones that make the big bank doesn't change the fact that these suits rightfully cost the defendant big money and provide a disincentive to deceitful or dangerous practices.

Clearly you've never worked retail. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808570)

Price dropps are frequently schedueled in advance, sometimes many months in advance to coincide with new products, and of course attractive promotions to deplete old inventories.

Someone who just got their MBA, and probably would be better put to use as filler in some construction project entered the wrong date. Who knows where? With price matching in consumer electronics everyone could well eventually pick up the error, which I've actually seen bounce through chains across many weeks.

Part of the way the manufacturer probably managed this drop in price, wasn't to simply write off the loss, but change the terms. To that end they undoubtably produced merchandising kits, and bought some advertising clearly indicating the old terms were not valid, and what the new terms were.

So Replay, however crappy their product might be, is right. If you bought it at the old expensive price it comes with an additional two years, that's what the retailer paid them for, if you bought it at the new low price, the retailer only paid them for one year. Any bitching you have should be saved for the retailer. And while you're bitching just remember, this complex fast interlocked reliable system is what allowed for the speedy and catastrophic replication of probably ONE MISTAKE. If you want to crawl up their ass instead of being a human being, fine, but remember the people you're talking too aren't the ones that made the booboo, they're unable to exact your retribution on those who were, who might well be enjoying a performance bonus, and most people I know make at least one mistake a day.

Re:Can you say "lawyers get all the money"? (1)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808501)

Why is there always calls for class action suits? The leech lawyers get all the cash...

It _is_ a threat: "we'll unleash the plundering barbarian hordes on you."

Re:Hmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808367)

sounds more like false advertising to me ..

Re:Hmm... (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808451)

Can you say "class action lawsuit?"
Yes, but I don't see it as being very effective.

What seems more effective would be to post news about this to a popular `geek' web site, allowing disgruntled users to air their grievances and users who don't know about this to read up on what's going on. Hopefully this would shame the company into doing `what's right'.

(Of course, if the company is in a shaky situation financially, the bad press could cause sales to drop to the point that they go under, then nobody gets their deal. Oh well -- they should have thought of that before!)

I don't suppose anybody can think of an appopriate `geek' web site? fark [fark.com] perhaps? :)

Re:Hmm... (2, Funny)

cmacb (547347) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808496)

"I don't suppose anybody can think of an appopriate 'geek' web site?"

No, I avoid them like the plague.

They stick by their promise (4, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808288)

Replay went on to say that if you had a problem with this or your replay was deactivated to just return it to the retailer you purchased it from.

Well, so people have a problem, they got a rotten deal, so they can return it and get their money back. Sounds like basically they have the right to exercise their 3 year warranty immediately.

(By the way, the solution to any ReplayTV problem is called Tivo. Even without dodgy deals, it's always been a better idea to get a Tivo than a ReplayTV)

Re:They stick by their promise (4, Insightful)

forkboy (8644) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808311)

No no no....3 years of service = 3 years of their $10 a month subscription price. That's why they were flying off the shelved, thats over $300 in service for free.

The market share already pretty much belongs to Tivo, I'd say they basically screwed themselves and lost thousands of customers to Tivo forever. Dumbasses.

Re:They stick by their promise (4, Informative)

alcmaeon (684971) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808344)

I assume this is sarcastic.

Legally, if they sell you a box and 3 years of a subscription service, and then fail to deliver, you are entitled to, at a minimum, a refund of the cost of the box and the fair market value of three years of the service, regardless of what you actually paid for the setup. This is the benefit of your bargain. Basic contracts law.

If the business is still alive, you might even be entitled to specific performance of the contract, if there was no reasonable alternative to their service. I assume TiVO is a reasonable alternative.

Re:They stick by their promise (4, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808368)

(By the way, the solution to any ReplayTV problem is called Tivo. Even without dodgy deals, it's always been a better idea to get a Tivo than a ReplayTV)

That is a bit of historical revisionism. Maybe TODAY the current ReplayTV is suckeke but it wasn't always that way. The Replay 4000 units were shipping with functional ethernet almost a year before Tivo did the same. They also included automagic commercial detection and skip on playback - which works very well on "bright" shows and decently on "dark" shows (like buffy, for example). They also supported show-sharing across the interent to other R4000 owners, something Tivo (and Replay's current management) are way too big pussies to ever consider. Local network extraction of the mpeg files is also quite easy on the R4000 units and probably the R5000 too, I haven't checked. You could even do streaming playback on your PC direct from the replay with a player like videolan (vlc). Very handy for those of us with projectors on their PC's who want, for quality reasons, a full digital path to the screen.

Tivo has always had a more novice-friendly interface and they've got up on a lot, but not all, of the above features. But at the time, the R4000 was WAY ahead of the Tivo. Plus, no one has ever had to worry that their ReplayTV will think they are gay.

Re:They stick by their promise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808443)

That correction to "revisionist history" is a bit revisionist itself. For most of the time ReplayTV had those advantages it was also severely unreliable. Reboots, crashes, and hosed recordings were common. It was during that time that SonicBlue added automatic reboots once a week because that was easier than actually fixing the software.

Also while it may make you feel like pseudo-macho liberal geek to call current Tivo and ReplayTV management "pussies" for not enabling show sharing, one of the reasons SonicBlue no longer exists is because of the lawsuits that feature invited. This over a feature that could take days to transfer a one-hour show. I'd rather buy from a company that watches out for it's own long-term survival than one that lets their "fuck the power" attitude drive them to fight stupid battles that get them killed.

I think he's really talking about quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808539)

I have a friend who bought a ReplayTV before TiVo even shipped. That's right, ReplayTV beat TiVo to market.

He used it for a while, but honestly, after a while he couldnt' stand it anymore. It was way too loud and just doesn't work as simply or smoothly as a TiVo.

My friend has a TiVo now, has had for a while. Actually, I believe he is on his 2nd TiVo, having switched from cable to DirecTV and a DirecTiVo.

Re:They stick by their promise (1, Interesting)

Trauma_Hound1 (336247) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808610)

No it's against the law, and replay can be held civily liable, it's bait and switch, which is against the law, and false advertising, which is also against the law. With your thinking, why don't you go out and respond to e-mail scams, it's the same difference.

Merry Christmas! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808291)

I hope you all recieve your CmdrTaco Torch [fleshlight.com]
and also your copy of The Legend Of Zelda: The Quest For The Kings Lost Tomb [goatse.cx]

Now be sure to buy the anal attachment and thust away to counterbalance your buggary from shitty music and corporate faggotry you consumer whoring niggers.

Also don't forget to leave out mince pies for our fat bearded guest, yes CowboyNeal is coming to town, though he'd have more chance of being flung away by a Linux Box explosion and landing on pussy island than ever craming his obese arse down your chimney, so just leave teh door open, k?

VERSE 1

Fag tidings we bring for you and your kin [goatse.cx], We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


VERSE 2

Now bring us some hot grits, now bring us some hot grits, Now bring us some hot grits and bring it right here.


VERSE 3

We won't go until we get some, we won't go until we get some. We won't go until we get some, so bring it right here niggers.


VERSE 4

We all like our hot grits, we all like our hot grits, So bring us some hot grits, with all its good cheer! propz to GNAA and Goatse.info [goatse.info]

Buying a TiVo, ReplayTV, or other (0, Flamebait)

alecto (42429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808300)

subscription-based digital VCR makes you a TV sharecropper [tbray.org]. Just say no.

Re:Buying a TiVo, ReplayTV, or other (1)

Tingler (56229) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808310)

subscription-based digital VCR makes you a TV sharecropper.

Could you explain the reasoning behind your statement?

Re:Buying a TiVo, ReplayTV, or other (1)

alecto (42429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808340)

No subscription means your VCR becomes a paperweight--you don't truly own the equipment; you rent it (and modify it to operate without paying under the pain of the DMCA). It truly amazes me that people buy into this when there are alternatives [sourceforge.net] that don't require becoming a lifetime corporate cash cow.

there are alternatives (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808608)

But as was mentioned in other places, my time is worth something to me. Look at it this way, if I want to take a trip somewhere I can take Greyhound for $15, or I can take a plane flight for $400. But it will take a day of my time to get there on Greyhound, and a couple hours on a plane. So, I have to miss a day of work to take the bus.

Well, I make more than $385 per work day, so it actually costs me MORE to take the bus than a plane.

You can apply this same principle to other things, open source PVRs amongst them. I just don't want to screw with it. I essentially pay TiVo to maintain my PVR for me because I don't want to do it.

I find the people who have the most trouble understanding why someone would pay for something are young people. They have no money and a lot of time, as opposed to lots of money and no time. So, they'll do things like spend 2 days downloading a movie in order to save $15.

The RIAA and SPA are fools for not understanding that there are things that college people simply won't pony up the dough for (like Photoshop) at full price. On the other hand, to a graphics arts professional, $500 for Photoshop is nothing. Due to the better features and useability of it, they''ll make the $500 back on a single contract job.

Anyway, perhaps now you can see why the right solution for you isn't necessarily the right solution for everyone.

As to being a lifetime corporate cash cow, I don't like to buy anything on subscription. Some things (like cell phones or cable) are only available monthly. But for the most part, anything I can pay one time for I will do so on. That's why I bought the lifetime TiVo option for $250 (I think). Since I'm a DirecTiVo customer, I get lifetime service on as many TiVos as I have, not a single unit. So, I also share your annoyance at becoming a lifetime cash cow. But I also know that some things are worth it if you can't get it any other way.

Perhaps some day in the future, MythTV or whatever will be good enough that paying for TiVo makes no sense to me, even at a few dollars a month. I predict that for me that day is a long time off since I use DirecTiVo and I don't expect MythTV to be able to legally or reliably operate directly on DirecTV streams like my DirectTiVo can.

Re:there are alternatives (1)

alecto (42429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808638)

An insightful reply and good breakdown of the calculus of the value of money vs. that of time. I can't say I make $385 per workday (if I did, I'd be working three day weeks :>), but are you counting time you would otherwise not really be working in your opportunity cost calucations?

I am gratified to hear that TiVo offers one real lifetime subscription that doesn't mean the "lifetime" of the unit.

Merry Christmas!

Re:Buying a TiVo, ReplayTV, or other (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808361)

From the site:
Are You a Sharecropper? If you're developing software for the Windows platform, yes. Or for the Apple platform, or the Oracle platform, or the SAP platform, or, well, any platform that is owned and operated by a company.


Who said anything about developing software?

And Tivo uses linux. You are a moron. Next time, try a little research about what you are bitching about.

Merry Christmas, jackass!

Re:Buying a TiVo, ReplayTV, or other (-1, Troll)

alecto (42429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808375)

So, where can I download the open source devkit for TiVo, Mr. AC? Merry Christmas, jackass indeed. Risk some karma and we'll talk, pussy.

Re:Buying a TiVo, ReplayTV, or other (2, Interesting)

TheGax (572856) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808480)

I'm not the AC who posted before, but I do have some info.

Here is some kind of devkit [tivo.com], tho it appears to be for the Home Media Option end of things.

IANAProgrammer... But Tivo (series 1) runs linux on a PowerPC processor. I know enough about unix and linux to know that each flavor has a few "tweaks" that may not carry from flavor to flavor. So once you figure out those tweaks on Tivo's linux, then you should be able to develop using standard linux development tools. If you hit the Tivo Community Forum or the Deal Database forums you can find hundreds, if not thousands, of applications written to run on the Tivo.

And, under certian conditions, you can still use your Tivo without a subscription. It becomes exactly a digital VCR. It doesn't have any guide data or anything that makes it as useful as it is when subscribed.

Most Tivo loyalists don't like to talk about it, but there are ways to load 3rd party guide data onto your unsubb'ed Tivo.

So, if one is that hardcore, they can buy the Tivo, add a NIC, and get their own guide data loaded. All while never paying a monthly fee.

Re:Buying a TiVo, ReplayTV, or other (1)

alecto (42429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808533)

Interesting. While my information isn't current, you can use a series 1 TiVo without a subscription as just a VCR--but series 2 and later don't work at all without a subscription.

It seems that loading any kind of guide data without a sub is a "forbidden topic" on the TiVo forums (which is understandable--they're one TiVo C&D letter from oblivion at any time), so it's interesting to see that it can be legally (or at least ethically--not grabbing TiVo's guide data without paying.

Thanks for the interesting link and non-flaming reply :). Merry Christmas!

old style? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808302)

Geez, whatever happened to good ol' VCR's?

Re:old style? (2, Insightful)

Degrees (220395) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808419)

Once you have used a PVR, you will never go back. VCR's are based on tape - an archaic technology if there ever was one. Imagine you are watching a show, and the phone rings. You hit the pause button. The tape has to queue up, and start recording - you are going to miss at least five seconds of video by the time the tape actually get rolling - and then, you still have to let the video run, so it gets copied to tape. When your phone call ends, now you have to rewind to where you started. It is cumbersome, and kludgy - which is why people don't bother. There is none of that problem with a PVR. You hit the pause button - and the video pauses. That's it.

I am sad to see DNNA shooting themselves in the foot like this. I love my Replays. I have two of them, connected on a 100 Mbps switched network here at home. A show on one Replay can be streamed over the network to the other Replay. In other words, I can play back a show recorded on the bedroom Replay, from the living room Replay - while the living room Replay is recording a show off the air. Try that with a VCR. (I cannot tell if Tivo has that capapbility - I went to www.sony.com/tivo and got redirected to sonystyle.com - and a search on that web site for "tivo" came up empty.)

Anyway, back on topic, I am very disappointed that the management at DNNA is bound and determined to ruin the company. I understand as a company get worried about money, they focus on the pennies, and lose sight of the dollars. They need to reverse their attitude if they want to survive - they need to cut deals that will grow their userbase, not shrink it. But they don't appear to see that. It is sad.

Re:old style? (2, Informative)

rufo (126104) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808509)

Sony doesn't officially sell TiVos anymore... It's just www.tivo.com, and yes, you can stream shows from one TiVo to another, although it'll cost you at least $150 extra ($99 for the Home Media Option on the first TiVo, $49 on each additional TiVo). You also get the ability to play MP3s and view JPEGs with the HMO, which may or may not be an exciting feature.

Re:old style? (1)

Degrees (220395) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808584)

Thanks for that - I didn't know any of that. The Replay's do not have the ability to play MP3s; although they can display JPEGs.

($99 for the Home Media Option on the first TiVo, $49 on each additional TiVo)

Speaking of quantity discounts, this is one of the other mistakes SonicBlue made, and is perpetuated by DNNA. There are no quantity discounts for owning multiple Replays. Ditto signing up a friend - if I got a discount (or service extension) by signing up a friend, then that would help grow DNNA's business. But DNNA is so fearful of losing even one dollar to a discount, that they can't see how badly they are running their business.

Replay is offering dissatisfied customers... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808306)

...a free commemorative poster of images obtained from the Beagle 2 mars lander. Sounds like a good company to me.

Re:Replay is offering dissatisfied customers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808559)

What do you expect from a spaceship designed by eurotrash?

Tivo phone customer service not much better (2, Interesting)

Fubar411 (562908) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808318)

Tivo has recently gone to the $30 per call service fee (although it is refunded if it isn't dumb user syndrome). Add the long wait times and you already start out upset. The upside is Tivo doesn't require much maintenance. And over at www.tivocommunity, which is hosted on Tivo's servers yet not affiliated(?) you can get almost anything answered. TivoPONY is a great user, plus you get messages from the likes of TivoSHANNON who sometimes shows up in your under a Tivo yellow star to hawk the HMO, grrrrowl.

Wow... (1)

jgrumbles (515918) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808321)

...takes some balls to blatently rip off consumers. Especially to be so nonchalant about it.

Re:Wow... (1)

chunkwhite86 (593696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808477)

...takes some balls to blatently rip off consumers. Especially to be so nonchalant about it.

I don't think balls are a prerequisite for ripping people off. Greed is more like it.

It takes balls to do the "right thing", and to admit your mistakes. This is NOT the right thing that they are doing.

Re:Wow... (3, Insightful)

f0rt0r (636600) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808549)

Yes, the new owners have an excellent long term plan, screw as many people as possible to get $$$ in the execs pockets, and then file for bankruptcy shortly before shutting down the company.

Hmm, that sounds like only a short term plan, but the company executives will benefit from it for a long time after they go out of business. In that sense, it is long term. :)

This is why you roll your own PVR. (4, Insightful)

Gary Whittles (735467) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808328)

I believe there was a Ask Slashdot a few weeks ago regarding building your own PVR. The majority of the comments seemed say "Why bother, just buy a TIVO/Replay TV, its already done for."

Well, this is why you roll your own. Yes, its a little more work, the cost is pretty much the same, but there is no monthly fee, and features don't get yanked out from under you.

MythTV is absolutely amazing, and its evolving incredibly fast. If your lookinng for a PVR, I recommend giving it a shot.

Apples and oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808352)

Please. This is hardly a reason not to buy a DVR. It's certainly a reason not buy a ReplayTV DVR, but this issue has everything to do with the gross incompetence of one particular company, and nothing to do with the DVR market in general.

nothing got yanked out from under anyone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808554)

If you already had a Replay you kept your 3 years service. It's only new units that came with this new "feature".

Honestly, anyone could have seen this coming. ReplayTV didn't get put up for sale because they were so successful. So how profitable would the division be with 1/3rd the revenue?

I for one am sick of things like this... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808329)

Hasn't it occured to most people here that a lot of the deals and rebates are just crap? Case in point...

A few weeks ago I attempted to purchase the Dell Axim x3i when it went on sale for $79. Dell took down the website and then put it back up. For those of you who know, this particular Axim actually runs for $379. Maybe it was a pricing mistake but when Dell left the page up, I thought they would send out the system. Didn't happen. In the days following our cancelled orders, Dell gave all sorts of rubbish answers to cover up the issue. Some people actually got their Axims, most others did not. The last story we heard was the deal was not a mistake but for corporate customers. I guess I was pretty irrate that I had ten different reasons for not getting my Axim and they all sounded like lies.

More recently, Circuit City was offering three rebates on a particular hard drive. However, the third rebate would not print so a 160gb drive which would have cost between $30-$40 actually cost double that. Bait and switch? You better believe it. The rebate house said that even if the third rebate printed, they would not honor it because they needed the original UPCs for all of them.

Now after the black friday sales and the dozens of rebates I have out, I am getting emails from rebate houses declining to give my money back to me for silly reasons like "date not on reciept". Although the date *IS* on the reciept. I guess what I am trying to say is that I am just tired of dealing with these deals and rebates since businesses are acting like crooks by not keeping their end of the bargain. I mean, if they really wanted to give us a rebate, why not just take it off at the register? I really hope a class action lawsuit or two is launched by consumers in the next few months over one of the rebate/bait-and-switch issues so business get back in line.

Re:I for one am sick of things like this... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808387)

I HATE rebates for that reason. I think they count on so many people forgetting to turn them in, etc.

As for the pricing, sometimes allowances are made by law for pricing mistakes. I don't think a $79 computer is a realistic price and easily be an error, too bad they didn't just use that rather than be stupid abot it.

Re:I for one am sick of things like this... (1)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808398)

i got tired of rebates long long ago. personally, i forget to send them in and or keep track of what was sent .vs. what i get back. so, off i went to pricewatch.com where things are pretty much the same price as those rebates except there's no rebates. then i started having lots of hardware failures (albeit after the hw worked for a while). the only thing worth sending back to the manufacturer was a hdd, which maxtor nicely sent back a larger hdd at no cost. finally, i realized that computer hardware , just like everything else, is a you get what you pay for business. buy name brands with a reputable vendor (newegg/tigerdirect among others).

Re:I for one am sick of things like this... (2, Interesting)

Brooklynoid (656617) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808407)

Do what I do...if the rebate is denied for some bogus reason, I contact my credit card company and ask them to charge back the vendor for the amount of the rebate. Works best when the vendor (as opposed to the manufacturer) is the one offering the rebate.

Re:I for one am sick of things like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808444)

If dell charged your credit card its legal binding contract and are required to send it to you. The ecommerce company I work for, to get around typos we only preauth the money and batch the charge later at night. So legally we have not charged the card and if we have any issues we cancel the order and don't run the final credit card auth.

Dell didn't charge the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808467)

I believe Dell did exactly what your company does. So they didn't charge the CC money, but just put a "hold" for the funds. Yes I realize that the price was unrealistic, but these days you never know what is or isn't real.

I for one am sick and tired of you whiney brats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808531)

...who do nothing but troll websites for mistakes and visit places like FatWallet on an hourly basis.

It just amazes me how many people are out there trying to get something for nothing or next to nothing, and then cry when their "deal" evaporates. Just shut the fuck up already.

a 160gb drive which would have cost between $30-$40 actually cost double that

Wow. Isn't a 160gb drive for $60-80 still a fucking good deal?

Re:I for one am sick and tired of you whiney brats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808562)

Trying to get something for as little as possible is called capitalism and competitive marketing. It's what corporations and businesses and tycoons get rich doing. They'd be out of business if they didn't. Why should it be any different for a consumer? I have just as much right to try and get as much as I possibly can for as little as I possibly can, just as much as the corporations do. And I have just as much right - neigh duty - to exploit loopholes to save a buck, just like the corporations are always fond of doing.

Re:I for one am sick and tired of you whiney brats (1)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808618)

Trying to get something for as little as possible is called capitalism and competitive marketing. It's what corporations and businesses and tycoons get rich doing.

No, businesses get rich by selling consumers things for more than they pay for them. Period. Businesses do not make money by selling someone a $150 hard drive for $40, they go out of business.

Re:I for one am sick of things like this... (1)

FreeForm Response (218015) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808589)

I can't speak to your experience, but when I ordered the Rio Karma 20GB MP3 player when it was going for fifty bucks (expired link here [slickdeals.net]), I knew full well that there was only a slim chance of actually receiving the product. I don't mind trying to take advantage of a pricing mistake on the web page, but I don't expect Dell to fill 1,000 orders and take a $200 loss on each of them.

I feel the same way about rebates. I've had my fair share redacted and/or ignored, and at this point I look at a price after rebate only after considering the probability of the manufacturer actually sending a rebate. Hence, if I see a Seagate drive, in my experience, I will ignore the rebated price because I no longer expect them to honor their rebates.

That way, I vote with my wallet, _and_ I avoid getting screwed out of money I thought was already in my pocket.

Me too... (1)

f0rt0r (636600) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808600)

I haven't tried to use rebates for over 5 years now. While are not 100% rip offs, I got burned by enough that were that I decided not to gamble any more and base my purchasing decisions on up-front cost only.

I mean, I still remember the CDR rebate from forever ago where they kept saying they never receive the rebate info so I kept resubmitting copies of the receipt and rebate tag ( since I had sent the originals off the first time, all I had were copies ) until it was past the rebate expiration date. At which time I was told it was too late to cash in on the rebate. Is that lame or what?

Now I shop mostly online and only at sites I have successfully used in the past or I know someone who purchased from them with no problems. Brick and mortar shops are good too, but I totally ignore rebate offers.

Oh, another thing about rebates is that ( I have heard ) pretty much make you jump through hoops to in order to redeem them. Why subject yourself to all that hassle instead of just paying a lower price up front and getting on with your life?

Re:I for one am sick of things like this... (1)

Etobian (693918) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808603)

If Circuit City offered three rebates on an item - and advertising a "post-rebate" price - while it being impossible to get all of them (for example, where original UPCs are required for all of them), then Circuit City will need to "honor" whatever rebates are impossible to get.

Delivery Conf. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808626)

You can now get Delivery Confirmation for 1st Class Mail from the USPS. I think it cost 0.45 per letter.

That makes it a little harder for them to claim they didn't get it.

The egregious part of this.. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808330)

What the summary doesn't mention is that DNNA has been deactivating boxes that a) had stickers and papers that said they included service, b) were sold by retailers who assured customers they included service, c) DNNAs customer service said included service, even to people who asked about the $150 boxes, and d) often did show as having service when they were hooked up.

Then it took them a week before they put out clarifying press releases, and some stores continue to sell boxes with service-included stickers that DNNA won't likely honor. DNNA can blame the retailers all they want, but they're the ones deactivating boxes that contain their promises of included service. This as about as classic a bait-and-switch as there is.

Re:The egregious part of this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808470)

Imagine for a moment these were prepaid mobile phones with 3 years free service stickers and the telco started yanking the agreements. What would the backlash from that be like?

Best reason yet... (1)

Zathras11 (628385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808337)

to not deal with them. Not that I care either
way, but geez, way to piss people off and turn
them towards your competition. Nice job Replay!

Yeah right (2)

utlemming (654269) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808341)

Yeah, try to go to Best Buy and get your full money out of it. I think that they will try to get $15 or some restocking fee out of you since it is "open." My experience with returning products, even when the manufactor said to has been less than pleasurable. Good luck....TiVo it is!

Re:Yeah right (1)

dksun (603821) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808412)

Consumers who mail ordered these units will probably end up having to pay shipping charges if they want to return them. (Both ways?)

Re:Yeah right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808418)

Take it back, get the refund, then dispute the $15 with your credit card company. Even if they fight, you'll have the satisfaction of knowing it cost Best Buy more than that to deal with it. Didn't pay with a credit card? Oops.

~~~

the solution is (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808350)

The solution to this is called lawyers. A class action can recover shipping fees and other damages. It can also make them pay a fine so they think twice next time before wasting the customers time.

Of course, on /. we are morally opposed to lawyers making any sort of reasonable profit, so we would never participate in such a suit. We just complain and cry over the unfairness of it all, and hope some diety magically fixes the problem.

Re:the solution is (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808413)

Sure, let's make sure the lawyers make some money. The last class action lawsuit I was involved in netted me a check for the princely sum of TWELVE CENTS. But at least the lawyer got rich off of it.

Re:the solution is (2, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808506)

Of course, on /. we are morally opposed to lawyers making any sort of reasonable profit, so we would never participate in such a suit.

Do the math - One million people, screwed for roughly $150. That adds up.

If the lawyers kept even a whopping 10% of that, hey, I have no problem. They make an obscene amount of money (even with a five-way split among a team of lawyers, that one settlement would come out to more than most Americans will make in their entire lives), and the settlemnt group gets most of their money back. Basically, no worse to the actual consumers than the BS restocking fees some vendors try to charge (free hint - If your state has a "lemon law", you can probably force them to take it back, no questions asked, with no fees).

So no, I don't mind the lawyers making a fat wad of cash when they actually do a service for society, rather than the usual of making all our lives miserable.

But when a team of five lawyers in a case such as I describe each gets $25 million, with each claimant getting a gift certificate for $5, and some random charity of the judge's choosing getting the balance, I have a problem with that. Not just because of the absurd level of greed involved, but because it does not serve justice. Justice, though admittedly a difficult to quantify quality, includes two main points - Relief for the victim(s) as the FIRST priority, and punishment for the evildoers as a close second.

With that, you can see why most of us have a problem with class action suits. Not so much because the lawyers profit, and not because the company involved doesn't suffer a bit of token punishment, but because the actual victims get absolutely no relief whatsoever. In this case, that means a million people each end up $150 (sorry, $145 minus a bit of good karma) short, Replay TV ends up losing even more between their own lawyers and lost sales, and the lawyers end up making a killing that directly stems from suffering on both sides of the suit.

So while I don't grudge the lawyers an honest living, just "follow the money", and you'll see why most of us have learned to laugh mockingly at anyone offering us a part in a class action suit.

Re:the solution is (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808537)

"The solution to this is called lawyers."

In the same sense that the solution to a stubbed toe is amputating the foot. . . at the neck.

KFG

maybe the FTC or various states attorneys general (4, Interesting)

bferrell (253291) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808353)

would be interested in what is obviously an illegal bait and switch

Re:maybe the FTC or various states attorneys gener (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808532)

That's a +4 Interesting comment?

"maybe the FTC or various states attorneys general would be interested in what is obviously an illegal bait and switch"?

That's like "Maybe NASA would be interested in Mars". Jesus, Captain-fucking-Obvious. Not a dumb comment, but a +4?! Santa clearly didn't leave any IQ points under the moderators' trees this year.

This is yet another reason why... (3, Informative)

.@. (21735) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808372)

...you should buy a Tivo instead. Tivo produces a reliable product running on Linux, is hacker-friendly, and respects your privacy. And with over 1 million users (as of this month), they've passed the critical "consumer acceptance" threshhold generally used as a metric in the industry to assess the success of consumer electronics.

CC stores got it right... (3, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808377)

I was at my local CC store on 12/17 and they had a sign placed on top of the ReplayTV that explained exactly what was going on, and that there may be some contradictory advertisments still in circulation because of the rapidness of the change.

Those who bought from 11/17 to 12/16 appear to be the big winners... it look like their 110% price protection claims are going to be valid.

People knew it was too good to be true... (1, Interesting)

MadAnthony02 (626886) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808391)

Maybe there were a few people who honestly thought they were getting 3 years of service, but for most people, they were just hoping to get through a loophole. RePlay changed their priceing plan from paying around $500 for the device and 3 years service, to $150 for the device with service additional. There were still some old stock units sold with the old packaging saying it including the pricing, but anyone who knows anything about DVR's could figure out what happened. The people who bought them were hoping RePlay wouldn't realize they had paid the lower price, and they got caught.

I don't think RePlay did anything wrong, except poor communication with their retailers in terms of getting them to explain that it didn't come with service. But if you don't want to pay for service, you can return it and you are back where you started from, nothing lost. As far as dishonesty, there were people on FW advocating calling up RePlay and lying about how much they paid for it or when they bought it in the hopes of getting free service. That isn't dishonest?

I bought a RePlay months ago, before this happened (a 5060) and love it. Great device, network ready out of the box, works great. My roomate has one too, and it's cool to be able to watch shows off each other's units.

Re:People knew it was too good to be true... (3, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808431)

It isn't a fscking loophole if the box says it comes with the service and it also comes with papers that say so.

Damn, do you work for the company?

Re:People knew it was too good to be true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808472)

Grow up.

Re:RTFA!!!! (1)

Mudcathi (584851) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808486)

The BOX said 3 yrs free service included in the price of the box, a FLYER inside of the box said 3 yrs free service, the replay REPS said 3 yrs free service... etc etc, just please, RTFA before asshatting out your piehole!

Re:People knew it was too good to be true... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808525)

I think I know "something" about DVRs. I read most slashdot articles about them, but don't yet own one. So when I see a box with a sticker on it that says "3 years included", that's precisely what I'd presume it means. I'd probably figure it was just a very competitive, limited time promotion. Isn't that odd?

And what sucks most about it is the timing. You know that a lot of these things were given away as gifts. Due to this mistake, scam, whatever you want to call it, the givers learn on or after Christmas day that they are giving a gift that the recipient is going to start paying for right out of the box (or just won't work). I don't like having to apologize for attempts at generosity. And this is the worst time of year to have to return anything.

Intentional or not, it was a really lame move.

Re:People knew it was too good to be true... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808616)

They could have easily changed the SKU/UPC for the new units. That would have prevented retailers from selling old boxes for the new prices.

You get what you pay for still true post 1999 (2, Insightful)

computerme (655703) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808395)

That's a bummer that this has happened. What really blows me away is how people seems to forget that old adage.

Even more importantly, people seem to ignore TIME as a factor of cost. As in the time it takes to return a cheaper product that breaks. The extra amount of time it takes to setup products compared to others on the market, and another important time waster, waiting for products or ipod drivers to ship for linux when much better solutions may be out there now on other platforms.(Can you say Gimp vis - a vis, photoshop?)

I guess i look at these things as tools. I always try and find tools that are going to not only entertain me or empower me but also save me time and hassle. Because that is the most costly of all factors in ALL our lives.

In the last year i bought:

a) An ipod: not waiting for a org vobis play becuase frankly i don't have the ears of a dog to "tell" the difference.

b) itunes music store: best of breed dgital music store that is one click easy, and i know the artists are getting SOMETHING unlike kazaa.

c) a dual g5- damn fast.

d) OSX - best of breed combonation between the power of unix and open source and commerical apps.

( I already own a tivo and knew how much better it was then other solutions out there so i won't even bring that one up. Nor will i bring up the point of how much TIME and money of yours it would take to build an myth tv type solutions.Nor do i want a pc in my living room. I know i know put it somewhere else and drag a line in. No thanks.)

Did these cost me more? In some cases yes. But whatever the delta in price was i can GUARANTEE you that i have more than made up for it in increased productivity and not having to pull my hair out trying to get these things set up.

Moral of this story?

Sometimes paying MORE ends up costing you LESS...

Happy holidays...
Best of New Years...

Re:You get what you pay for still true post 1999 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808432)

And sometimes people tell themselves this to justify buying something that is just a piece of shit with gold plated hubcaps.

Re:You get what you pay for still true post 1999 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808441)

thank you for that, mr. apple zombie

Re:You get what you pay for still true post 1999 (1)

TheJOsh!(tm) (584211) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808627)

Sometimes paying MORE ends up costing you LESS...

You work for MicroSoft, don't you?

TheJOsh!

Class action lawsuit? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808464)

If you sue in Alabama, you might get $10 million!

Stealth Inflation Hits Again (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808481)

Paul Krugman in the NYT did a piece some weeks back on "stealth inflation" in which he described a whole host of companies adding on fees, surcharges and other cryptic babble, mostly in the hopes that most consumers would just knuckle under and not complain. This sounds suspisciously like that - except that if the retailers get saddled with a bunch of returns, the retailer will be the one who gets just a wee bit peeved. My bet is that they will be the retailers who won't take back the product because it has been opened or some other lame excuse (not through Circuit City or some other reputable retailer) so the consumers really will be stuck.

While I could see a class action brewing through this, my recommendation would be to seek the assistance of your state attorney general and utilize the consumer protections statutes available to counter this kind of bait and switch. Alternatively, you can also use Deceptive Trade Practices (DTPA in Texas) which allows successfull parties to recover treble (triple) damages from defendants. Keeps the class action attorneys from making the real money, and puts the justice in the pocket of the consumer. Plus, if the company gets hammered all across the country, the bad press will be more than any PR firm can get them out of - see if they are around next Christmas....

Lastly, if the attorney general won't prosecute (becuase they have been defanged by the Bush/Conservative/Victorian era deregulation crowd) you can always call your local TV consumer reporter and get them to make a stink with the retailer you bought it from....

Sort of makes me glad I don't have cable or anything else - just DVDs and Rabbit Ears!!

Merry Xmas!!

Poor manufacturing, but still far superior to Tivo (3, Informative)

clmensch (92222) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808577)

I am on my THIRD ReplayTV 5080...the first one died within a month, then the replacement died! What's worse is that it took a couple of months for ReplayTV to activate the first replacement unit...I had purchased a lifetime activation and they too forever to switch the activation over from the old unit to the new unit. Things went much smoother for the second replacement...although the fact that I've had THREE of these damn machines is pretty sad.

Once you get past that, the ReplayTV itself is FAR superior to Tivo. Automatic Commercial Skip actually works 95% of the time, and using DV Archive, I am able to download any recorded show over my home network to my mac to burn to DVD. It's just awesome. Their interface is far superior as well...I like how you can organize the shows by category...and they are not displayed by date recorded. That's one thing I HATE about the Tivo...you have to scroll around looking for shows that you recorded a while ago. With ReplayTV, you can find it instantly. Plus you have a buttont to skip 30-seconds without a hack, unlike Tivo series I...and as far as I know Series 2 machines can't do this. Actually, you can fast forward as far as you'd like by hitting a number first and the the skip button. It's little things like that that make the difference to me.

Tivo is the AOL of PVR's, imho. ReplayTV decided not to bend-over for the networks, which cost them money in legal fees...which definitely hurt them. The only thing Tivo is better at is marketing.

They are still being sold with 3yrs Service (4, Informative)

bangzilla (534214) | more than 10 years ago | (#7808643)

Number of sites around the web are still selling Replay's with 3 years service. My advice - buy one + if Replay don't live up to their deal take them to small claims court. You'll easily win + there are no lawyer fees. (Actually Replay won't even show up for the case so it'll take all of 30 seconds for you to get the judgement). How to collect: Invoice them with the court documents or (if you want to be really nasty) stick a collection agency on them -- it'll cost you anything up to 50% of the court award, but the satisfaction will be pure bliss. Enjoy!

Trolls Unite (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7808646)

troll troll v.,n. 1. [From the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban] To utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or flames; or, the post itself. Derives from the phrase "trolling for newbies" which in turn comes from mainstream "trolling", a style of fishing in which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do, while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in fact a deliberate troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be in on it. See also YHBT. 2. An individual who chronically trolls in sense 1; regularly posts specious arguments, flames or personal attacks to a newsgroup, discussion list, or in email for no other purpose than to annoy someone or disrupt a discussion. Trolls are recognizable by the fact that the have no real interest in learning about the topic at hand - they simply want to utter flame bait. Like the ugly creatures they are named after, they exhibit no redeeming characteristics, and as such, they are recognized as a lower form of life on the net, as in, "Oh, ignore him, he's just a troll." 3. [Berkeley] Computer lab monitor. A popular campus job for CS students. Duties include helping newbies and ensuring that lab policies are followed. Probably so-called because it involves lurking in dark cavelike corners. Some people claim that the troll (sense 1) is properly a narrower category than flame bait, that a troll is categorized by containing some assertion that is wrong but not overtly controversial. See also Troll-O-Meter. The use of `troll' in either sense is a live metaphor that readily produces elaborations and combining forms. For example, one not infrequently sees the warning "Do not feed the troll" as part of a followup to troll postings. OSDN : Browse SourceForge - Shop ThinkGeek - freshmeat Downloads - Newsletters - Personals Search X phoenix321 Preferences Subscribe Journal Logout Sections Main Apache Apple 1 more Askslashdot Books BSD Developers Games 11 more Interviews Science 2 more YRO 2 more Help FAQ Bugs Stories Old Stories Old Polls Topics Hall of Fame Submit Story About Supporters Code Awards Services Tech Jobs Advertising PriceGrabber Personals This page was generated by a Barrel of Albino Elephants for phoenix321 (734987). Piezoelectric Transformers Posted by michael on Thursday December 25, @05:30PM from the no-more-power-bricks dept. behoward writes "Tired of those big honking power adapters needed for all your portable toys? Me too! So far the best solution I've seen is the AC adapter for my G4 Powerbook, a sleek combo yoyo/flying saucer; but while it looks good on the desktop, it still makes too big of a bulge in my case when I travel. Now engineers at Penn State are working on a real solution. Hope Apple gets this technology in place in time for the G5 Powerbook." ( Read More... | 36 comments ) ReplayTV Price Drop Bait-and-Switch Posted by michael on Thursday December 25, @04:30PM from the falco dept. jkeyes writes "Last week on 12/17 DNNA (new parent company of Replay TV) decided to drop the Replay TV 5504 model down to $149, yet the boxes and website said that it came with three years free service. So immediately it appeared on deal sites like FatWallet with Replay telling people on the phone who called that yes all 5504 models include 3 years of service so immediately Circuit City & Amazon sold out. Then on the 12/22 DNNA released a press release annoucing the new price and claiming that the 5504 models NO LONGER have 3 years free with them and blamed the retailers for dropping the price too soon. Even though their own Customer Service Reps were saying when it first dropped that you got 3 years free. Also to add to the issue the actual devices have giant green stickers on them saying Three Years Free AND a paper inside telling you this. Replay went on to say that if you had a problem with this or your replay was deactivated to just return it to the retailer you purchased it from." ( Read More... | 96 comments ) LWN.net Linux Timeline 2003 Posted by michael on Thursday December 25, @03:30PM from the reflections dept. Ridgelift writes "Linux Weekly News have released Linux Timeline 2003, their annual year in review of the top stories around Linux and the Open Source Community. Their list has been available to subscribers for the last two weeks, but is now available for free. What a nice Christmas present, and what a year it's been." ( Read More... | 28 comments ) Science: Beagle 2 Probe Lands; No Signal Received Yet Posted by michael on Thursday December 25, @02:31PM from the martian-air-defenses-work-perfectly dept. securitas writes "The BBC reports that Europe's Beagle 2 Mars lander has failed to broadcast its landing confirmation signal. While project leaders are trying to put a brave face on it, the failure is seen as a major setback. The Beagle is out of broadcast range but another contact attempt will be made later today, when they hope a signal will be detected. Another failed Mars mission will solidify Mars' reputation as a spacecraft graveyard. More at icWales and News24." ( Read More... | 211 comments | science.slashdot.org ) Company Offers Disaster-Proof Storage For Records Posted by simoniker on Thursday December 25, @12:31PM from the whoops-dropped-it dept. Makarand writes "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that a Utah company, Perpetual Storage, is offering disaster-proof commercial storage space deep inside a granite mountain for companies looking to store their most important records. The company claims that their vaults are protected and safe from "any force known to man", including a nuclear blast. The vaults have gained popularity recently after hospitals, government agencies and universities have started using them to keep their computer records safe." ( Read More... | 157 comments ) Ask Slashdot: Proper Disposal Of Old PCs? Posted by simoniker on Thursday December 25, @10:26AM from the down-sewer-to-sea dept. IMNTPC writes "Over the years, I've advanced from a 386DX-33 to a Celeron 1.3 Ghz system. I've slowly been accumulating enough old parts that now I think it's time to start disposing of anything that predates a Pentium 166. Does anyone know of a good place that will properly dispose/recycle of these old parts and PCs for little or no money? So far I've found pcdisposal.com, but anyone know of any others, either online or physical dropoff points in major metropolitan areas?" ( Read More... | 271 comments | ask.slashdot.org ) Santa Meets NORAD, Tux Gets Lit Up For Xmas Posted by simoniker on Thursday December 25, @08:10AM from the is-he-nearly-there-yet? dept. runlvl0 writes "Once again, NORAD is tracking Santa Claus on his annual trip around the world via the NORAD Tracks Santa website. Oddly, as of 1900 GMT, Santa is taking a spin over the Persian Gulf. I guess that he's glad not to have to worry about "no-fly zones" this year." NORAD has been keeping an eye on our favorite present deliverer for a few years now. Elsewhere, pixelbeat writes "Michael Still created a lovely Tux in Xmas tree lights. The complete process from gimp to the final 707 lights was documented." ( Read More... | 119 comments ) Microsoft FAT Licensing Plan - No Big Deal? Posted by simoniker on Thursday December 25, @05:53AM from the slimming-look dept. prostoalex writes "InternetNews.com describes the reaction to Microsoft's decision on FAT licensing. It doesn't look like the company is expecting to make any significant money out of licenses (there's also a cap of $250K, so none of the big guys will have to pay millions to Microsoft). It also doesn't look like Linux companies are stressed over this decision. "We are only accessing FAT32 file systems, not using them. This licensing program is of little interest to SuSE", a Novell/SuSE spokesperson said." ( Read More... | 173 comments ) On NTSC Video, Blue Blurring, Chroma Subsampling Posted by simoniker on Thursday December 25, @03:31AM from the nothing-a-knock-on-the-head-won't-fix dept. NEOGEOman writes "Something I've been fascinated with for a long time is video signals. On my website I've spent over six years collecting video and other hacks for game consoles. I've recently put together the fourth revision of my video signal primer and it's expanded to six pages now, including strange subjects like chroma subsampling, horizontal colour resolution and rather interesting revelation: your eyes suck at blue." ( Read More... | 273 comments ) iRiver Adds Ogg To Audio Player Firmware Posted by simoniker on Thursday December 25, @01:15AM from the oi-oi-oi dept. Sesse writes "iRiver has just released firmware updates for its iFP-300T and iFP-500T flash memory-based audio player series. According to a news story on their site, this update includes features 'supporting the Ogg file format', so it looks like iRiver can finally be added to the quickly growing list of Vorbis-capable hardware!" ( Read More... | 182 comments ) Developers Savannah Back Online With Extra Security 14 Industrial Embedded Linux Case Studies Time's Up: 2^30 Seconds Since 1970 BrookGPU: General Purpose Programming on GPUs Mitnick Calls for Hacker Stories Perl is Sweet Sixteen MySQL Gets Functions in Java Postmortem Memory Profiling with Perl 235,000 Fewer Programmers by 2015 Learning About Full-text Search Older Stuff Wednesday December 24 IBM Says Polymer Memory Could Be Ready By 2005 (133) Skeptical Environmentalist Saga Continues (513) Laptop vs. Small Desktop: Best Bang Per Watt? (489) Nigerian Scammers Claim Another Victim (564) Dish Network DVR-921 HD DVR Reviewed (107) Stop Christmas-Gift PCs From Feeding Worms (397) Systemantics (68) Working Toward Roaming For Wireless ISPs (103) Older Articles Yesterday's Edition Slashdot Poll Christmas morning, I will be ... 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