ReplayTV 5500-series DVRs area unit housed within the same 3-by-17-by-14-inch (HWD) case as models from the previous 5000 series. The silver box is strictly a minimalist affair, its front panel showing solely an influence button, 2 LEDs clustered on the unit’s left–blue for power, red for recording–and the ReplayTV brand within the center.
The graphical program and practical, medium-size remote additionally stay unchanged. that is alittle of a disappointment, since Replay’s onscreen UI, whereas a lot of improved from its original incarnation, still lags behind the Mac-like magnificence of that of the TiVo Series2. That said, the 5500 series’ interface continues to be absolutely practical and simple to navigate, and it remains superior to the TV Guide On-Screen electronic programming guide seen on several competitive DVRs and DVD recorders. The ReplayTV 5500 series is obtainable in four models of variable capacity: the 40-hour 5504, the 80-hour 5508, the 160-hour 5516, and therefore the 320-hour 5532. With 2 notable exceptions, 5500-series DVRs boast an equivalent sturdy feature sets as their 5000-series predecessors, as well as the flexibility to pause and rewind live TV and schedule recordings employing a elaborate onscreen electronic programming guide (EPG). moreover, each DVR within the 5500 series retains progressive-scan part outputs, digital audio output, and inherent LAN networking capabilities. These high-end video and audio connections area unit particularly vital, given their obtrusive absence from the newest standalone TiVo models. TiVo’s cool Home Media feature set, for instance, still needs you to get a separate network adapter.
Despite all the similarities to its forerunner, the 5500 series lacks 2 of the 5000’s marquee features: web program sharing and automatic business advance. each options were axed in a shot to avoid the type of trade lawsuits that helped land Replay’s previous owner, Sonicblue, in bankruptcy court. however viewers United Nations agency need to zilch commercials area unit still partly in luck; Replay has additional a brand new suite of options referred to as ShowNav, that not solely makes it terribly simple to access a recorded show at any purpose however additionally restores a lot of of the practicality of automatic business advance.
And whereas web video sharing is gone, Black Friday deals ReplayTV ‘s video-streaming technology lets house owners of multiple ReplayTV boxes share programs between units on an equivalent home network in real time. Programs paused on one unit will resume from an equivalent location on another, and conflicting recording schedules are often simply reassigned to alternative Replay devices on the network. The latter feature is nice as a result of it effectively covers for the very fact that no standalone DVR–including TiVo–has dual-tuner practicality, which might usually forestall you from looking one live program whereas recording another.
The most basic 5500-series model is that the ReplayTV 5504, that lists for $150 and offers forty hours of recording capability. For hard-core TV viewers United Nations agency would like over forty hours of recording time, Replay offers the 80-hour 5508 for simply $150 additional, whereas the 160-hour 5516 lists for $380, and therefore the 320-hour 5532 prices $500. If these costs appear too smart to be true, they are; like TiVo, Replay users can ought to pay either a one-time $300 subscription that covers the lifetime of their product, or a $13 monthly service charge. apart from their totally different recording capacities, all of the models within the 5500 series have identical feature sets and need an equivalent service fees to be used. Basic functions on the Black Friday deals ReplayTV 5500-series DVRs–time-shifted recording, pausing, and rewinding live TV and ransacking through program listings–work simply fine. Yes, TiVo delivers a cleaner interface and slightly bigger simple use, however Replay has a footing over TiVo’s standalone Series2 models once it involves image quality, primarily thanks to its progressive-scan component-video output.
The ShowNav options additionally worked well. an easy click of the Forward or Reverse button helps you to hit the start or finish of consecutive business break within the direction chosen. we tend to were ready to bypass entire business blocks and leapfrog through a show, from break to interrupt, in seconds. The feature could be a welcome addition for ad-weary couch potatoes, tho’ it’s less reliable on channels that lack discernible black intervals between business breaks. The Jump anyplace feature helps you to leap a selected range of minutes into the recording; simply key within the range of minutes and click on QuickSkip (forward) or Instant Replay (backward). For individuals who’d rather skip ads manually, the 30-second QuickSkip button continues to be alive and well.
Black Friday deals ReplayTV home-networking enhancements were extraordinarily spectacular. From a 5504 within the room, we tend to may simply browse and replay all the programs keep within the living-room unit, and the other way around and since playback is via fast streaming–unlike the delayed “download and buffer” methodology utilized by TiVo DVRs–programs are often paused in one space and seamlessly resumed from that very same purpose in another. An equivalent good networking permits joined units to dump conflicting recording requests to at least one another. as an example, we tend to were ready to record CSI within the den whereas the room unit mechanically and at the same time began recording Law & Order. The 5500 series additionally includes some due refinements to Replay’s normal options, like the flexibility to record solely first-run episodes, bypassing reruns.
Unfortunately, there is no native support for wireless networking, however a one by one purchased 802.11g LAN bridge or a try of power-line LAN adapters can address that insufficiency. Replay house owners United Nations agency area unit snug hacking things ought to additionally explore the free, ASCII text file, Java-based DVArchive computer code, that permits users to look at and replica Replay-based programs on their laptop. It’s astonishingly polished for a intoxicant application and a worthy various to TiVo to travel.
Black Friday deals ReplayTV Internet-programming feature remains shortsighted, passing recording directions from the online to your DVR at sporadic daily intervals. moreover, we tend to were unsuccessful that Replay hasn’t additional network music sharing to its bag of tricks; TiVo’s Home Media feature set uses a better-implemented remote Internet-programming feature and a well-designed system to stream PC-based MP3s.