New DVR drops jaws in London

When Cory Doctorow visited last weekend’s OpenTech conference in London, he was stunned to see a box about the size of a 1990-era VCR boasting some pretty forward-looking capabilities.

Eh – I have to agree with the comments from Chris Rowen and add my own:
1. It only records native digital broadcasts, obviously to avoid needing huge numbers of MPEG encoders.
2. The UK only has a handful of channels. The concept simply won’t work in an environment with many channels, such as the US. (Let alone most US channels still being analog only, even on ‘digital cable’.)
3. The device has 3.2TB of drive capacity – the thing must cost *at least* $1500, and I’d bet rather more than that.

I mean, the concept is interesting and all – but I think it is a complete waste. You’d be paying for a lot of HW you really don’t need, since almost everything you recorded you’d never want to watch. I’d rather do some planning and record just what I’d like – like TiVo and other DVRs do.

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  • cassiusdrow

    I agree with your points, but it would be neat to be able to go back and watch a show you found out about after it aired.

    I think the power in this is to use the entire disk as a ‘Live TV buffer’ except for the space used by programs you have told the PVR to keep for some amount of time. Imagine if TiVo allowed the Live TV buffer to consume space that would otherwise be claimed by suggestions, and on multiple channels.

    I’d also like to know if they just record the entire digital multiplex signal or if they can pick and choose channels within the digital multiplex signal. If I could record say 8-10 of my digital cable channels like this it might be nice, and I certainly wouldn’t need 30 days back.