In 1999, I purchased a Panasonic PV-HS2000 ReplayTV ShowStopper DVR. It was quite an upgrade from my old VCR, and it changed the way I watched TV forever.
Back then, the only other DVR on the market was a Tivo, which cost $10-15/month, on top of the price of the Tivo. I bought my ShowStopper for $299, and that was for a box with a LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION!
My ReplayTV served me well. It’s been through three house moves, and has recorded tens of thousands of hours of TV. Over the years, better DVRs came out (newer ReplayTV boxes that could update via Ethernet or Wifi, fancier Tivo boxes, and even the cable companies own DVRs). But since my ReplayTV wasn’t costing me any money, I stuck with it.
In January, Comcast phased out their analog programming, and introduced these DTA boxes. That caused quite a headache, but eventually I was able to hack together a workaround for the ReplayTV. It wasn’t perfect, but I didn’t feel like spending $16/month for Comcast’s DVR.
Then on July 1st, a message popped up on my ReplayTV telling me that the channel guide would be phased out by July 31st 2011. Panic erupted on many of the ReplayTV forums, as without a channel guide, these boxes were all but useless. But people are working on ways around this as we speak..
Unfortunately, yesterday I heard the “Click of Death”, a sound familar to many ReplayTV owners. It’s a sure sign that your hard drive is about to kick the bucket. 🙁
I had no choice but to finally give in and get Comcast’s DVR. At $15.99/month, it seems a little excessive, but I will admit that it’s great being able to record two seperate shows at the same time, and in HD to boot!
I’ll miss my old ShowStopper, but it’s time to get with modern technology. Even if it adds to my already ridiculous cable bill.