New DVRs allow home users to "swap" shows

ReplayTV's next-generation digital video recorder will begin shipping in November and will allow consumers to store up to 320 hours of content and connect to the Internet via a cable or DSL modem.

The ReplayTV series will consist of four models: the ReplayTV 4040 with 40 hours of storage for $699 (all prices in U.S. dollars); the ReplayTV 4080 with 80 hours of storage ($999); the ReplayTV 4160 with 160 hours of storage ($1,499); and the ReplayTV 4320 with 320 hours of storage ($1,999).

Since broadband connectivity is provided in all these models, consumers will be able to e-mail recorded content to friends who also have a device in the 4000 series. Broadcasters can encrypt their programming to to prevent the abuse of this feature.

Other features include AutoSkip, which allows viewers to bypass commercials. In addition, the device can be connected to a personal computer in order to view digital photos on a television screen.

During a conference call last week, executives at competitor TiVo said they would "wait and see" what the new ReplayTV series offers before responding.

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