Say Goodbye to Your Analog VCR

It would appear inevitable that digital video recorders are going mainstream when one of the largest manufacturers of conventional taped-based VCRs leaps into the market with a competitive product. This is exactly what was announced last week, when Sony Corp. revealed that it has released the SVR-2000 Digital Network Recorder, based on the TiVo Personal TV Service.

First previewed at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2000, Sony's 30-hour recorder with TiVo service is being rolled out to retail outlets across the country in the next week at an estimated selling price of $399. National and regional retailers expected to carry the recorder include Circuit City, Best Buy, and Sears.

Sony says that consumers who purchase the SVR-2000 can order a lifetime subscription to the TiVo service for $199, or can choose a monthly subscription to the service for $9.95. TiVo says that the service includes editorial programming such as TiVolution Magazine, described as an onscreen entertainment guide with recommended programming for each week; and Network Showcases, a forum for TiVo's network partners to highlight upcoming programs and specialized content.

Sony's Mike Fidler, predictably happy to release the new recorder, states that "we're excited about the debut of our first Digital Network Recorder with TiVo service because we see it evolving as a gateway product in the development of the broadband home network age. Based on industry feedback from retailers, we believe the product has tremendous growth potential."