Replay it again, Sam Technology | Replay it again, Sam

Craig Newmark epitomizes the kind of person electronics industry marketers lovingly refer to as an “early adopter.” His modest apartment in the friendly San Francisco neighborhood of Cole Valley is decked with many of the gadgets that the industry is hoping most other people will think of buying in a few years’ time. In his living room, there’s a widescreen TV surrounded by a half-dozen silver audio and video devices, the most important of which are his two ReplayTV units. One is an older model he purchased a few years ago, when he first heard of PVRs; the second is a ReplayTV 4000, whose broadband connection and automatic commercial skip caused 28 media companies, including Viacom, Disney, AOL Time Warner and their subsidiaries, to file suit against Sonicblue last October. They charged Sonicblue with engaging in an “unlawful plan … to arm their customers with — and continuously assist them in using — unprecedented new tools for violating plaintiffs’ copyright interests”

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