Digital set-top boxes look set to make VCRs obsolete

Video recorders and video tapes will become obsolete, with the arrival of set-top boxes which can record programmes digitally onto disc. Internet firm Liberate has developed the software, called XTV, enabling users to record, play, pause, fast forward and rewind through programmes. The system includes features such as programme highlights, interactivity and automatic intelligent recording […]

Video recorders and video tapes will become obsolete, with the arrival of set-top boxes which can record programmes digitally onto disc.

Internet firm Liberate has developed the software, called XTV, enabling users to record, play, pause, fast forward and rewind through programmes.

The system includes features such as programme highlights, interactivity and automatic intelligent recording by the set-top box. The inclusion of internet broadcast standards will also allow providers to offer services ranging from interactive advertising, to multi-player gaming online chat and email services. The new boxes will have a disk storage capacity of 25-30MB, providing 18-20 hours of recording time.

Competition in this new market comes in the form of Thompson’s digital video recorder, the TiVo, which is likely to cost £500 and has a similar capacity. www.liberate.com

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