Linked by David Adams on Tue 13th Dec 2011 02:38 UTC, submitted by estherschindler
Geek stuff, sci-fi...

Carol Pinchefsky contemplates commercial skipping DVRs, and other tales of really good technology that vanished, in 7 Awesome Bits of Tech That Just Freakin' Disappeared. As Pinchefsky writes: "...It got me thinking about awesome technology that we somehow ditched. The airship? Awesome. Slide rules? Awesome awesome. Mir Space Station? Boss-level awesome. And now just thinking about wristwatches with calculators makes me suffer a sense of short-term nostalgia (as in Douglas Coupland's Generation X). Here are some of the coolest features and products that we’ve lost along the way to 2012.

Thread beginning with comment 499997
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE: Ah Replay
by ricegf on Tue 13th Dec 2011 13:01 UTC in reply to "Ah Replay"
Member since:

We had one as well, but that wasn't the coolest feature to me.

The coolest feature *by far* is that the DVR acted exactly like any other computer on the network, and shared the TV recordings as (I believe) unencrypted mp4 recordings!

So I could trivially connect to the ReplayTV over the LAN and download the latest Columbo, then watch it in a window on my Linux computer while I worked (I think I was using Mandrake back then :-D ) or drop it on my laptop's disk to watch on my next flight.

The true potential of technology, unencumbered by DRM and the walled gardens of today. *sigh*

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Ah Replay
by slashdev on Tue 13th Dec 2011 15:22 in reply to "RE: Ah Replay"
slashdev Member since:

No. The killer app feature that ReplayTV had...was show sharing! You had a "Send Show" button. Most people forget that you could actually share shows between people across the internet (not just locally) using ReplayTV. there were even networks created dedicated to specific channels, so people would agree to just record a certain channel. THAT was revolutionary. Had it continued, bit torrent would not have risen, Hulu would have been much different, etc.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Ah Replay
by Alfman on Tue 13th Dec 2011 18:31 in reply to "RE[2]: Ah Replay"
Alfman Member since:

Just to highlight the "state of the art" today.

Cable vision's current line of digital cable boxes (background: Cable Vision is a monopoly of cable/broadband services in this area) prohibit fast forwarding through commercials all together in ondemand and recorded programming.

Since they've switched entirely to proprietary digital broadcast service, we have to rent cablevision's equipment for every TV hookup (most channels aren't enabled for standard QAM digital broadcast), even if you intend to use a digital tivo in front of it.

Look at how they charge monthly equipment rates (above and beyond the usual cable programming fees):

Digital Cable Box, HD Cable Box or DVR $6.71
Remote Control $0.24
Premium Programming on Additional Outlets $1.50
Digital CableCARD $2.00

Talk about being nickel and dimed, none of these are really optional for people to use the service, and they need to be multiplied by every TV in the house.

So, while digital TV has the potential to do wonderful things, it's just increasing costs and imposing ever more frustrating limitations to the end users.

Personally, I'd forgo the service all together, but other people in the house watch TV, and it's bundled with internet.

Reply Parent Score: 3