The latest models of the ReplayTV units come with a feature that is striking fear into the heart of the entertainment industry: peer-to-peer file swapping. Think "Napster for your TV set."
The new SONICblue ReplayTV boxes are equipped with Ethernet ports, allowing them to be hooked up to the Web. Want to send last week's "South Park" episode to your buddy on the other side of the country? In the past, that meant dubbing a tape and going to the post office. With ReplayTV, sharing a TV program is as easy as sharing an MP3 -- provided the person on the other end has a similar DVR model.
Understandably, the entertainment industry is worried about this. Having seen what peer-to-peer file sharing has allegedly done to the music business, the TV and movie industries are scrambling to put a stop to "program sharing" before it happens. But as of August 2002, SONICblue models with this functionality are available for purchase.
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