Sonicblue sees ReplayTV service unchanged

Should the sale of ReplayTV be approved by the District Court in San Jose, California, its future would then lie in the hands of Japan’s D&M Holdings Inc.

ReplayTV allows users to save television programming to a hard drive within a set-top box.

“The service is going to continue without interruption,” said Jim Hollingsworth, vice president of marketing at Sonicblue, based in Santa Clara, California. “Through the transition it will stay exactly as it is.”

But he added that since January, when Sonicblue announced a plan to possibly sell its assets, the company placed a preference on suitors who sought the units as a whole rather than those interested in, for example, taking the technology and patents, dismantling the service and firing the staff.

“It’s anticipated that the people related to the businesses will continue to manage them moving forwards in virtually all the acquisition scenarios we are aware of,” Hollingsworth said.

Of course, once the deal is done, D&M — should its proposal prevail against any potential counterbidders in the bankruptcy process — is free to do as it pleases. Under the pact, D&M would acquires the assets for $40 million plus the assumption of about $5 million in liabilities.

A U.S. spokeswoman for D&M, which sells high-end consumer audio products under the brands Denon and Marantz, said the company would not comment on its plans until the proceedings were completed.

Danielle Levitas, an analyst at International Data Corp., said that while ReplayTV was a small player, Sonicblue won praise for stuffing the machine with attractive features such as the ability to skip over commercials during recording or to share recorded programs over home networks and the Internet.

An option available to D&M, should it acquire ReplayTV, includes retooling the service to add audio features, a strength of its current brands, she said.

“(They may develop) a version of ReplayTV to be a high-end video service, or play up the audio as much as video, or will they have a high-end version for networking entertainment and mainstream PVR (product)? It remains to be seen,” she said.

Sonicblue’s Hollingsworth said “prepackaged” bankruptcies — so called because they begin with potential asset values and buyers already proposed — typically are settled quickly, and he sees this deal sewn up by the end of April.

ReplayTV ran a distant third in the market for personal video recorders, or PVRs, behind satellite television provider EchoStar Communications Corp. DISH.O and TiVo Inc. TIVO.O which are believed to have more than 600,000 PVR users each.

Sonicblue agreed to sell its GoVideo unit, which makes DVD players and other devices, to Opta Systems LLC, owned by Carmco Investments LLC, for $12.5 million.

The company said last week its debt and other liabilities totaled nearly $305 million at the end of 2002, equal to the value of its assets.

Shares of Sonicblue were flat at about 5 cents a share on Tuesday in Nasdaq trade. The stock traded as high as $3.25 in the past year.

Home Theater

Tipping point? Streaming subscribers outnumbered cable in 2018 for first time

2018 was a very good year for the entertainment business as a whole, but it was especially good for streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon, says a new report by the Motion Picture Association of America.
Home Theater

Hulu vs. Amazon Prime Video: Which streaming service is best for you?

It's hard to dispute Netflix's leadership in on-demand streaming video, it's not alone. Two great alternatives are Amazon Prime Video and Hulu; each with its strengths and weaknesses. Which one is better? We pick the winner.

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Movies & TV

MoviePass returns to unlimited movies plan, but with plenty of restrictions

Troubled subscription-based movie service MoviePass is making headlines on a daily basis lately, and not in a good way. Here's a timeline of events for the company once described as Netflix for movie theaters.

Looking to upgrade? These are the best iPhone deals for March 2019

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for March 2019.
Home Theater

TCL drops the price of its 75-inch 6-Series 4K Roku TV to $1,500

March is a great time for TV deals, and we've got a whopper: TCL has taken $300 off the price of its superb 75-inch 6-Series 4K HDR Roku TV, making it $1,500. That's the lowest price ever on this affordable TV.
Movies & TV

Comcast launches Xfinity Flex, a $5-a-month service aimed at cord cutters

For $5 a month, Xfinity Flex gives existing Xfinity internet subscribers a 4K- and HDR-ready set-top box that can stream video from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, as well as free TV from apps like Cheddar and ESPN3.
Home Theater

Here’s how to watch Apple’s March 25 product reveal event live

It's almost here: Apple's much anticipated March 25 event, where it is widely expected to announce several streaming services, including on-demand and live TV with original programming. Here's how to watch it live.
Movies & TV

HBO’s Deadwood movie rustles up a trailer and a release date

This spring, HBO's long-awaited Deadwood movie will explore what happened 10 years after the events of HBO's award-winning drama, giving the series a finale 13 years after the show was canceled.
Movies & TV

Apple’s next big event is set for March 25: Here’s what you can expect

Apple's next big event takes place on March 25 in Cupertino, California. The company is expected to make several announcements related to its services, including Apple TV, so follow our guide to get ready for the big event.
Home Theater

Kanopy privacy breach reveals which movies members have been streaming

Free video streaming site, Kanopy, has been inadvertently publishing millions of lines of web log data for days, according to a new security report. A bad actor could guess a person's identity and see what they've been watching.
Home Theater

March Madness deal alert: Get a 43-inch LG 4K HDR TV for just $270

March is a great time to find a deal on a new TV, and this one is worth every penny: Walmart is selling LG's 43-inch 43UK6300PUE, a very capable 4K HDR Smart TV, for almost 50 percent off the regular price, at $270.
Home Theater

How to connect your Roku device to your hotel room’s TV

Staying at a hotel, but can't bear to be parted from your favorite streaming shows and movies? Take them with you with our complete guide to using your Roku on the road when staying at a hotel.
Product Review

Audio-Technica's M50xBT headphones bring signature studio sound to the streets

Audio pros may balk at cutting the cord on studio headphones, but it’s hard to argue with these results. Audio-Technica’s wireless ATH-M50xBT offer massive battery life and killer sound you can take anywhere.