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TK's MORNING BUZZ: The DVD Boom Is Lending a Hand in Some Unexpected Quarters: Tivo and Its Fellow 'Personal Video Recorders'

22 Oct, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

I have a theory. The DVD boom is lending a hand in some unexpected quarters:Tivo and its fellow "personal video recorders," which allow for time-shiftingand other VCR-like uses, just with no tape.

As consumers' VCRs go on the blink, my theory goes, more and more people arereplacing them with DVD players and a Tivo unit. I believe that once the VCRgoes out of the house, people will be reluctant to buy a new one, even ifthey are avid time-shifters.

The VCR is getting that antiquated look, and somehow it just doesn't feelright to buy a new VCR, particularly after you've just bought a new DVDplayer.

On top of that, VHS software is becoming hard to find in cutting-edge storeslike Best Buy, where out of a 22-row movie section in one store I visitedyesterday evening only two rows contain cassettes.

Even Blockbuster, for years the bellwether of rental stores, is trimming backits VHS inventory in favor of bringing in more DVDs -- and has tailored itsannual fourth-quarter ad message accordingly.

In fact, if I were a consumer and not a journalist covering this industry,I'd start scratching my head and wondering when VHS will disappear entirely.At retail, it certainly appears to be a vanishing breed.

The VCR just looks, well, "so yesterday," in the parlance of today's youth.

Tivo is small, efficient, neat and, well, sexy -- just like a DVD player. It'stomorrow's technology today, and that appeals to DVD owners.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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