New ReplayTV boxes will eliminate ability to skip commercials

If you like the idea of being able to skip commercial advertising, grab the old models of the ReplayTV digital video recorder while you still can. D&M Holdings of Japan, which bought the technology from bankrupt Sonicblue, is considering eliminating in future models features that allows viewers to skip commercials and send saved programs over the Internet.

“We want to respect the intent of copyright, and give consumers everything that they can get,” said Jim Hollingsworth, the president of ReplayTV.

Current ReplayTV models include “Commercial Advance” and “Send Show” options, but D&M Holdings has not made up its mind about including those features in future Replay TV products, Hollingsworth confirmed.

The controversial features irritated broadcasters and caused Walt Disney, Viacom and major television networks to file lawsuits against Sonicblue, claiming that ReplayTV violated copyright laws and diminished advertising revenue. Those lawsuits do not extend to the new owner.

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