Customer Reviews: ReplayTV RTV5516 160-Hour Digital Video Recorder
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on August 1, 2005
ReplayTV and TIVO seem to be two sides of the same coin. You pay for a service that gives them (ReplayTV & TIVO) a wealth of demographics on who watches what. One of the things in the fine print is that you agree to let them know what you're watching. When I did Neilsen ratings, at least there was token compensation. Now we have to pay to let other people know what we're watching. Why can't I just have a box that records what I want without calling the Mother Ship?
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on January 2, 2004
Why is it that everyone in this world expects something for nothing? Why would a company drop its price from $400 to $150 on a product. With that pricing structure the company would be doomed and would go out of business in no time. Then everyone who had bought at ReplayTV at $150 or $400+ would be SOL.
It does look like ReplayTV may have jumped the gun on changing its pricing structure... probably should have waited for all websites to update their info, and for all retailers to get rid of boxes that had 3yr stickers on it.....but did you really think you would have gotten that great of a deal on it? Who knows who's fault it really was, retailers could be at fault too... but again, do you think DNNA could take the loss on all the boxes sold incorrectly.
I can gather that most if not all of the people complaining are people who paid $150 for the box and are unhappy that 3 years aren't included. If you take into account that the Hard disk, and electronics in the box pretty much equal $150, how do you expect a company to make money? Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft all use a similar pricing structure for their game consoles. Then they recoup the cost with the purchase of games. Do you get mad when you buy a console for $100 w/ no game and only one controller??
If you paid $400 for the unit and got no service included... You have reason to be mad at them. I would suggest returning it to the store you bough it, and go buy one for $150... but then again you would end up spending more for the lifetime service...
If you bought it for a friend... they can pay monthly... A good friend of mine got a Tivo for her wedding, and they pay monthly. You still got them a $150 gift... unless you wanted them to think you got them a $400 gift...
Anyways... the fact is, this is a great product, with superior features than TIVO... I love mine any don't mind paying my monthly rates... The monthly charges are for a SERVICE that I use. If I had bought it a few months ago, I would have essentially paid for the SERVICE up front in the purchase price.
Oh well enough Ranting...
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on December 18, 2004
Check out their BBB rating first. They have horrible customer service.

Their customer support office is closed during the very time when someone is likely to encounter a problem or want to activate a new system. Their hours are from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM Pacific time with no weekend or holiday hours. If a customer turns on his TV on a Friday night and discovers a problem with the ReplayTV unit he must wait until Monday and call during hours when he is likely at work and not able to be in front of the device. Tivo, their competitor offers support 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM including weekends.

The customer must pay long distance charges for the 20 - 30 minutes they wait on line for a representative due to higher than normal call volume. It is ALWAYS higher than normal and they discontinued the toll free number.

The consumer must pay $60 for "warranty" service. The warranty covers parts but not labor. If your device needs repair you must:

1. Actually reach a technical service representative.

2. Follow all of the troubleshooting steps he has been trained to walk you through.

3. Have him determine that it is a defect in the device.

4. Agree to pay $59.95 for warranty repair (refurbished replacement) and give credit card information.

5. Wait for 24 to 48 hours for an email from a different department with return authorization and address. (After they charge your card)

6. Call to find out why you never received it. (I was told by a representative that this is not an individual experience.)

7. Box the unit according to instructions.

8. Ship at your own expense.

9. Wait for weeks.

10. Go to the tracking web page to find out that that your RMA number cannot be found.

11. Wait until office hours again to call to find out why. ( I will need to complete the steps later as this as far as I have gotten.)
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on September 16, 2005
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on December 29, 2003
I've owned both and ReplayTV is much better.
Home networking.
Transfer mpeg to computer and burn to DVD.
Better remote.
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on December 11, 2003
I went for the Replay over Tivo, and have been very happy with my decision, while I think they are quite equal in many ways. Although i must admit, if i were currently in the market for a DVR, i would go with the DVR available through my cable company (although the Replay offers more storage, at less cost now that service is included)!
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on May 17, 2005
I like this item because of its wonderful functionality but the company's greed forces me to give it very poor marks. You've read a lot about what it can do. Let me tell you the infuriating things that it CAN'T do. Without a paid subscription you cannot record manually nor can you even view the programs that have been previously recorded. Simply put this device, without a monthly subscription, is useless. The subscription rate is an unnecessarily high $13/month (all you get are the listings and the privilege of using the device). If you choose to drop your subscription and then later desire to reactivate it that will cost you an additional $25. I'm sick of the money pit subscriptions that companies force you to sign up for. I am returning this item and I will wait to find an affordable similar unit that won't try to siphon off every last dime out of my pocket. I know, I know... don't hold my breath.
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on December 24, 2003
I am a networking professional. This box has serious issues with performance over a network. The technical support staff is the worst I have ever had the displeasure of contacting.
I was pretty committed to trying to make this unit work as advertised, so much so that I contacted the VP of IT at sonic blue. He farmed my call out to an employee working out of his home in Oregon.
Regardless, the tech from Oregon could not provide solutions. I hope the president reads this review; though I doubt he will care, judging by the plethora of negative reviews here. Advice to new parent company, clean house and install Six Sigma.
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on February 19, 2004
This e-mail that I sent will sum it up for those that do not want to pay a subscription:
I just want to make sure before I open the box. From what I read the unit will cease to work if I do not activate the product and pay the crazy fees for basicly free otherwise TV listing information. I was planning to use it and program it manually using free TV listings, but the way it sounds it will stop working after 10 days. This gets to my second question; if it will not work without the activation how do I return it?
The reply: Thank you for contacting ReplayTV. You are correct, you will get a 3-day grace period to try out the unit. After this grace period and the unit has not been activated, the unit will cease to function. You can return the unit to the original place of purchase.
So what we really have here is a unit that you must pay additional big bucks or else you will have a paper wieght.
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on January 17, 2004
Recieved it, Unpacked it, Spent 8 days fighting with their tech support trying to convince them it was defective. They will still not give me an RMA to get the unit serviced. btw: Good luck with their non english speaking tech support people. I completely regret buying this junk!
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