Showcased at CES last January, the LG LRM-519 "digital media recorder" with the Microsoft Program Guide service is now available in the US.
The LG LRM-519 Digital Media Recorder is a combination digital video
recorder (DVR) and DVD recorder powered by Windows Media Center Technologies
with a 160-gigabyte hard drive.
The device has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $599.95.
Before you dismiss this as another TiVo clone, look closely at the specs. The LRM-519 includes fast wireless networking, a double-layer DVD burner, and the promise of USB connectivity to a variety of peripherals.
Microsoft's Media Center inspired DVR platform can be networked with any Windows XP or Media Center Edition PC to stream photos, music, and video. But the most important feature of the device is that it can take the content it has recorded to its hard drive and stream it to a compatible Windows PC for syncing and optimization via WMP 10 to connected devices.
The Microsoft Program Guide service is available through three subscription options: a one-month subscription for $9.99, a
one-year subscription for $99.99 or a one-time subscription for $249.
Subscription cards are available for purchase from retailers wherever the LRM-
519 is sold; monthly and one-time subscriptions can be purchased and activated
on-line at http://www.microsoftprogramguide.com
Consumers who sign up for a One-Time
Microsoft Program Guide service subscription by March 1, 2006 are eligible for
a $100 rebate from Microsoft. Consumers who choose to pay monthly can save
$36 a year compared with competitive offerings.
For home theater enthusiasts who aren't always at home when their favorite
TV program airs, the LRM-519 can record and store cable, satellite or over-
the-air programs for enjoyment anytime. In addition, the LG Digital Media
Recorder's two USB ports make it easy to plug in a compatible external hard
drive of any size to instantly expand storage capacity.
The Microsoft Program Guide service makes it easy to search up to 14 days
of programs by title, keyword or category; allowing new programs and old
favorites to be discovered and automatically recorded at the touch of a
button. Any scheduled recording can be configured to record only once or for
an entire season of shows, making it easy for users to decide exactly what
will be recorded. The Microsoft Program Guide also provides the engine for the
"parental controls" features.
The LG LRM-519 can pause "live" TV up to 90 minutes, stopping to take a TV
break or going back to review an earlier scene or program is no problem. And
for those less-interesting TV moments, one press of the remote control's skip
button automatically jumps forward 30 seconds in time.
Of course, even home theater enthusiasts sometimes need to leave the
living room. For those times, the LRM-519's ability to quickly save stored
programs to DVD will allow TV shows to be played back on the go, wherever
there is a DVD player.
The LG LRM-519 Digital Media Recorder can be added to
the home network via wired Ethernet or an 802.11a/b/g wireless connection.
Using a high-speed connection through the home network or even through a
standard analog telephone modem connection, access to the Microsoft Program
Guide service data is fast and easy.
With a connection to the home network, TV shows can be sent to the
home office for viewing or archiving on a PC running Windows XP or Windows XP
Media Center Edition. Further, JPEG photo files, MP3 and WMA music files
stored on the PC -- or even on a variety of portable devices such as portable
digital music players, digital cameras and USB thumb drives -- can now
be accessed through the LRM-519 for slideshow playback.