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Monday, December 03, 2001
SONICblue says wins patent for TV recording device


SONICblue on Monday said it has received a U.S. patent for portions of its personal video recording technology that is used in television set-top boxes.Shares of SONICblue rose about 11 percent on Monday, up 24 cents to $2.45 a share. The company said the patent contains "50 claims describing fundamental properties for implementing" a digital video recording device, which allows viewers to customize television viewing by automatically recording shows on a computer hard drive for playback at a later time.

"The broad patent covers the fundamental concept of using a program guide or other user specified criteria to select TV shows for recording on a digital video recorder," said the company, whose service is called ReplayTV. The patent also covers methodology that creates, names, prioritizes and manages recorded programs on the hard drive for the devices, which are also referred to as DVRs.

SONICblue and rival TiVo Inc. are racing to establish themselves as the premiere providers of this kind of video recording technology, in anticipation of an expected rise in demand for DVRs. They also hope that consumer electronics companies will license the patents for use in other devices. Toward that end, TiVo in October signed a licensing pact with Japan's Sony Corp. that would allow Sony to build TiVo's personal digital recording technology into consumer electronics devices such as camcorders and DVD players.


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