DirecTV Buys Assets of DVR Firm ReplayTV

Japanese consumer-electronics holding company D&M Holdings announced Thursday that it has sold most of the assets of ReplayTV -- a pioneer in the digital video recorder space -- to DirecTV.

Terms of the agreement were not released. Tokyo-based D&M said it will continue to service existing contracts for current ReplayTV subscribers "for the foreseeable future" while DirecTV will assume most of the other assets of the brand company.

DirecTV director of public relations Robert Mercer said the acquisition of Replay TV's assets "will enable us to explore new services as well as the potential of Replay's [Internet Protocol] technology."

DirecTV considers ReplayTV's portfolio of patents and pending applications "to be a significant portfolio in the area of DVRs and advanced DVR features," according to Mercer. He added that DirecTV has not made any decisions concerning the integration of ReplayTV technology with its existing platform.

"Although we valued this asset and the business was profitable, the sale of ReplayTV to DirecTV makes the most sense for this business, its employees and us," D&M CEO Eric C. Evans said in announcing the transaction. "We believe this transaction is a positive development for ReplayTV and this sale allows D&M to further direct our focus on building our brands and executing our growth and acquisition strategies."

ReplayTV, founded in 1997 and based in Cupertino, Calif., produces DVRs and sells DVR software for PCs for the consumer market but has not achieved the retail market presence of rival TiVo. 

Consumer-electronics company SonicBlue bought ReplayTV in 2001. Broadcasters and film studios sued SonicBlue over the ReplayTV ad-skipping and copying features in 2002. The following year the company filed for bankruptcy and was subsequently acquired by D&M.