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April 27, 2004
Crippled External Hard Drive for DVRs
A number of gadget websites have noted what sounds like nifty new technology, an external hard drive especially designed for Digital Video Recorders (DVRs). The device, from hard drive manufacturer Maxtor, connects to an existing DVR to provide up to an additional 160 hours of recording capability. Read the press release: Maxtor Expands QuickView Outside the Box.
What the press release doesn't tell you:
The first devices will be available in the summer of 2004 and have an eSATA interface. Maxtor is exploring USB 2.0 and FireWire/1394 connections. Good enough.
However, the product will not be available in retail initially, but rather via your cable/satellite provider. In other words, you won't own it. Actually, ownership is probably not a good idea because the device will not be portable and will be designed to connect to a single DVR. Moving or switching providers will be fun.
Furthermore, according to Maxtor's press contact:
Due to content protection/privacy, the Expander will not communicate/share files with the PC.
Content privacy? Not sure what that is. Regardless, why are so many new consumer devices being designed deliberately crippled? Why is the United States sacrificing so much potential innovation? Perhaps, Mary Hodder is right and it is time for "Silicon Valley Lamented".
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