LG Launches Microsoft-Powered DVR

Aiming to take on the popular TiVo DVR, LG on Wednesday introduced its combination digital video recorder and DVD recorder based on Microsoft technology. The LRM-519 would be the first set-top device to use the Microsoft Program Guide, a TiVo-like service being offered by the Redmond company.

The device includes a 160GB hard drive and will run on Windows Media Center Technologies. The DVD recorder will support a range of recording formats, including DVD+R, DVD-R and DVD+R Dual Layer discs. Users will also be able to expand the storage space of the unit by connecting external hard drives to the DVR's 2 USB ports.

Much like a TiVo, the DVR will be able to pause live TV, as well as search and record invidual or a season's worth of programs. In addition, parental controls can be used configure what programs children can access.


The LRM-519 can also be connected to a home network, where a user will be able to transfer saved programs to a Windows XP or Media Center computer for later viewing. JPEG, MP3 and WMA media files can conversely be streamed from the PC to the DVR for playback on the television.

In order to use the program guide service, users must subscribe to the Microsoft Program Guide for a $9.99 USD monthly charge. Microsoft is also offering two other options, a yearly and one-time subscription for $99.99 USD or $249 USD respectively.

Subscription cards would be available for purchase at the time of purchase or online through the Microsoft Web site, LG said.

To promote the DVR, Microsoft will offer those signing up for a one-time subscription through March 1 of next year a mail in rebate of $100.

LG pointed out that with the rebate, the cost of a "lifetime" subscription would be half of its competitor TiVo, and even on the monthly plan users would still save about $36 per year.

The LRM-519 is now available at most major electronics stores for a retail price of $599.95 USD.

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