Debra Goldman's Consumer Republic

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Call it poetic justice. About a year ago, when digital video recording pioneers TiVo and RelayTV introduced their media-bending products, the end seemed nigh for the 30-second TV spot. Prime time would soon be obsolete. Maybe someday, but not yet-only 300,000 to 400,000 have been sold.

Consumers, usually so susceptible to the siren song of self-empowerment, have been put off by the DVR’s expense and complexity, while retail support has been inept.

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