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ReplayTV Shutdown FAQ

Digital Networks North America has decided to stop sending guide updates to ReplayTV devices, including "lifetime" subscribed units on 7/31. The items below are the current consensus answers from the forums. No one has all the answers at this time.


What will happen on 7/31/11

DNNA says the units will be able to "Manually Record" tv shows after the 7/31 shutdown. ReplayTV support has told some community members that all servers will be shut down on 7/31, preventing setting the system clock. In this case, "Manual Record" probably just means pressing the "Record" button to record for a period of time, not a manually scheduled recording.

Things are looking good that if you're willing to spend some time and have a Windows PC (physical or virtual) available, you can use WiRNS to keep your ReplayTV alive!

Using WiRNS to provide Guide Data

WiRNS is a free (as in beer) application that can feed guide data to ReplayTV devices and offers other features. WiRNS can obtain data from any XMLTV source or Schedules Direct.

A 3k unit has been tested in a WiRNS only environment and works fine. It has a problem replicating "initial setup", but that is being addressed. (2k,3k, Showstoppers are the same)

A lot of progress has been made on 4k/5k units and we're close to a WiRNS only solution.

The complexity of a WiRNS solution varies with your ReplayTV unit and configuration. See other sections of this FAQ for details.

What about a Scheduled Manual Record

DNNA has only said a "Manual Recoding" will be possible. Scheduling a recording requires setting the clock, which requires a WiRNS solution or Replay's servers to be up.

How will I set the clock?


There is a hack available here to add a time set page to your Replay. Doing so involves removing the hard disk and adding programs using a PC.

Once connected to a network (see dialup section), 2k/3k units can also use NTP to set the time. WiRNS can provide the NTP proxy functionality.

4k/5k Units

The NTP time *may* be cryptographically signed. That means without the "key" we may not be able to do it! Finding the key via brute force may open community members to prosecution under the DMCA. Hopefully DNNA or DirectTV will release the key.

It turns out there may be two clocks. The only clock that needs signed data is used for activation. Since DNNA is now setting boxes to never expire, those activated before 7/31/2011 may be ok.

Community members have deduced the key and testing is underway to see if WiRNS can fully control the box!

What about Dialup Users

A solution exists where a PC (physical or virtual) is configured as a FreeSCO router. The ReplayTV can then dial into the FreeSCO router using a phone line, phone line simulator, or even a direct connection. Once connected to the FreeSCO router, WiRNS can be used to update the ReplayTV box.

Such a solution is currently complicated, but eventually step by step directions will be provided. A rough draft of a FREESCO soultion is HERE.

What about Activation

2k/3k/Showstopper units do not require activation. 4k/5k units are being fully activated once they connect to the ReplayTV servers. Any 4k/5k unit with "lifetime" activation, still needs to "phone home" before 7/31 to remove the activation check. Any 4k/5k unit that doesn't "phone home" before 7/31 may never be able to be activated.

If the WiRNS folks are successful with the deduced signing key, they will be able to activate units after 7/31!

Did ReplayTV go out of business?

ReplayTV was purchased from a bankrupt SonicBLUE by Digital Networks North America (DNNA)in 2005. DNNA also owns the RIO and Escent brands. D&M, DNNA's Parent adds the Denon, Marantz, and other brands. In 2007 DNNA sold many of the ReplayTV assets to DirectTV, but DNNA continued to sell subscriptions and serve ReplayTV owners.

There is no evidence that anyone is going out of business, but DNNA has just decided to shut down the ReplayTV service.

It is not clear who has the legal responsibility for lifetime service. Possible companies are DNNA, D&M, DirectTV and for Showstopper products, Panasonic.

Where can i get more information

Discussion and work on solutions are quite active in the following Forums:

WiRNS Planet Replay Forum
ReplayTV AVS Forum

How can I help

  • If you see anything wrong with this FAQ, please update it. (it is a Wiki after all)
  • If you have the technical ability, monitor the forums and help!
  • Create step by step solution instructions. (start in the forum, can move to a wiki later)
  • Create step by step instruction videos.

File a complaint with your state attorney general! Complaints can be filed on-line.

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