Is there really a market for the iRecord?

February 12, 2007 8:00 pm 0 comments

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I wrote about this curious product iRecord a little while ago and was cautiously encouraging to the effort.

Recently in the comments I was told that they received some fair response at the recent CES (Consumer Electronics Show) show held in early January in Vegas.

The device is basically a small gadget that you can connect to your TV or DVD player, and record a live stream directly to your iPod Video or PSP at H.264 CIF.

The types of uses that could appeal consumers (off of the top of my head) include
(1) the MySpace / YouTube crowd that wants to quickly burn *cough*steal*cough* content from their TVs to their iPods, from there to their PC to upload to their fav sites and
(2) as a companion to Tivo where you can not only record the shows you miss, but also take them along in your daily subway commute.
(3) Some other fringe uses can include carrying clips of home videos that your burn right off of your camera, and taking this to your graphic designer friend’s place to burn out some of his footage. Sharing “Gaming Footage” (as the website suggests) is also good.

Now, as far as I know (pls correct me) Tivo lets you store the content for playback, but does not let people download it to their PCs. This is also one of the reasons AppleTV may not support that — there are significant DRM legal issues with a device whose sole purpose is to burn content from your TV, and I am not sure how iRecord is handling this.

My concern with iRecord is that they are a one-trick pony. While they may boast greater compatibility, the iRec product provides a simpler user interface and similar price point for the same basic function. Add to this the fact that all Apple has to do is negotiate deals with the networks to allow direct AppleTV to iPod recording and the money vested into this product goes to naught.

It is encouraging to hear that they have sold more than 5K units before initial shipments arrived, but I dont know if that unit quantity will be enough to maintain their price point of $200 and sustain all the mainstream marketing required to hit their target demographics.

At the least (again) I would encourage them to change their website. It (1) has WAY too much irrelevant details that distract me (the average consumer who is curious about the device) to find out what I am actually looking for and (2) seems built for business visitors in mind, although the “tell a friend” feature is a nice touch.

All that said and done, as a Technical Demo I think both the product and website serve the purpose well — Streaming Networks could gain by using this as technical demo and gaining distribution by licensing their technology into other products willing to integrate it (e.g. Tivo), or at most a Gaming Console accessory. I just dont see this sustaining in the mainstream market on its own, but then I could be corrected.

Last note: Abdul, you guys should keep up the good work and make a solid name
out of Pakistani products, but I do have to disagree on the “0$ in sales and marketing” — a website that has been live for 5 months, travel (and registration?) to CES etc counts as pretty serious marketing expense, but luckily it has paid off for you guys. Good luck with the rampup.

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