Originally Posted by demonfoo
[*]The LG LST-3410a and its predecessor, the Zenith HDR-230, both of which were expensive at their debuts (near $1000), never sold particularly well, and were little more than digital VCRs without the tapes - name-based, guide-oriented recording like what TiVo provides wasn't an option at all. Do you remember trying to use tapes to record shows back in the day? I do. It sucked hard.
The LG had TVGOS which, when it worked, was way better than most VCRs' method of setting start and end times and channel. Fortunately it also supports setting those directly as well so lack of TVGOS doesn't kill it as long as it works otherwise. True, it was high-priced, but so were the first VCRs. I paid over $1000 for my first, a high-end Akai with linear-track stereo (most were mono and HiFi Stereo hadn't been introduced yet).
I started looking for a digital tuner when I saw in the newspaper that the local PBS station had started broadcasting in digital. I later found out that several local stations were digital; they just hadn't told anyone. When I saw an ad for the 3410A in a local hifi shop's flyer I thought, "That's what I've been waiting for." I went to the shop ready to plunk down my cash, only to find that they didn't have any in stock and didn't plan to, but I could order one through them if I wanted to. So I bought it online and saved ~$200. So much for buying local.
I suspect that the high initial price was only part of the reason for low sales. The rest was that few people knew it existed or even that digital TV was available in their area.
The whole TVGOS system was always flaky. I had used it before with an ATI AIW video card with analog tuner. That system got its guide over the Internet, but the host site's address was hard-coded in the software and then Gemstar changed the site address. Big kerfuffle. On the LG, guide problems would cause lockups or other symptoms that should have been unrelated to the guide. Just poor programming. Add to that the early failure of electrolytic capacitors, well documented here by Jan J, and you have a device that in many ways was very well designed but ultimately unreliable. Nothing that couldn't have been fixed up in a later model.