Enterprises are launching “corporate portals,” gateway sites that act as an entryway to both a company’s Web presence and its intranet. In this column, Web consultant Kelly McKnight gives his opinion on a corporate portal, highlighting strengths and weaknesses that may translate to your company’s Web presence. The following index provides an objective look at the site’s features.
Kelly’s thoughts on the ReplayTV Web site
If you’ve done any recent shopping in the electronics department, you may have noticed that VCR pricing has taken a nosedive. There are a number of good reasons for this, and one of them is called ReplayTV.

According to ReplayTV, their service “automatically finds, captures, and digitally stores shows for on-demand playback.” I guess I’ve been in another universe, because this is the first time I’ve heard of them, and everybody in my office already knew who they were.

What you get is up to 20 hours of recording. Do you like Tom Hanks? Enter his name and Replay TV will record everything with his name attached as an actor or director or guest visitor on talk shows. Sounds convenient to me, because I still can’t program my VCR with any degree of confidence.

The ReplayTV Web site does a good job of selling the concept. Right on the home page, it explains who and what ReplayTV is. The navigation system was self-explanatory.

ReplayTV has developed a customer-friendly site in numerous ways. For example, you can buy online or use an 800 number. You can also buy from and And there was a contest to capture my e-mail address. Smart move.

But there were glitches along the way: the navigation system disappeared when I went to the “News” section, and there were useless icons on the home page. Bad move.

The verdict
Overall, the site was simple and direct without a lot of waste, and it was easy to navigate. The site did such a good job, I may even buy into the product. Next week for my Rate this Site review, I’ll check out TIVO, one of ReplayTV’s competitors, and see what they have to say. In the meantime, I won’t be buying any new VCRs.

Kelly McKnight is a principal of Via Internet Studio , a consulting firm that specializes in corporate Web site design, Internet marketing, and e-commerce. You can reach Kelly by e-mail here .

Now it’s your turn to review ReplayTV Web site. Just click on Rate this site! and you can help separate the good from the bad from the ugly. It only takes a minute or two to complete your rating, so don’t waste any more time—rate this site now! For Kelly’s rating, scroll below and click to page two.