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TiVo to allow video iPod downloads

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Digital video recorder maker TiVo Inc. plans to announce a feature on Monday that will let subscribers transfer recorded television programming to Apple iPod digital music players or Sony's PlayStation portable devices.

The enhancement will include exclusive capabilities such as TiVo auto-sync that will allow subscribers to choose if they want new recordings of their favorite programs easily transferred to their portable devices via their PC. Every morning the devices can be loaded with new programs recorded the night before.

"The increasing popularity of mobile devices for viewing video such as Apple's iPod and the PSP device demonstrate the enormous consumer demand for entertainment on the go," said Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo. "By enhancing our TiVoToGo feature, we're making it easy for consumers to enjoy the TV shows they want to watch right from their iPod or PSP -- whenever and wherever they want."

TiVo said it will begin testing the feature in the coming weeks with a select group of TiVo Series2 subscribers who own the Apple Video iPod or PSP devices. The company also plans to make the feature available to its entire standalone TiVo Series2 subscriber base as early as the first quarter of next year.

Last year, TiVo made available to all its Series2 subscribers the TiVoToGo feature, which allows subscribers to transfer TV shows from their DVR to a laptop or PC over their home network. Today's announcement adds support for the Apple iPod and Sony PSP, as well as the ability to specify Season Pass recordings to conveniently transfer to the portable device via the PC overnight.

Subscribers will need to purchase certain low-cost software to facilitate the transfer of content from the PC to these portable devices. To discourage abuse or unlawful use of this feature, TiVo intends to employ "watermark" technologies on programs transferred to a portable device using the TiVoToGo feature that would enable tracking of the account from which a transferred program originated.

TiVo had previously promised to release a version of TiVoToGo for the Mac, but has yet to do so. The software remains Windows-only with no new word on a version for Mac OS X.

According to the company, the transfer process from a TiVo Series2 set-top-box to a computer occurs roughly in real-time. Therefore, an hour-long show will take an hour to transfer to the computer, then roughly another 10 minutes or so to sync to a portable device.
post #2 of 15
Now if Elgato were to follow suit.....!!
post #3 of 15
I wonder if this will work on Macs? It would be rather ironic this only worked on Windows (like TTG currently only does) with Apple's iPods. Maybe this should be a wake up call to Apple that working with other companies can benefit them (as in getting more software available on their platform).
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally posted by Quevar
Maybe this should be a wake up call to Apple that working with other companies can benefit them (as in getting more software available on their platform).

Maybe Apple should have bought Tivo sometime ago...

Anyway, I stated that PVR feature will never arrive in a Mac. My reasoning is that Steve wants to sell TV shows rather than having people recording them, which makes more $. Now I figure Apple will release a PVR soon enough. Apple (or everybody) knows that some people cannot live without Tivo...
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally posted by Quevar
I wonder if this will work on Macs? It would be rather ironic this only worked on Windows (like TTG currently only does) with Apple's iPods. Maybe this should be a wake up call to Apple that working with other companies can benefit them (as in getting more software available on their platform).

Ironic? Nah, just sad. But it won't work on Macs, because TivoToGo doesn't, because its based around WMP and the features needed for it don't exist on the mac. (And just so that you know, I have the tivo-togo feature, and while its kind-of nice, it would be better if it worked off my DirectTV tivo, rather than just my stand-alone one. But my experience hasn't been the greatest. Stuff recorded in "Best" mode want to record with black bars left and right (sort of like letter-boxed, but in the wrong direction) and no one wants to fix it.)

As for a wake-up call, I doubt that too. Apple hasn't responded to any of the 1600 previous wake-up calls about the lack of software for their stuff, nor are they known to work with others to get things to work.
post #6 of 15
Well, Apple needs to take a long look at what consumers are actually doing with their entertainment. Music was one thing. People don't TiVo music off of their digital cable. They don't really TiVo music videos. The iTMS is working well for these things.

But I think selling programs (like Lost, etc.) from iTMS will flop. People use DVRs. They like the idea of buying a box, recording programs for free, and watching them whenever they want. Apple needs to build a great DVR box with great software. They will sell a lot of boxes and (even) more iPods with video capabilities.

"What? Apple makes a TiVo-like thing now? That will go along PERFECTLY with my video iPod."

"I'd love to have a TiVo-like box from Apple. (jump to a month later) I'd love to have a video iPod to put my recorded programs onto."
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post #7 of 15
I seem to remember reading that TiVoTo Go was going to be available to Mac users soon as well.

Bit either way, TiVo is not a very popular device. There are 3.6 million Tivo's out there. 2.4 million are from DirecTv, which is discontinuing them. Only 1.2 million are direct customers of TiVo itself. how many are Series 2 users, I don't know, but the mere fact that they had to mention that this was only available to them makes me think that only a certain percentage are.

The TiVo Comcast deal is for TiVo to provide software that will reside on Comcast's boxes. How that software will be modified to Comcast's liking no one knows.

The point is that I don't see this as anything more than an attempt by TiVo to piggyback onto two very popular formats, in the hope that it will revive their lagging fortunes in the independent DVR market.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
Well, Apple needs to take a long look at what consumers are actually doing with their entertainment. Music was one thing. People don't TiVo music off of their digital cable. They don't really TiVo music videos. The iTMS is working well for these things.

OK, here's some irony for you...Just this week I started doing this:

I have 6 TiVos (one connected to one of my Macs). I have season passes on my TiVo for shows that aren't available as podcasts, but that I could care less about seeing the video. Most are news, but I have a couple of music programs. The TiVo switches channels on the cable box for me, and then I use Audio Hijack Pro to automatically record at the same scheduled times, encode into AAC (as audiobooks) and then import into iTunes. Each morning, I transfer the shows to my iPod Nano.

If the new TiVo software runs on OS X, I'll probably end up getting a video iPod. I actually suspect it will since TTG was Windows Media DRM based, and now they're moving to a watermark strategy.
post #9 of 15
There is NOTHING on television/cable/satellite that I find worthy of recording. If I miss it, big deal. I can usually find any information I need on the Net anyway, and if I'm looking for entertainment.... DVDs.

TiVo people are either watching too much TV, or they're unaware that there's a world outside their house.

No offense, chaps.

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post #10 of 15
OK, three comments on the previous posts:

1) yes, there IS tons of stuff worth recording on TV -- it's called PBS, and if you haven't discovered all the great shows on it, then YOU are then one who needs to get a life ...

2) ElGato is already supporting the iPod ... just export to "Sony PSP" format, it's identical, or at least 100% compatible with the iPod and will xfer and play just fine.

3) I hope Tivo actually implements a "ipod recording quality" on the Tivo unit itself -- this will save hours and hours of post processing on the computer, and speed up xfer to your PC and onto the iPod immensely ... to crunch a huge Tivo file down to iPod size takes hours and chews billions of unecessary processor cycles.
post #11 of 15
The following was posted on the TiVo Community Forum by someone who apparently works at TiVo:

"Regarding the Macintosh...

Yes, we intend to support it, but not in the February release. Macintosh support for the new features announced today is planned for mid-2006."
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally posted by DML
The following was posted on the TiVo Community Forum by someone who apparently works at TiVo:

"Regarding the Macintosh...

Yes, we intend to support it, but not in the February release. Macintosh support for the new features announced today is planned for mid-2006."

That's about what I read.
post #13 of 15
"mid-2006" = "After we have x86 Macs to port to."

Lazy bastards.
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post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
"mid-2006" = "After we have x86 Macs to port to."

Lazy bastards.

I think that TiVo is very financially constrained. Waiting only makes sense for them. The software is fairly simple though. If they are smart, they will do it through X Code and have Universal Binaries.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally posted by SpamSandwich
There is NOTHING on television/cable/satellite that I find worthy of recording. If I miss it, big deal. I can usually find any information I need on the Net anyway, and if I'm looking for entertainment.... DVDs.

DVDs. Now that's funny. Most DVDs now are of TV shows (gee, NOTHING to watch, and yet everything available on DVD) and crappy movies. I always find it hillarious when the "TV sucks" crowd starts crowing, and then admit they go to movies and watch DVDs. There is so little in the movies that's worth watching its even worse then TV. Go through the DVD section of the store and its like 600 DVDs of basically the same movie (different titles, same basic premise).

And of course, having a Tivo means someone is able to record shows when they're on, and watch them when he gets home from being 'out of the house'. And in less time then just sitting on the couch watching them live. For example, you could watch CSI in 30 minutes, by zipping through the commercials and all the "let's sweep the house for clues - hmmm, how odd, I found a single hair in this bed, I bet its a clue" segments.

(Speaking of CSI, with all the hair clues they find, you'd think they'd all be wearing hairnets or shower caps so they don't end up spending their time tracking down their own hairs as evidence.)
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