RealTime IT News

'TiVo-To-Go' Debuts

TiVo launched a new initiative Monday that lets customers transfer shows from its DVRs to a Windows-based desktop, media player, laptop or other portable device.

The service, dubbed "TiVoToGo" is available through the company's networked TiVo Series2 DVRs and is automatically included with a paid subscription. The service is rolling out via TiVo's latest update (version 7.1-X) and also requires the latest version of its free TiVo Desktop as well as an appropriate codec and Media Access Key.

The long-awaited launch fits in with the company's vision of taking downloaded content outside of the living room. While the service is originally slated for its own networks, TiVo said it would eventually like to make the service available over the general Internet.

"Portability is a key desire for TiVo subscribers," David Sandford, director of technology and licensing business at TiVo, said in a statement. "TiVoToGo enables the secure transfer of broadcast content from a TiVo box to a personal media player and allows consumers to enjoy their TV shows anywhere, in the living room, on a plane, or in a hotel."

Transfer times will vary depending on the quality setting for the recording on the TiVo box and the speed of the network connection, the company said, and several shows could also be set for transfer at one time.

The company said DVD Recorders licensed with TiVo technology such as Humax, Pioneer and Toshiba models do not have TiVoToGo capabilities but that should change soon. The company also said DIRECTV DVRs with TiVo are not TiVoToGo compatible.

The PC or portable device that receives the content needs to be running Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP and powered by at least a 233 MHz processor with 128 MB RAM, 25 MB free disk space for TiVo Desktop installation and enough free disk space for transferred shows - at least 500MB.

TiVo said customers will eventually be able to burn their TiVo-To-Go transfers to DVD, courtesy of the purchase of Sonic Solutions MyDVD software. TiVo said it is offering a free trial to a downloadable version of Sonic MyDVD later this month and will update customers when the full version comes out if they sign up for an e-mail alert.

TiVo said its transfers are legal when used for personal, non-commercial use. The company said it has taken deliberate steps to protect the content and will cancel a subscription and even take legal action if it finds a customer in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

TiVo is expected to highlight the new service during this week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.