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
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
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
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.