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TiVoToGo for Portables Updated 53

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the more-like-sopranos-to-go dept.
fistfullast33l writes "In a followup to previous stories on Slashdot, IGN is reporting that TiVo has released a new version of TiVoToGo that now allows subscribers to transfer shows to portables such as the iPod, PSP, and Treo without the need for third-party software such as Videora. The upgrade costs $25 for current subscribers and includes the ability to transfer to desktop PCs as well. To recap, you can now transfer your TiVo shows to your laptop, desktop, and portable, as well as burn them to DVD. Time for me to subscribe to HBO."
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TiVoToGo for Portables Updated

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  • by OneOver137 (674481) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @09:39AM (#15595949) Journal
    Hard to believe they still don't have a Mac version. Check out the graphics on their site. The "PC" they use kinda looks like a Mac to me.
  • Surely such technology will only promote filesharing and pirating of movies! We must alert the MPAA and take down this horrid threat to the american way of life! Ohh.... wait... it's done by a corporation that charges you money to use it, therefore it can't be illegal or morally wrong. Carry on!
  • FYI, there is a great service which can be used to view live television, called MobiTV [mobitv.com].
  • by Controlio (78666) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @09:50AM (#15596003)
    I know that I was a little disappointed at paying the additional money for this feature... but it boils down to codec licensing. Quoth the TiVoPony:

    The upgrade? While TiVo Desktop 2.3 is free (as always), and the automatic transferring of programs to the PC is also free, the ability to convert those recording for portables has a small cost. It's $24.95 to unlock that ability (there's stuff in there that we have to license, and we can't give that away to everyone for free). But it's a one time fee...you pay once, and you can convert your recordings for playback on your portable automatically, every time they're transfered.
    • Yea, the PSP etc all use MPEG-4, so there's probably a codec licencsing issue there (like there is with the PSP conversion stuff that comes with Nero). It's not unreasonable though, I suppose, given what you get out of it and what they could have asked.
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Saturday June 24, 2006 @09:55AM (#15596021)
    People are joking that they should alert the MPAA on this one. But, seriously, TivotoGo portable transfer seriously lowers the resolution of your recordings (you didn't expect to get that nice Mpeg-2 quality directly out of the Tivo did you?). And, of course, Tivo still allows networks to set the broadcast flag on shows to keep them from being transferred or burned to DVD at all (so far, mercifully, not many are apparently using this "feature").

    So TivotoGo is hardly everything it's cracked up to be (if you want true freedom, you'll still have to set up MythTV or a similar app). Adding portable support is a step in the right direction. And it is nice to be able to transfer recordings to DVD (but only using Tivo's special codec on the encrypted transferred files).

    -Eric

    • TivotoGo portable transfer seriously lowers the resolution of your recordings (you didn't expect to get that nice Mpeg-2 quality directly out of the Tivo did you?).

      Umm, no I didn't - that's the point of a product that transcodes for a *portable* device. You still have the full resolution version sitting on your PC - TiVoToGo doesn't drop resolution on normal transfers...

      Secondly, TTG doesn't use a 'special codec' on DVD burns - if they did it wouldn't work in a DVD player. It simply decrypts the tiv

  • Tracking (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @10:22AM (#15596124) Homepage
    From the web page:

    Television programs transferred to portable devices using TiVo Desktop Plus contain information that can be used to identify the TiVo account and/or DVR from which the transfer originated.
    • Good!

      Seriously, this is exactly what they should do if they're worried about their content being uploaded to the internet. I would much rather have some sort of watermark that is invisible to me than to have restrictive DRM that forces me to used Windows or any particular device. I still can't watch the TivoToGo stuff on my mac or my linux machine, so at least they're starting to go in the right direction. One day maybe I'll be able to use the services I'm paying Tivo for.

      • Re:Tracking (Score:3, Informative)

        by Buran (150348)
        restrictive DRM that forces me to used Windows or any particular device

        Considering the tool only runs on Windows, they've already managed to accomplish that.

        I'm a TiVo user (have lifetime sub on my box, actually, and 160GBx2 of drive space, and might get a Series 3; we'll see) but I'm also a Mac user, and every time there's a new update, it still doesn't have a Mac counterpart.

        Simply inexcusable.
        • Why haven't you hacked your Tivo? I have a DirecTV unit upgraded with a 200gb drive and USB2 support. I'm able to download shows, strip out commercials, and burn to DVD or compress for a portable using.

          It wasn't that hard, especially for anyone who's ever put together a PC and used a unix command line.
          • > hacked Tivo ... DirecTV unit .. wasn't that hard

            So, tell how it's done? Links? ( I have one of the DirecTV units and have been annoyed at many of it's "features", especially the disabled USB ports).
          • I haven't needed to. I don't actually have a use for TTG at the moment, although the lack of a Mac version still does bother me because there's no excuse to not have it.
    • "Television programs transferred to portable devices using TiVo Desktop Plus contain information that can be used to identify the TiVo account and/or DVR from which the transfer originated."

      TiVo being evil, or TiVo being afraid of the *AA?
  • by justin_w_hall (188568) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @10:29AM (#15596152) Homepage
    (stole this from my own review)

    as an owner of both supported mobile devices (the ipod video and the psp) i found it a noble gesture, but ultimately it fails. here's why:
    • first, it costs $25 to even enable the feature. their ceo says [engadget.com] it's to help pay for the licensing costs... i guess, but it's still too pricey for a simple add-on. divide that number by five and i might consider it. especially when i have to buy a separate license for every PC i run the software from. it should be tied to the device's media access key, IMHO.
    • you can't convert stuff you've already transferred over from your tivo to the mobile format. i use my PC as a backup for my tivo - as the DVR runs out of room i move stuff over to the PC and stream it from there if i want to watch it. so the ~30 shows sitting on my PC are gone off my tivo and I can't re-transfer them.
    • i can't convert-on-demand. i have to go into the preferences and turn on mobile conversion, and then transfer a show from the tivo. wrong, guys, i should be able to right click on a show from the list and convert on the fly.
    • i can't convert to both ipod and psp formats at once. true, i'm a gadget nerd and few probably own both devices, but give me the option instead of leaving it out. i don't get why software developers continually forget that more options = happier consumersx.
    • the psp has a 480x272 widescreen. i should be able to render my tivo recordings at that resolution, but output from this app is max 320x240. which will look sad and grainy on my psp.
    • they still haven't fixed long transfer times. there's no reason at all that it should take an hour to copy a 1GB file from my tivo to my PC on my 100mbit LAN.
    • the transfers take a long time, so if my connection dies during a transfer or i lose power, the software should allow resuming of transfers. nope. restart it and walk away for another hour.
    the featureset is tolerable for your average user, but i don't think those are the people downloading this application. consider it statistically - how many people own a Tivo and have a home network? out of those, how many bother to try to transfer shows off of the DVR to their PC? out of those, how many want to convert them for use on one of these two portable devices? the small group of users that fit into this category are likely schmoes like me that shake their head at sub-par functionality.

    bottom line is, it feels like tivo rushes this type of thing out the door and risks distancing themselves from the only people who are still rooting for them. writers have been sounding their death knell [gizmodo.com] for a while now [engadget.com]. where's the series 3 [arstechnica.com] box? are there enough compelling features to push me to upgrade to it, if it ever comes out? what are their engineers and developers doing in their spare time, then, since we haven't seen a new product in eons? do they really not have the available time to write a five star product instead of a weak little three star app that almost cuts it?

    fortunately i run mostly windows still so i won't complain about the lack of full OSX support [pvrblog.com], although i have tried their version of tivo desktop for OSX and it won't even start up on my macbook.

    remember, with two free applications (directshowdump and videora/pspvideo9) you can strip out the DRM and render the video at whatever size you want for your portable devices. don't shell out $25 for a DRM-crippled, slow, clunky, low-res solution.
    • I think the speed issue is because TiVo (at least through series2) has only USB 1.1, so your bottleneck is at 12 Mbps. I've heard that the Dual Tuner models have integrated ethernet, so I would think that would be much, much faster.
      • All TiVos, except those with service numbers that begin with "1" have USB2.0 hardware. The bottleneck is the CPU. Additionally, the complaint in the grandparent post about not being able to convert on demand is crap. You can run the conversion utility on demand... you just have to take the time to look.
    • bottom line is, it feels like tivo rushes this type of thing out the door and risks distancing themselves from the only people who are still rooting for them. writers have been sounding their death knell for a while now. where's the series 3 box? are there enough compelling features to push me to upgrade to it, if it ever comes out? what are their engineers and developers doing in their spare time, then, since we haven't seen a new product in eons? do they really not have the available time to write a five
      • It seems to me they're doing the opposite of rushing anything. They announced this a very long time ago and we're just now seeing it. Transcoding is a very simple thing, and there are programs all over the web to do it. So why then does it take Tivo so long to add this feature? Why are mac users STILL waiting for TivoToGo support. What has it been? A year? Two years?

        About January 2004. Two and a half years ago.

        Not to mention that on the Tivocommunity website a TiVo rep there (TiVoPony) said Mac support wou

    • by Anonymous Coward
      • you can't convert stuff you've already transferred over from your tivo to the mobile format. i use my PC as a backup for my tivo - as the DVR runs out of room i move stuff over to the PC and stream it from there if i want to watch it. so the ~30 shows sitting on my PC are gone off my tivo and I can't re-transfer them.
      • i can't convert to both ipod and psp formats at once. true, i'm a gadget nerd and few probably own both devices, but give me the option instead of

      I can't argue with the rest of your points

  • It's all bits (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FoaadH (983035) <FoaadH@gmaiDEBIANl.com minus distro> on Saturday June 24, 2006 @10:56AM (#15596249)
    I personally hate all types of packaged media (DVD, HD-DVD, Blue HD-DVD ...) and all broadcast protocols (DVB-C, DVB-S ...) I use my PC for everything from programming to entertainment so I hope a day well come where all media well be delivered as plain bits (streamed or not) so it would be easier for people to do whatever they want with it (store, copy, burn, ...) of course some new approaches like DRM are moving in the other direction (complicating things rather than simplifying them).
  • I spent the last few days attending the SCTE [scte.org] Tech Expo. I was really looking forward to seeing a TiVO booth, hopefully showing off their new interface for Motorola set top boxes and maybe the dual tuner Hidef box they had at CES. They were a no show (However, Moxi was there... I didn't even know they were still in business).

    Motorola's big push is to get all of their product lines interacting. They had working demos of a "whole home DVR" that will let you pause on one TV and pick up right where you leave off
    • Tivo is no where close to being the Apple of the set top industry. They are in danger of ceasing to exist because their annual revenue is still short of $200 million per year and they continue to burn their available cash [google.com] on hand. They just do not have the capital needed to create the next great leap of innovation.
      • No, they're ceasing to exist because--from my perspective--they're insisting on the razor blade model, and demanding $20/month just to supply TV listings. (And for what, 3 or 4 20-second downloads a month?)

        I would have bought one of the silly things a long time ago if I could have BOUGHT one and been done with it. Or if the "subscription" was $20 a YEAR (price of TV guide). As is, I don't need yet another $20/month "service" perpetually draining my credit card.
      • In reality-land, Tivo is between a rock and a hard place. I really salute them for creating this, but between the MPAA bitching about piracy, advertisers trying to axe them for enabling ad-skipping and the cable companies trying to undercut them on price (why buy a Tivo if you get virtually the same thing for free from your cable provider?), they are so screwed. Hard core geeks will build their own hacked PVR's that stream 8 feeds at once for $0 a month, and have no watermarking bullshit. If they can't sell
  • HBO? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by misleb (129952) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @12:29PM (#15596560)
    Time for me to subscribe to HBO.

    The pay movie channels really aren't all that great, IMO. Except for the homegrown series that can be pretty good, the movie selection sucks. They just repeat the same limited set of movies all month long. And if you have a cable provider that does on-demand, you can usually watch most of them for free anytime you want. For the cost of just one or two premium channels you can get a Netflix account and get just about any movie you want. Spend a month or three seriously abusing Netflix and you can end up with a pretty big collection of ripped movies which you can reencode however you want and put on whatever device you want.

    Heck, I don't even have cable anymore. I used to use a MythTV box to record TV, but now I just use it to play shows downloaded from Bittorrent. That is, when it is too early to get the show on DVD from Netflix. I wasn't watching the commercials anyway, so I don't feel like a pirate. (they were being broadcast for free originally). Saves a lot of money per month. Cable is just too damn expensive.
  • Sure, people can pay $25.00 for something that should be given to subscribers for free.

    OR

    One can just download TIVO2AVI/TIVO2WMV/TIVO2MPG for free. All you have to do is enter your Media code to decrypt the .tivo file and it will convert to basically any format. I have no doubt there are free utilities to convert from the above formats into PSP and ipod formats.

    The transfer time from the tivo to the desktop is ungodly for being just 1 GB for a 1 hour show. I assume this is due to the media partition bein
    • Sure, people can pay $25.00 for something that should be given to subscribers for free.

      OR

      One can just download TIVO2AVI/TIVO2WMV/TIVO2MPG for free. All you have to do is enter your Media code to decrypt the .tivo file and it will convert to basically any format. I have no doubt there are free utilities to convert from the above formats into PSP and ipod formats.

      The transfer time from the tivo to the desktop is ungodly for being just 1 GB for a 1 hour show. I assume this is due to the media partition being e
    • The transfer time from the tivo to the desktop is ungodly for being just 1 GB for a 1 hour show. I assume this is due to the media partition being encrypted and has to decrypt to an encrypted .tivo file on the way to the desktop.

      The .tivo file is encrypted on your PC. I think Tivo2go rocks! I get about 3 gig an hour transfer rate.

      The setup is a wired connection and a Linksys USB200M adapter on the Tivo. The Tivo is a standard 60 hour Tivo brand series 2. In case you can't find it elsewhere the Link

  • Life Ungotten (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fm6 (162816) on Saturday June 24, 2006 @01:14PM (#15596724) Homepage Journal
    To recap, you can now transfer your TiVo shows to your laptop, desktop, and portable, as well as burn them to DVD. Time for me to subscribe to HBO."

    Let's see, $50 for basic cable, $20 extra for HBO, $15 for your Tivo subscription. That's a really big recurring cost. You could go to a lot of movies and rent a lot of DVDs for that much. Perhaps you're willing to pay a huge premium just to see the latest ep of The Sopranos without waiting for it come out on DVD. Or maybe you (shudder) spend so much time in front of the tube that it's a bargain.

    But most likely, you're like most consumers: you've been programmed to shell out big money for little bits of entertainment. Now that is really a sad though.

    • But most likely, you're like most consumers: you've been programmed to shell out big money for little bits of entertainment. Now that is really a sad though.

      Nice point about the high cost of entertainment nowadays, but I bet you probably live under a rock and get your TV via antenna? The point is that we all have to pay this crazy amount to get any kind of entertainment. Personally, I don't own TiVo or HBO. I pay $54 a month for digital cable (NYC no longer has basic cable service) so all in all it's

      • Nice point about the high cost of entertainment nowadays, but I bet you probably live under a rock and get your TV via antenna?

        Indeed. And I can't watch Fox or CBS because their local stations don't come in well. I had to give up cable because I was dead broke, but now that I'm rich again, I just don't feel like letting all that crap back into my life. Netflix and the half-dozen stations I do get — and living within walking distance of a good public library [sjlibrary.org] — is all the home entertainment I

  • Even with a hacked series 2 Tivo, I still can't use TivoToGo right? I'm currently using tserver and tyshow and it's like a lot of open source software... 80% complete for 80% of the featues with 80% reliability and an 80% chance of never being completed or adequately supported. :)

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