TiVo Adds Web Video

TiVo keeps on moving … I wonder how deep this service is or is this limited to things available to TiVo, like iTunes.

Looking into this further, information on the capabilities of this software are fairly well buried.  I did manage to find the users manual. The link is here. It looks like TiVo is tapping into a TiVo negotiated RSS feeds and not those of the user’s choosing.  The videos have to be watched through the TiVo box and not from the Desktop software, straight to your TV.  This is a partial solution that is dependent upon the deals TiVo makes with content providers.  I imagine the current functionality of TiVo is more than enough for most people.

Also of interest in this User Manual:

  • TiVo working with Amazon’s unboxed
  • Using the desktop service to put the TiVo box on a home network so content and be moved from TiVo to TiVo or between Tivo boxes and a PC.
  • TiVo can play some video file formats as long as they don’t have DRM
  • TiVo desktop software can encode video for portable devices like iPod and Sony PSP
  • TiVo can be used to view photos and play music

Tivo sounds quite compelling if you must view content on a TV and prefer not to use a media center PC.  TiVo’s interface may be the thing that makes it more appealing than a media center PC, although, I’d still say that the full functionality of TiVo is not for the timid.

My husband and I looked into a getting a series 3 TiVo when we switched to hi-def cable.  We ended up punting after learning that we would have to get multiple cable cards to make it work.  We found this to be too cost prohibitive when balancing the importance of the content offered on network TV and cable in our life.  We simply don’t watch enough TV and the shows we watch aren’t in hi-def, so it didn’t make sense to update our TiVo box or the service.  Here’s the math: 

Low-end Tivo Series 3 DVR:  $280 at Cosco
TiVo service:  $15.95/mo
Two Cable Cards:  $30/mo
Basic Hi-Def/Digital Cable:  $50/mo

OUCH!  It’s better for us to skip the box and go for the digital downloads and the DVD rentals.  I’ve been thinking about getting rid of cable altogether, since what we watch can be downloaded for free and viewed through the TV directly through our media center laptop. 


Mar 18 2008

Here’s a link to the article

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