TiVo announced last Monday that they would soon be launching a new service as part of the currently TiVoToGo (TTG) service, which would allow transferring recorded shows to both the Sony PSP and the Apple iPod. In CES 2005 TiVo released the second edition of TTG which let Windows users transfer recorded shows over a home network to their computers. They later updated that service so that the DRM enabled shows would then be compatible with Portable Windows Media Players. (EX: Creative Zen)
“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.” Tom Rogers – TiVo CEO.
TiVo now plans to release the third update to the TTG service sometime in the first quarter of 2006. This will let users transfer videos to either the PSP or the iPod. Unlike the previous free editions of TiVo Desktop, this program is expected to be priced at $15-30. TiVo stated that the reason for charging customers is to deal with paying royalty fees to both Apple and Sony for the use of the Mp4 format. TiVo also stated that the first editions of this service would lack DRM and therefore they would instead place watermarks onto all converted videos to prevent piracy. The feature that is expected to be the most popular is the “Overnight Season Pass Sync,” which will transfer all your scheduled shows onto your portable device overnight.
“I can sit in front of the PC in the morning and say I want this show, this show and this special event, and transfer over the file to a PC–happening in about real time–and you could watch it on your mobile device,” Jim Denney – Marketing TiVo.
This service will only work with Series 2 boxes that are broadband enabled. TiVo will relase the BETA versions of their program to specially selected TiVo subscribers within a few weeks. TiVo has also promised to release a Mac version that would have the same capablities as the Windows editon. (current Mac edition doesn’t allow transfering shows, only music and photos) TiVo expects that their conversion format will require about 1GB of space for every 2.5hrs of video. Many people currently use opensource programs on the web to accomplish converting shows for both units, but most average users will have trouble figuring out how to do so.