TiVo Q&A

With TiVo's big announcement yesterday, announcing the simple downloading of programs to your Video iPod and PSP, you may have some questions. So here are some quick answers. First of all, you may have already heard of the TiVoToGo service, which currently lets you transfer programming to computers and laptops, as well as portable products that use the Microsoft Portable Media Center format. You can actually use this service to download to the PSP and Video iPod right now with various software products, but the recently announced service is different because the shows will be encoded to be quickly transferred using an "auto-sync" feature. But watch out, the company is also saying that you "will need to purchase certain low-cost software." So, it's not really clear whether this will be free.

Encoding also looks like it will take a bit of time, so as well as needing about 200MB of memory space for 30 minutes of video, it will also take about 2 minutes for every minute of content to transfer.

As for who can use this feature, it looks like only those who actually subscribe to TiVo directly, which locks out all of you who subscribe through DirecTV.

And one more thing: This service doesn't support Macs, so this could anger quite a few iPod owners. Look for links on TiVo's website in the next few weeks if you'd like to sign up for the beta testing. You must have a broadband connection and testers will be chosen "based partly on how respondents phrase their responses to some questions." So watch your words! The rest of us should look for this around April, 2006.

FAQ: Behind TiVo's play for iPod, PSP [Cnet]

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