iGo, TiVo, iGo
TiVo subscribers shouldn't rush out and buy an iPod or PSP, however. Nor should iPod/PSP owners drop everything and sign up for TiVo service. TiVo won't be ready to roll out the new enhancement until - at the earliest - sometime during the first quarter of 2006. In the next few weeks, TiVo will begin testing the feature with "a select group of TiVo Series2 subscribers who own the Apple Video iPod or PSP devices." (If you haven't been contacted by TiVo to participate, we'd suggest you start calling the customer service line every 30 minutes until they either give in and put you on the list or have the phone company block your telephone number while they quietly discontinue your TiVo service...)
Last year, TiVo introduced the TiVo ToGo feature to TiVo Series2 subscribers. Currently, the TiVo ToGo feature allows subscribers to transfer program material recorded on their Series2 DVR to a PC (or laptop) connected to the subscriber's home network. Subscribers could either watch the transferred shows on the PC or download them to Microsoft Portable Media Center format-compatible devices. The new enhancement adds Apple's iPod and Sony's PSP to the list of supported portable devices.
Once the new TiVo ToGo feature is finalized, Series2 subscribers will have to buy "certain low-cost software to facilitate the transfer of content from the PC to these portable devices." TiVo plans to use "watermark" technologies to digitally ID programs transferred to a portable device via the TiVo ToGo feature. Intended to "discourage abuse or unlawful use" of TiVo ToGo's transfer capabilities, the digital watermark will enable tracking of the account from which the transferred program originated. (Digital spanking may follow.)
TiVo's announcement comes while DVR rival and one-time litigant, DISH Network, is beginning to ship three versions of their PocketDISH portable media devices. PocketDISH handhelds can connect and automatically download recorded programming from select DISH DVR-equipped satellite receivers.