TiVo, my TiVo, I'll never leave home without you.
Try to take a TiVo box away from a loyal owner, and you're likely to come back bloodied, bruised, and empty-handed. Having a TiVo DVR (Digital Video Recorder) is such a near-religious experience for some that you might say it's changed the question, "Have you been saved?" to "Have you been saving TV shows on TiVo?" (Okay, I'm stretching it a bit here, but you TiVo owners know what I mean.)
The original TiVo DVRs allowed you to store TV shows and watch them on one TV (unless you did some creative cable wiring which then let you watch the same show at the same time on more than one TV). TiVo Series2 DVRs provided the capability of communicating with other TiVo Series2 DVRs and even your PC over your home's computer network. This let you send a show that had been recorded on one TiVo to another TiVo located in a different room (a bedroom, for example). You could even view music and photos from your PC on a TV connected to your twice-blessed Series2 unit.
In January of 2005, TiVo bestowed upon the world a free upgrade for TiVo Series2 DVRs called TiVoToGo which made it possible to transfer TV shows recorded on Series2 DVRs to a laptop PC for viewing anywhere and at any time (except during takeoff, landing, or times of heavy turbulence). Six months later - as in right now - owners of TiVo Series2 DVRs (those lucky dogs) will be the beneficiaries of another free (yeah, free) upgrade called "TiVoToGo transfers". Tivo says the new extension will give travelers "the ability to transfer their favorite shows stored on their TiVo Series2 digital video recorders to a Windows XP-based PC for transfer to and playback on Windows Mobile-based devices such as Portable Media Centers and newer Smartphones and Pocket PCs." The upgrade also allows you to use your PC for burning transferred shows to a DVD using Sonic Solutions MyDVD software.
The minimum TiVoToGo transfer Windows PC system requirements are:
Connected PCs must have TiVo Desktop software installed in order to receive and manage the transfers. Windows Media Player 10 is required to transfer shows to a Portable Media Center. At this time, MacIntosh owners are out in the cold, but TiVo says someday, maybe, if they beg, TiVo might think about it. (Not if Microsoft has anything to say about it.)
TiVo will be automatically upgrading TiVo DVRs in homes around the country, but if you can't wait for them to get around to firing up your Series2 DVR you can check with TiVo to learn how you can jump ahead of everyone else and put yourself on a priority upgrade list. Laughing at those poor slobs still waiting breathlessly for their unit to be upgraded is not allowed. (Don't thank us for the tip, we're just doing our job.)
See you on the road...if we're not staring at our Portable Media Center, that is.