TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: State of the Art: TiVo Adds Portability to the Mix

State of the Art: TiVo Adds Portability to the Mix

Monty Solomon (
Sat, 8 Jan 2005 22:04:45 -0500

State of the Art


In the high-stress halls of Hollywood, executives are wrestling with
three burning questions. First, how can the industry avoid an era of
unfettered online video swapping like the one dogging the music
industry? Second, as portable video becomes ever more popular, how far
can the studios take copy protection without looking like the bad guy?

And third, who the heck green-lighted "Catwoman"?

Answering any of these questions is, of course, a difficult and
delicate job. But as 2005 dawns, you can already find some answers to
the first two.

For example, you can buy either a PC add-on circuit board or a whole
new Media Center PC that can record TV shows and then, for your
time-killing pleasure later on, burn them onto a DVD. You could also
spend $200 or more for a personal DVD player, although that limits
your out-of-home viewing to what's available on DVD. Or you could
spend $500 for a hard-drive-based portable video player, as long as
you're prepared to enjoy the sweeping majesty of "The Lord of the
Rings" on a three-inch screen.

But beginning this week, you may have another attractive option that
doesn't involve any new hardware. It lets you watch recorded TV or
movies on the nice big screen of your laptop. And here's a pleasant
surprise: it's free, more or less, to those subscribing to TiVo.

The new technology, called TiVoToGo, is neither a product nor a
service. It's a software feature that TiVo, in a phased rollout, is
beaming into existing TiVo recorders. TiVo intends for TiVoToGo to be
one of several perks that give it a new advantage over the less
sophisticated recorders offered by cable and satellite companies for
lower monthly fees.

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