TiVo have announced a host of new features including multi-room viewing and the ability to transfer content to a PC for DVD burning — available as a software update for its Series 3 and HD line of DVRs.
With the introduction of progressive downloads, users of the TiVo version of Amazon’s television and movie download service UnBox, will no longer have to wait for the full video file to download before they can begin watching. Instead, UnBox content will start playing after a much shorter period of buffering, the length of which is dependent on broadband speeds.
As NewTeeVee notes, this puts UnBox on TiVo in much more direct competition with the newly launched set-top box movie service, Vudu (see our review), which differentiates itself from many of its competitors by enabling video rentals to be progressively downloaded for playback on a television.
TiVo’s Multi-Room Viewing (MRV) feature allows content which is stored on one TiVo to be sent to other TiVos throughout the home. Not only is this a convenient way of shuttling content from one room to another, it also means that customers will be able to put to better use to an older TiVo device or have more of an incentive to upgrade in the future.
TiVo HD and Series 3 users can now enjoy TiVoToGo functionality, which enables users to transfer recorded content from a TiVo box to a desktop or laptop PC.
From the press release:
Using TiVo Desktop software for Windows or Roxio Toast 8 or Popcorn 3 for Mac OS, TiVo subscribers can now transfer recordings from their Series 3 and TiVo HD boxes for playback, DVD burning, or converting to portable device formats on personal computers.
The TiVoToGo feature is a must have for any DVR, and is one of the reasons why I am a fan of Elgato’s EyeTV line of DVR devices for the Mac. If content remains locked inside of the DVR itself, there seems little point for it existing in the digital domain in the first place. (In other words, I want a way to get TV recordings onto my new iPod.)
My DVR Expander — external hard drive support
Finally, the TiVo update also introduces support for the My DVR Expander 500GB external hard drive from Western Digital, which is capable of storing up to 600 hours of standard-definition (SD) or up to 65 hours of high-definition (HD) television content. Currently the only TiVo Verified external storage device, the My DVR Expander is compatible with both TiVo HD and TiVo Series3 DVRs and is priced at $199.99.