Where Did TiVoToGo Go?

from the just-wondering dept

Two years ago, the saga of TiVo’s effort to build in a feature people obviously wanted (the ability to move content off of their TiVo devices to computers or mobile devices), was a perfect example of why it’s a bad idea to give the content industry veto power over consumer electronics companies. If you recall, TiVo had to ask permissions to innovate and add the feature, after groups like the MPAA asked the FCC to forbid TiVo from adding such an offering. Eventually, it was allowed, but only after they made tradeoffs (taking away certain features) to get the entertainment industry’s approval. Of course, this made the “ToGo” offering quite limited, and meant that people who really wanted to make TiVo content mobile had to hack the devices. According to the EFF, in the latest TiVo box (for HD), the TiVoToGo feature is completely missing. If you want to upgrade, you lose the feature. While the EFF believes it’s due to pressure from the entertainment industry, it could just as easily be explained by the fact that the feature in its watered-down state was pretty close to useless. Either way, the efforts of the entertainment industry have helped make consumer electronics less useful — which does plenty to harm the value of the entertainment industry’s own content. Plenty of people would be much more likely to watch certain shows if they weren’t tethered to their TV — but the industry’s focus on “controlling the content” means that fewer people will watch it.

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Comments on “Where Did TiVoToGo Go?”

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TivoFanBoy says:

But it was sloooooow....

To be honest, I think that the feature was removed by the sheer size of the recordings. I would guess that the HD content added so much “weight” to the recordings that it just wasn’t functional.

IME, it was almost real time copying where it would take me 30 minutes to copy a 30 minute show. Not exactly a great compression event.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Your content...

Content that I record for personal use is MY CONTENT and I may use it as I see fit according to the fair use limitations of copyright law. I can skip commercials, I can timeshift, I can placeshift, I can make copies for archiving, I burn it to DVD, I can even delete it whenever I want.

Either you work for the RIAA or are stupid enough to fall for their misinformation.

anon says:

Re: Tivo as pussies

Can’t blame Tivo for not pushing the fight. Anybody remember what happened to ReplayTV? Yup……got sued into submission. For now, I’d rather have a crippled Tivo than a nonexistant service. That said, the MPAA deserves to have most of its content pirated–seeing how they treat all of the legal consumers as criminals anyway.

Devious says:

Buy a RePlay TV off Ebay..

Thats what I have, an older Replay TV.
I can record, skip commericals, and even dump the recordings to my computer in, with a free tool, can be converted to a standard MPG file and burned to a DVD.

The new replays can’t skip commericals, that sucks.
But there is a Hack out there. Now if they can just find away around that $13 a month fee……

Matt says:


My understanding is that they have requested Cablelabs to allow them to include this feature, but haven’t received a response yet. I believe there is a 6 month time window for cablelabs to review the request, after which it can be brought before the FCC or something to that effect. So the feature may still be included in a future update, but it is not certain.

jaime says:

No TiVoTOGO = No Upgrade

My currenty tivo series 2 does almost everything that i want it to, just short of recording two things at once since i dont have the dual tuner series 2. I have had my tivo for over 2 years now and i have the lifetime subscription. I was willing to shell out the $800 for the series 3 box and then the other $200 for the special offer to transfer the subscription, but then i found out the tivotogo functionality wasnt available on the series3. Along with this, i dont have a hd tv so i wouldnt be able to use the series 3 to its full capacity at this point in time. I would rather keep my lifetime subscription on the box that has the tivo to go service and if i choose to get a series 3 later on i will just pay the multiservice discounted cost for the new series 3 box.

Jim says:

TIVO Series 2

I read several articles late last year that TIVO was going to add a feature that would allow programs to be transferred to a video IPod. Apparently this is not going to happen. Several vendors advertise software that will do this but there are two many cumbersome steps involved and the process is very slow. Guess TIVO also realized that a “lifetime subscription” was to good of a deal to continue. I don’t want to lose the features I already have by upgrading.

Michael Boggs says:

Not a fair assement

Saying that the feature is so watered down as to be usless is not fair.

With Tivo series 2 and TivoToGo, you can
1. Transfer shows from your tivo to your computer
2. Watch those shows on your computer
3. Burn those shows to DVD
4. Transfer those shows back to the tivo
5. Convert other video from other sources to a format that is compatible and then transfer those to the tivo.

Thats all pretty cool and far from useless.

if you are a mac user, you cannot do number 2 and maybe number 3 at this time.

Everything Tivo has said leads me to believe they are working hard at getting TivoToGo onto the series3.

Rsmith says:

re: MythTV

I would LOVE to use MythTV.

Tell me how to get HBO/Showtime/ESPN/HDNet and a host of other HD capable channels using MythTV. I know you can use OTA HD tuner cards but I can get that with my current Tivo (the original HD DirecTivo). Anyone interested in HD doesn’t use MythTV. It may be the best out there as far as PVR’s go (I have tried it, it’s excellent) but until it supports CableCard or some other access method that allows it to receive “pay” channels in HD, it won’t be widely adopted.

I have yet to see a cablecard interface for use in a PC (I do believe Vista will support this but alas, MythTv is a Linux application).


Recalcitrant Go-between says:


Does anyone know why Tivo hasn’t created a decent menuing system with recorded content search options, etc., or why it doesn’t allow you to sort content? Do you think there’s a market for a Tivo knockoff with more powerful search and recording features with BlueRay output?

I love my Tivo’s but the lack of offline storage options (I’d need HD) and the incredibly poor (and slow) menuing scheme are cumbersome and annoying.

Maybe it’s just my DirecTV version?

Bignumone (profile) says:

Why even have TiVo?

I have been questioning the value of TiVo for a while now. There are a lot of alternatives available that cost nothing to run.
Why pay a monthly fee?
They track everything I do, put unwanted ads on my box, limit what I can do with the material I record.

I don’t want to sell my recorded content, I just want to record it on DVD so I can watch it on the road or in another location. What is wrong with that?

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