By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
TiVo said it has updated its Series 3 and TiVo HD DVRs with several feature upgrades.
The changes include the availability of external storage using E-SATA based hard drives from Western Digital, the introduction of multiroom viewing (MRV) and TiVoToGo availability and the ability to use progressive downloads to view TiVoCast content while it is still downloading programs from services such as Amazon UnBox.
The E-SATA external hard drive capability, called My DVR Expander, offers an additional 500GB hard drive capable of storing up to 600 hours of standard-definition (SD) or up to 65 hours of high-definition television. This is currently the only TiVo verified external storage device available, the company said.
The My DVR Expander is compatible with both TiVo HD and TiVo Series3 DVRs.
WD's My DVR Expander external hard drive is available now at a $199 suggested retail from Best Buy stores and by ordering online from TiVo.com/store.
The MRV capability allows users to transfer programming between TiVo DVRs, allowing Series 2, and now Series 3 and TiVo HD DVRs, to share content. Only SD recordings may be sent from a Series3/TiVo HD to a Series2.
Also added to the Series 3 and TiVo HD units is TiVoToGo, which transfers content from any networked TiVo DVRs to a desktop or laptop PC.
Using TiVo Desktop software for Windows or Roxio Toast 8 or Popcorn 3 for Mac OS, TiVo subscribers can transfer recordings from the Series 3 and TiVo HD boxes for playback, DVD burning or converting to portable device formats on PCs.
The new progressive download feature for Series 3 and TiVoHD users adds the ability to watch TiVoCast content while it is still downloading. This includes movies purchased through Amazon UnBox on TiVo.
When a download begins, the TiVo box checks the speed of the download and calculates whether a user can begin playback, TiVo said. If the download speed is going faster than playback speed, it will let users start playback immediately.
If the download is slower, it will wait until users have enough of the program "buffered" on disk to be able to play it from start to finish without hitting the end of the buffer, and then let users start playback.
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