Digital Video Recorder developer TiVo announced that it is working on an enhancement to its TiVoToGo feature that will enable standalone Series 2 DVRs to transfer recorded television programming to Apple video iPods and PSP portable game players.
The enhancement will enable TiVo subscribers to auto-sync the handheld devices to PCs containing home-network-delivered copies of TV programs recorded by their Series 2 DVR set-top boxes. Every morning the devices can be loaded with new programs recorded the night before.
The new enhancement bypasses Apple Computer, which developed the iPod platform and markets hardware and proprietary content services for the devices. When it launched video-enabled iPod services last fall, Apple said it intended to sell music videos and ABC TV network shows.
TiVo said it will begin testing the feature in coming weeks with a select group of TiVo Series2 subscribers who own the Apple Video iPod or PSP devices. The company plans to make the feature available to its entire stand-alone TiVo Series 2 subscriber base as early as the first quarter of next year.
“Certain low-cost software” will have to be purchased by subscribers to enable the content transfers from PCs to the portable devices, TiVo said.
To deter unlawful use of recorded content, TiVo said it will employ “watermark” technologies on TiVo recordings transferred to a portable device to “enable tracking of the account from which a transferred program originated.”
TiVo launched its TiVoToGo feature to its Series 2 subscribers last year. TiVoToGo allows subscribers to transfer TV shows from their DVR to a laptop or PC over their wired or wireless home network. From the PC, subscribers can watch the shows, or transfer them to devices compatible with Microsoft Portable Media Center format.
“The increasing popularity of mobile devices for viewing video such as Apple’s iPod and the PSP device demonstrate the enormous consumer demand for entertainment on the go,” said Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo. “By enhancing our TiVoToGo feature, we’re making it easy for consumers to enjoy the TV shows they want to watch right from their iPod or PSP — whenever and wherever they want.”