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TiVo plots bigger portability plan

Mon, 11/21/2005 - 7:08am
Jeff Baumgartner, CED

TiVo Inc. said it will allow customers to shuttle recorded shows to the new Apple video iPod and the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP).

The move marks an enhancement to the original TiVoToGo application, which allows users to send recorded shows from their Series2 DVRs to their laptops or PCs.

TiVo said it will begin testing the feature in the weeks ahead with a "select group" of Series2 owners who own the new iPod or PSP. The feature will be offered across the board as early as Q2 2006, the company said, noting that subscribers will also need to purchase "certain low-cost" media transferring software. 

"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," said TiVo CEO Tom Rogers.

TiVo's decision could also undermine the business model created by Apple and its first video iPod media partner, Disney/ABC.

In October, Disney agreed to provide access to hit shows such as Lost and Desperate Housewives  to the new iPod and iTunes service for $1.99 apiece. The TiVo enhancement presumably will allow subscribers to record those shows and move them to the iPod for free. The same model already holds true for EchoStar's new line of portable PocketDISH devices.

TiVo, however, noted that it will "discourage abuse or unlawful use" of the new capabilities by enlisting digital watermark technologies.

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