The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Tivo2Stay – Yay!

Posted by Deliverator on October 19th, 2005

The people at Tivo must read my page or something, because they finally seem to be giving users at least some of what they have been crying for (about time! #@#&). The recent Tivo system update to version 7.2 along with Tivo Desktop 2.2 have added a number of features that I have written about lately. Tivo rolls out its update gradually, so you may not have it yet, but you can request to be put on a priority list to get it sooner. With this update comes the ability to not just download shows, but upload video as well. The format support is limited by Tivo’s reliance on dedicated hardware chips and a relatively slow general purpose CPU, so you will probably have to transcode anything you want to upload. The good news is that DRM stripped files are recognized without transcoding. Rumors are that this rollout is going out to DVD burner equiped Tivo units as well, which opens up a world of possibilities. It should now be possible to download video off the tivo, de-drm it, edit out the commercial using stream editing (without requiring additional transcoding), upload the video and then burn the video to DVD using the Tivo’s DVD burner. The Tivo can attempt to play video that is being uploaded before the upload completes (although this is somewhat limited by the slow network support), so it should be possible to use a PC (with its much greater hard disk capacity) as a giant media library and just feed video to the Tivo unit on demand. Video can be requested from the Tivo, so one doesn’t need to do anything on the PC side of things – just pickup the remote and go. I am really excited about this feature!

There have been a number of other features added in the new software, and it will probably take a few days to explore them all. Next to the video upload abilities, I am most excited about something being called HME or HMA, which allows for PC hosted JAVA applications that do all the “heavy lifting” and then feed data to applications running on the Tivo unit itself. It is great that Tivo is starting to finally recognize that people want to be able to run third part applications on the Tivo, and by hosting the heart of applications on a PC, they get around the underwhelming hardware limitations. Some of the neat applications I have checked out so far include an RSS reader, podcasting app, mp3 streaming, netflix que viewer, movie times finder, etc. With 3rd party development finally getting real support from Tivo, applications are being rapidly released, so who knows what interesting stuff will be available for my Tivo when I wake up tomorrow!