Getting video off a TiVo onto my mac has been a long time coming. It was promised as long as three years ago and when the Series 3 TiVo was released last year, transfers were disabled by default -- but all that changed today.
Yesterday I signed up for a priority download spot for the 9.2 OS and today I got the update. It adds external storage, multi-room viewing, and (finally) TiVoToGo downloading.
(screenshots and my first transfer details after the jump)
I immediately tried it out with Toast 8 ($99 download) on my mac and downloaded the smallest file I could (a ~500Mb 30 minute cartoon). It transfered in about ten minutes and played ok in the special video player. After fumbling around in Toast, I eventually figured out how to initiate an export and conversion to an iPod/iPhone friendly format, but the program died. Roxio's support forums are filled with similar tales. An unfortunate beginning but all was not lost.
(screenshots of Roxio's transfer and video playback)
Thankfully, the open source TiVoDecode Manager (free!) is still around and works just fine with the Series3 TiVo video format. I was able to connect and transfer the same video in about the same time, with the resulting file being a standard mpeg file.
It's nice that the transfered video was completely stripped of DRM, since it meant I could move the video to any other device I wanted. Also, it exports at the native size, whereas TiVo's official Roxio export limits video to a low quality maximum of 320x240. It'll take another conversion using something like VisualHub to get it on my iPhone, but it's nice to know there's a free option available (that produces higher quality output, to boot).
Overall, I'm happy I can finally get shows off my Series 3 TiVo and I can't wait to load up my laptop and iPhone with video the next time I take a long flight somewhere. The official Roxio route still seems to have some bumps but the free TiVoDecode Manager works just fine if you want to use the feature immediately. TiVoDecode also lets you save $99, which is an added plus (just burn DVDs on a mac using iDVD and the raw mpeg files).
The official TiVo.com.au site is now up, with a scheduled rollout next summer, just in time for the 2008 Olympics.
It seems it will be based on the TiVo HD platform and for some reason, the 30 second skip hack will not function on the Australian TiVos. Hopefully that's a feature that never goes away, as I've grown completely dependent on it in the last couple years. [thanks, Matthew!]
Good news: the reported TiVo OS upgrade capability to add external storage is now a reality.
TiVo began selling the Western Digital 500Gb external drives for TiVo HD and Series 3 TiVo DVRs. [via uncrate]
Dave Zatz is reporting another software update has been released for TiVo Series 3 boxes that finally enables official eSATA external storage.
For the past six months or so, there's been a hack to enable it, but it looks like it's finally going to be official.
Nice preview of DivX’s set top box, which really could be an AppleTV killer (720p output, plays DivX, streams video from networked PCs) especially if they can bring the price down to a reported $99. They've also announced an open plugin/API for the device.
While I've let the site go a bit fallow, a lot of things have been happening with TiVo: