Just recently, TiVo announced they would provide weekly download of product reviews by CNET. While not nearly like having C|Net back on the air again (I miss Richard Hart and Gena St. John talking tech on C|Net Central), it was pretty cool to be getting their content via my TiVo. TiVo has also announced a downloadable documentary about Hong Kong movie stuntment called Red Trousers (the film, not the stumtment). All this is very cool, and I’ve signed up to receive both. I actually watched the first C|Net review of portable digital music devices earlier today. It was breif, but no less so that most television reviews. The program was about twelve minutes, total, I think. Now, just to be clear, so everyone understands. Normal TiVo content is simply recorded over the cable to the television, just like a VCR would. This content, however, was downloaded over the internet straight to the TiVo, like you might download something to your PC or Mac.
Now, here comes the bad news. (P.S. – There’s always bad news with TiVo).
When firing up my TiVo Desktop to transfer some programs (over my new, secure HomePlug network connection), I found that I wasn’t able to transfer the C|Net content. I’m not saying I was even wanting to transfer that, but what about when they have some IPTV that I do want to save. If they’re not going to let me save a twelve minute long C|Net piece, something tells me there’s little chance I’ll be able to transfer and burn-to-DVD Red Trousers or any other full lenth film. What if, in the future, I can buy content via an online store to have downloaded to my TiVo? Oh, say, like an iTunes Video Store? Will they let me have that content to keep, or even for more than a week? TiVo, do the right thing here: let the consumers have the stuff. They’ll love you more for it.