TiVo Nearly Has IPTV

TiVo Won't Transfer Downloaded Content

TiVo won’t transfer content that has been downloaded over the internet. Click image for full view.

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.

2 thoughts on “TiVo Nearly Has IPTV”

  1. Most likely, TiVo has a contract to make specific content available from a specific provider. This distribution contract probably includes stipulations about advertising revenue sharing (if any advertisements are shown) and restrictions about how the content may be used.

    Big difference between acting as a content provider and creating a product that helps people maximize “fair use” aspect of copyright law. What happens when someone is contractually bound to provide content with specific constraints, even though “fair use” aspect of copyright law is still valid? If TiVo ignores the contract providers contract, the provider could pull the plug on this exclusive content.

    If another company were to act as an IPTV distributor of CNET’s content, and you had a subscription to that distributor, TiVo will most likely upgrade their boxes to work with that content the same way it works with anything it can schedule now.

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