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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