November 21, 2005 8:57 AM PST

TiVo-recorded shows soon viewable on iPod, PSP

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For Apple's video iPod, that meant TiVo needed to support video compression standard H.264, also known as MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Coding).

For Sony's PSP, it meant that TiVo needed to include a format version of MPEG-4, a separate video compression standard.

Representatives of Apple and Sony did not reply with requests for comment on this story.

To discourage abuse or unlawful use of this feature, TiVo's Denney said, the company will use "watermark" technologies on programs transferred to a portable device using the TiVoToGo feature that would enable tracking of the account from which a transferred program originated.

The new feature follows a partnership between Yahoo and TiVo that would allow consumers to program TiVo boxes from a Yahoo page.

While TiVo does not release how many people use its TiVoToGo service, Denney said a recent user survey showed that a large number have the capability to do so. Out of the more than 3 million total TiVo subscribers in the world, about 300,000 order their services via a broadband connection, Denney said.

TiVo could use the boost in business. The company has recently been struggling, despite adding 254,000 net subscribers for the quarter that ended July 31. However, 214,000 of those subscriptions were derived from its relationship with satellite provider DirecTV, which it is losing.

Market researcher Brandimensions conducted a study last week finding that TiVo's standalone set-top box is also failing in other areas: its inability to record two shows simultaneously or play back shows in high-definition TV quality.

While 16 percent of TiVo's customers in the survey complained that TiVo costs more than the competition, 64 percent slammed the DVR pioneer for not offering standalone TiVo machines with either a dual tuner or one that is compatible with high-definition, or HD, programming. Combination TiVo-DirecTV boxes offer both, and TiVo has indicated that standalone HD, dual-tuner boxes could be coming, though many generic DVRs already offer those features.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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The big question....
...will this new TiVo ToGo support Macs? It doesn't today.
Posted by jhewell (11 comments )
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