TiVo was at CES this year (though their giant TiVo wasn’t anchored outside the front of the Las Vegas Convention Center).
And we had one question for them; why can’t DirecTV TiVo units, TiVo’s newest technology, can’t use one of their oldest mobile-enabled features? TiVoToGo enables TiVo owners to transfer television shows from their TiVo to nearly any other device, providing Windows Media and H.264-enabled exporting of recorded TV shows, which are not copy-protected by the content provider.
The problem? DirecTV’s new TiVo HD boxes won’t leverage the feature. Until now, TiVo has stayed quiet on why.
When pressed by PhoneNews.com, representatives for TiVo blamed DirecTV squarely for not offering the technology on their units. TiVo even went as far as to say that they had offered DirecTV a solution that would ensure copy protection requirements for DirecTV, but that the service provider still mandated that TiVo remove TiVoToGo from the new generation of DirecTV-enabled TiVo HD units.
DirecTV does offer its own place shifting technology, Nomad. Nomad is an encoding box that is connected to a home router, which facilitates transferring and encoding of videos. Unlike TiVo, which uses a home PC to encode and transmit videos, Nomad uses its own hardware box to enable transmission of shows to mobile devices, in the proper format, directly from the mobile device.
The downside to Nomad is the $149 hardware cost, but of course, Nomad does not work with TiVo. We asked if TiVo was working with DirecTV to offer a solution that would at least allow Nomad to transcode shows from DirecTV TiVo boxes, and they declined to comment.
Considering the tepid relationship between DirecTV and TiVo, the two were apart for several years from the first generation of TiVo devices… it’s questionable if this will be relegated to the hackers to resolve. TiVo and DirecTV have not been grandstanding sales of the units stemming from their new/returning joint venture.
The good news is, the jury may still be out on DirecTV TiVo. The new DVRs launched only launched 33 days ago. It will be much more likely that TiVoToGo, or Nomad support will arrive if the units prove popular.