TiVo adds new Web videos, option to watch niche content

Subscribers will be able to watch free video podcasts from several providers. Also, users will be able to input RSS feeds for shows they can't find on their TiVo listings.

TiVo announced Wednesday that it has added hundreds of free Web videos to TiVo Series3, TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL DVRs. Also, subscribers who are interested in watching video podcasts that they can't find through TiVo's listing can enter RSS feeds manually to watch the show on their TiVo box.

Starting Wednesday, subscribers will be able to watch free video podcasts from several providers, including CBS, Fox, Oprah, and more. (CNET News is published by CBS Interactive, a unit of CBS.) They can watch a single episode or subscribe to all the podcast's shows by opting for a season pass.

TiVo also announced that it will allow users to input video podcast RSS feeds to watch those shows that they can't find on their TiVo Web Video listing.

To do so, subscribers will need to use the "Custom RSS Feeds" option in the "Browse Web Videos" menu. That option will allow them to input a show's RSS feed with their remote. If it's a valid link, they can decide to watch a single episode or subscribe to the feed through Season Pass. They can also watch past episodes.

To maximize the amount of content available to its subscribers, TiVo has provided show producers with guidelines for getting their Web videos ready for the DVR. The shows must be made available through RSS (RSS 2.0 is preferred). The video must also be in H.264 format.

TiVo's inclusion of more video podcasts follows a long line of upgrades the company has made to its platform over the past year. In October, TiVo announced that Netflix streaming was coming to its DVRs. HD content from Amazon's Video on Demand service was added earlier this year. The company even announced plans to bring Blockbuster Video on Demand to subscribers . Now, TiVo subscribers can supplement all that professional content with thousands of Web shows that they might already be enjoying on competing products, like the Apple TV.

TiVo's new Web videos and the option to add custom RSS feeds are available now to TiVo Series3, TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL owners.

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About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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