TiVo-recorded shows soon viewable on iPod, PSP

Testing starts in a couple weeks. Tech to build on TiVo's ability to transfer programs to PCs and DVDs.

TiVo is looking to pull in more customers by hooking up with two of the most popular mobile devices on the market: Apple Computer's iPod and Sony's PlayStation Portable.

The Alviso, Calif.-based company, whose box has become synonymous with the digital recording of television programs, said Monday that it will be testing a version of its TiVoToGo mobile service so that customers will be able to synchronize downloads of their programs from their TiVo Series2 boxes and transfer them to portable devices via their PC.

"I can sit in front of the PC in the morning and say I want this show, this show and this special event, and transfer over the file to a PC--happening in about real time--and you could watch it on your mobile device," said Jim Denney, director of product marketing at TiVo.

To use the new service, subscribers will need to purchase certain low-cost software to allow TiVo to transfer content from the PC to these portable devices, Denney said.

TiVo's digital video recorders, or DVRs, use hard drives to store large amounts of content. TiVo users can pause live shows and program their systems to record TV broadcasts and even skip commercials.

Tests begin in a few weeks with only a handful of TiVo subscribers, the company said. If successful, TiVo plans to roll out the service to its more than 3 million subscribers by the first quarter of 2006.

The rollout increases the number of devices with which TiVoToGo can interact. Introduced in January 2005, TiVoToGo lets subscribers transfer TV shows from their DVR to a laptop or PC over their home network. In April, TiVo added support for devices compatible with the Microsoft Portable Media Center format.

Denney said his company only worked briefly with Apple and Sony on the design aspects of the TiVo service to keep the individual integrity of its products intact.

"The service will automatically prepare and transcode the television show to one of these portable devices using industry-standard format designs," Denney said.

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