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TiVo Online opens cross-platform TV search to everyone, DVR control to subscribers

The free service allows anyone to track down shows and movies available from video-streaming services and broadcast TV, while subscribers can do much more.

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Screenshot by Josh Goldman/CNET

TiVo is bringing one of its DVR's best features to everyone: unified search.

With the launch of TiVo Online, anyone can search for TV shows, sporting events, movies, etc., and find where it's available -- from cable and video on demand, streaming services and Web videos.

If you're not a TiVo subscriber, you can just enter your ZIP code and it will search your local listings as well as services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Hulu Plus, YouTube and more. Nonsubscribers are also able to view channel listings and programming, so you can find when and where to watch something. For those who don't have a TiVo, it basically gives you a small taste of what the DVRs can do.

Active TiVo subscribers will find the Web portal eminently more useful, though. You can use it to create and edit OnePass season passes or even move them from one TiVo DVR to another. The site also allows you to manage the recordings on your DVR as well as see what's set to be recorded in the future.

TiVo Roamio and Premiere DVR owners are also able to stream recordings in a browser on a laptop or desktop, but only if you're computer is on the same network: out-of-home streaming will be available later this year. TiVo Online also has a selection of live streaming TV stations listed, but they're basically just links to those sites.

TiVo's mobile apps for iOS and Android offer faster performance than the website and a more robust feature set for subscribers, including in- and out-of-home streaming and the capability to download recordings to mobile devices. A TiVo representative said there are no plans for download support at this time for TiVo Online.

However, if you're quickly trying to find where to watch a movie or find a TV series to binge on, TiVo Online's search is a good place start -- subscriber or not.