TiVo Desktop and TiVoToGo

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TiVo Desktop is a program that runs on Windows and Macintosh computers that interacts with Series 2 Stand Alone TiVos over your home computer network connection. Your TiVo must be connected to your home network to use these features.

The primary feature of TiVo Desktop is the TiVoToGo feature that allows downloading of shows from your TiVo to your computer and watch the show on your computer. The Plus version allows conversion of shows other video formats for viewing on a portable device such as an Apple iPod, Mobile Phone, or Sony Play Station Portable (PSP). It also allows TiVo to play MP3 music files stored on the computer, view pictures stored on the computer, and interface with third party HME (Home Media Engine) applications.

TiVo Desktop Basic Version

The Basic Version of TiVo Desktop gives the following features:

  • TiVoToGo: Automatically transfer shows from your TiVo box Now Playing List to a Windows PC or laptop. (Not yet available for Series3™)
  • TiVoToGo: Use Windows Media Player to automatically encode transferred shows for a Windows Mobile or Portable Media Center device.
  • Browse and listen to your computer's MP3 library from your TiVo box.
  • Watch full-screen slide shows of your computer's digital photo collection on your TV. Now with higher resolution for Series3™ HD TiVos.
  • Interface with third-party HME application

Media Access Key and Encryption / DRM

For TiVo Desktop to connect to a TiVo over your home network and download TiVoToGo shows, it must be "married" with the TiVo. This occurs through the Media Access Key. The Media Access Key on the TiVo must be entered during the configuration of TiVo Desktop. This key is available on the TiVo info screen and through your user account details on TiVo.com.

The Media Access Key prevents you from sharing TiVoToGo shows with others. It is a form of DRM (Digital Rights Management). To learn about working around this encryption, see DirectShow Dump if you are a Windows user or see TiVoDecode Manager if you are a Macintosh user.

TiVo Desktop Plus Version

The Plus Version must be purchased for $25 and gives the following additional features:

  • Automatically convert TiVo To Go transfers for iPod, PSP, Treo, Nokia, and other portable devices that support MPEG-4 or H.264 video.
  • Transfer video downloaded from the Web on your Series2™ box. The downloaded video must be converted to a video format that is compatible with TiVo hardware. Click here for more details. Compatible with the following video formats (as long as they are not encrypted with DRM):
    • Windows Media Video (.wmv)
    • QuickTime Movie (.mov)
    • MPEG-4/H.264 (.mp4,.m4v,.mp4v)
    • MPEG-2 (.mpg,.mpeg,.mpe,.mp2,.mp2v,.mpv2)
  • Note: Videora TiVo Converter is a free program that allows conversion of various file to TiVo format and is an alternative to TiVo Desktop for converting files and viewing them on your TiVo.

Burn TiVoToGo Shows to DVD using My DVD

MyDVD is a program by Sonic Solutions. It runs on your computer and allows TiVoToGo shows to be burned to DVD. Prices start a $35. See the Sonic Solutions MyDVD page for more details and a free 15 day trial.

External Links

TiVo Desktop official download page on TiVo.com

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