Well, what do you know? TiVo's delivering as promised with this one, as Desktop Plus 2.6 is indeed going live in March -- just like we were told back in January (and nary a week after TiVo promised YouTube access later this year). Truth be told, there's not a whole lot here that you didn't already get a taste of in our hands-on at CES, but here's the skinny. As of today, TiVo users can grab hold of the latest version of Desktop (Windows only, we're afraid) and "enjoy a broad range of web entertainment available directly from their TV." More specifically, these customers "can choose web videos downloaded on the home PC using web browsers, RSS video clients such as iTunes podcasts, or other video download software to automatically copy to their TiVo DVR's Now Playing List alongside recorded broadcast and cable TV shows." In case you couldn't tell, Desktop Plus 2.6 can be downloaded today for a one-time fee of $24.95, but consider that waived if you're upgrading from an earlier version. Click on through for the full release.
TiVo Gives Consumers an Easy Way to Download Internet Video Automatically to Their Television Sets
First announced at CES, Season Pass™ functionality applied to web video now available
ALVISO, Calif. – March 18, 2008 -- TiVo (NASDAQ: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVRs), today announced TiVo® subscribers can now watch video content from the Web directly on their television sets. Through an updated version of TiVo's Desktop Plus PC software, users can now discover and enjoy a broad range of Web entertainment available directly from their TV. The simple application, which uses the popular Season Pass™ functionality, continues to deliver on TiVo's pledge to offer consumers an easy way to search, discover and enjoy the broad range of entertainment no matter what the source.
Starting today, TiVo users can subscribe to and watch a broad range of video content available through Real Simple Syndication ("RSS") feeds, including everything from network nightly newscasts and The Sesame Street Podcast to Daily Headlines from MTV News and College Humor from CHTV. The application also gives consumers access to niche interest and hobbyist videos covering areas far more specialized than cable and satellite channels.
The availability of the Web video comes on the heels of last week's announcement that TiVo subscribers will be able to access YouTube™ videos directly on the TV via a TiVo DVR later this year. Upon launch of the TiVo-YouTube service, TiVo users will be able to search, browse and watch these videos directly on their television sets.
"TiVo users will have the best video from the Web easily available on their television sets from user generated as well as brand named sites," said Tara Maitra, Vice President and General Manager of Content Services at TiVo.
The new Web video capability requires TiVo Desktop Plus 2.6, an update to the Windows application which also converts TV shows recorded on a TiVo DVR for viewing on portable devices including iPod and Sony PlayStation™ Portable. TiVo Desktop Plus 2.6 is available for a one-time fee of $24.95, and is a free upgrade to earlier versions. "TiVo continues to work with Roxio on delivering equivalent functionality on the Mac platform."
With this new feature, users can choose web videos downloaded on the home PC using web browsers, RSS video clients such as iTunes podcasts, or other video download software to automatically copy to their TiVo DVR's Now Playing List alongside recorded broadcast and cable TV shows. TiVo is also providing an on-screen guide of select Web video sources for users to browse and select as individual episodes or get a Season Pass™. Subscribers can even use the TiVo service's Season Pass functionality to get their own personal video folders on their PC, where they save their home movies and other video downloads. High Definition television enthusiasts will appreciate that TiVo preserves the original quality of high-resolution web videos, up to 720p, when delivered to TiVo Series3 or TiVo HD DVRs.
Maitra added, "Through the addition of new applications such as web video, we continue to build towards our goal of making TiVo the one stop shop for content, through one box and one integrated user interface. With our combination of premium content available through Amazon Unbox, millions of songs via Rhapsody and music videos, and soon YouTube videos, we feel like we're connecting consumers to entertainment in a way no one else can."
For more information on TiVo or to download TiVo Desktop Plus visit www.tivo.com/desktop.