Tivo will soon allow content be transferred to the Video iPod, PSP

Reported on Podcasting News.com, Tivo will soon include software that will allow content to be loaded to the Video iPod and the Sony Play Station Portable.

I had suggested in a post couple weeks ago that this would be a real boon to users. But it uses Apple’s own product to disrupt Apples business of selling TV content through the iTMS. This is going to get very interesting.

How will the TV industry respond? Some actors’ organizations are already up in arms about Apple selling TV content for the Video iPod. But what will happen now that Tivo is giving the content away? Will Apple make video a closed format? What will the FCC say? Will Sony have a way to lock out video since they are in the content business as well? Will Tivo cripple the technology to make it totally useless?

Tivo will also support downloading of podcasts. When this happens, and assuming Apple does not interfere with Tivo supporting Video iPod, the Tivo + Video iPod or Tivo + PSP combination will put video podcasting on the map in a huge, huge way. If Apple could just be complacent in being a manufacturer of iPods and not much more, the users are going to get what they want. If Apple objects since they sell TV content, and Sony would not want to enable their content to move freely with their own hardware and software, a portable video player that is not in the content business could come along and be the elusive “iPod Killer.” Creative comes to mind. They are hurting so bad right now due to the iPod’s dominance in the market, they will probably try anything.

However, Apple does allow you to rip CDs and put them on the iPod even though they sell music. They had to make this feature possible in order to get the iPod where it is today. I am sure they would prefer to eliminate this feature now that they have the iTIMS. It could be argued that if you buy a CD, you own it, and have the right to make a backup copy. But that argument can be maybe when you Tivo something, you don’t own it, so you can’t move it around. But if this is the case, the Tivo-to-Go feature would not be allowed to work. Maybe the concession Tivo could allow the content in the iPod or PSP to expire after a number of days.

TV shows purchased on iTMS are commercial free. TV shows that are Tivoed have commercials. So, the broadcasters should be glad there is another way for people to watch commercials, although you could fast-forward through them. So, Apple’s business model to sell TV shows will probably still be disrupted, but some customers may pay a premium to have no commercials and own the content.

More info at PaidContent.org. The transfer takes two hours for a one hour shows, since the Tivo software will need to transfer the file to the computer over a local network, and then convert it to a video format that the iPod can play. This may make purchasing TV shows via iTunes more attractive (no commercial, shows downloads take 10-20 minutes, not two hours). What Tivo should do is put this software in the Tivo. The Tivo could be batch converting the TV shows overnight, and when finished, transfer the content to the iPod connected to the Tivo’s USB port.

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One Response to Tivo will soon allow content be transferred to the Video iPod, PSP

  1. me says:

    i read about this earlier and i knew that if you hadn’t written about it already, you would by day’s end! hehehe..i was right =)

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