TiVo To Go

I just installed TiVo To Go on my Windows PC. I’m watching an episode of Ebert & Roeper that TiVo recorded last night. Very cool, but I doubt I’ll use it much at all… listening to music is good while working but TV is not. And I can’t even use it to grab screenshots or clips from shows because of the strict DRM that TiVo imposes.

The install was painful, not surprisingly: install WMP10, reboot, find a codec (why does the Mac never use terms like “codec” but Windows uses it like its a household word?!) that you have to find somewhere on the internet, run the install, etc.

And the transfers take forever! A 30-minute show takes 40 minutes to download on a 100Mbps wired network connection. I imagine TiVo streams it slowly so that it can do its other jobs, but I’d think it could transfer at more than 4Mbps that it does. The files are ~600MB; when I copy files to CDs to do backups across the net, it takes 4-5 minutes for the same size file. Maybe because USB on the TiVo is the bottleneck?

WMP10 is the first version of Windows Media Player that looks nice. If this is what Longhorn will look like, Windows will be attractive for the first time. (It’s obviously a copy of OS X’s shiny appearance, but I can’t say that or I’m “religiously anti-Microsoft”, a “Mac zealot” or both).

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