Archives For TiVo
As I’ve mentioned previously, TiVo’s new Series3 model does not offer TiVoToGo (TTG), Multiroom Viewing (MRV), or external storage due to the CableLabs certification process. Now we seem to have received confirmation that the group is evaluating MRV functionality, though TiVo has not yet approached them about TiVoToGo. I can’t say I’m surprised — I imagine they’re going after the low-hanging fruit first: 1. Get the S3 out the door, 2. Enable external storage, 3. Enable MRV, 4. Discuss TTG. Time will tell…
MediaPost writes: The company that decides these things, a private nonprofit organization run by the cable companies, is Cable Research Laboratories, or CableLabs. It has not been approached by TiVo about expanding the capability in the Series 3, says Jud Cary, deputy general counsel for CableLabs. “It’s not been put on the table,” Cary asserts. “We are in discussions about MRV [multi-room viewing], but TiVoToGo has not been submitted to CableLabs for review. We’ve never seen it.”
A spokesperson for TiVo would not answer direct questions about the Series3, CableLabs and DRM, but did release the following statement: “TiVo’s primary goal was to launch and introduce the Series 3 to consumers in time for the holiday season this year. TiVo has the capability and a long history of downloading features to its customers on a regular basis. We are currently working with CableLabs on several technologies centered around moving content around the home environment.”
So you may have read (or experienced) that TiVoToGo, Multi-room Viewing, and external hard drive storage features are not active on the Series3. As I wrote over on Engadget, TiVo requires CableLabs (the CableCARD people) certification — and they are particularly sensitive to content owner rights. I assume TiVo submitted the S3 without these features to make it through the initial certification process (to get it out the door sooner, rather than later) with the hopes of pushing for approval at a later date. If I were a gambling man, I’d bet we’ll see external hard drive storage options long before TTG and MRV for both political and technical reasons. If you need those features any time soon, ya better get busy hacking your TiVo or putting together a Windows MCE, BeyondTV, SageTV, or MythTV computer (no CableCARD support, but all the OTA HD you can eat).
Electronic Frontier Foundation writes: And that’s how TiVoToGo for Series 3 HD met its maker. As TiVo’s website suggests, CableLabs has yet to permit TiVo to implement TiVoToGo in the CableCARD-compatible Series 3 HD. TiVo must first create a set of restrictions that satisfies CableLabs, and, if it cannot, the feature will remain extinct. Hollywood has openly wanted to rein in TiVoToGo, and any revived version will be more limited than its predecessor. Again, if Hollywood and cable companies had originally obtained such a veto power over the DVR itself, TiVo might never have been born. TiVoToGo’s disappearance is just one concrete example of the harm that digital TV restrictions can cause.
If you generally feel feisty when thinking about these issues, Defective by Design has declared October 3rd “Day Against DRM” and has posted a list of ten action items to fight back. Carlos Mencia also has message (not-safe for work) for the FCC over on YouTube.
Can’t we all just get along?