TiVo subscribers rejoice

TiVo this week announce several major updates to its service. TiVo subscribers will receive a new feature through its TiVo Desktop software that will allow video downloaded on the computer to be played back through a TiVo unit onto a TV. The new software update will convert video to a format usable on a TiVo unit but will be one-way only. Protected video content will still remain on the unit.

According to the press release:

TiVo subscribers will be able to choose from a variety of free downloadable content such as music videos, video podcasts and user generated content. This new software, TiVo Desktop Plus 2.4, will support video content downloaded to PCs running Windows XP in formats such as QuickTime, Windows Media Video, and MPEG-4.

The new version of TiVo Desktop will be called TiVo Desktop Plus 2.4. Users will also be able to watch web-video content on their TVs as well as save them onto their TiVo DVR unit for later playback. The new software will cost subscribers a one time fee of $24.95 but will be free to those who already have version 2.3. TiVo Desktop was also made available in a universal binary format for Mac users earlier this year.

Along with the announcement of Desktop Plus, TiVo also announced that it will be allowing users to share videos online using their boxes. A users can simply select which unprotected video to share, notify friends of a secret channel code and the videos will be accessible. Videos will be uploaded to a service provided by One True Media, costing a monthly subscription fee of $3.99. The feature will be compatible with Series2 and Series3 TiVo boxes. According to TiVo:

To share home movies or slide shows privately the video creator gives his personal TiVo channel code to friends and family. Only people with the unique personal code assigned to the subscriber's channel can see the published channel. Thus, creators can share their videos with friends and family, while assuring that their most treasured memories are not publicly available to anyone.

Receiving invites to watch videos will not cost the recipient.

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