The EFF Is Angry, Wants TiVoToGo On S3

Dave Zatz —  October 3, 2006

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?

2 responses to The EFF Is Angry, Wants TiVoToGo On S3

  1. I’m not betting on TTG on whether TTG will be appearing on the Series 3 any time soon . However, I’ll note that the major set top companies–Motorola and Scientific Atlanta in particular–have set tops installed in the field that do multi-room. I presume these had to pass CableLabs certification? If so, why is the Tivo not allowed to offer the same features?

    Now I suspect that those vendors in fact stream the video from the MR DVR to the target STB, rather than allowing it to be copied to the target, which probably isn’t a DVR, but Tivo could presumably implement a MR delete-when-done version that would be acceptable.

    Personally, I was planning to buy an S3 and now I’m holding out waiting to see what happens. The MR and TTG features are too useful, so I’ll just stick with SD video for now.

    I suppose I could put an S3 in next to my existing S2…

    Personally, if I could get TTG of SD content, and MR of SD content, so that I wasn’t being penalized for buying an S3, I would jump. I could always use the dual-tunes to tape something in both HD and SD incase I wanted to watch it in the other room. And for iPod viewing, an SD copy is certainly good enough.

    Glenn

  2. I know currently MOT does SD MRS (Multi Room Streaming) for Verizon FIOS. I don’t remember if there is any MRx HD at the moment.

    These MOT/SA are not subject to CableLabs CableCard review, which TiVo is.

    TiVo may be stuck with an Overlord that MOT, SA and the MSOs are not.