TiVo Deskstop 2.6 Arrives

TiVo Deskstop 2.6 has arrived right on schedule:

TiVo (NASDAQ: TIVO), the creator of and a leader in television services for digital video recorders (DVRs), today announced TiVo® subscribers can now watch video content from the Web directly on their television sets. Through an updated version of TiVo’s Desktop Plus PC software, users can now discover and enjoy a broad range of Web entertainment available directly from their TV. The simple application, which uses the popular Season Pass™ functionality, continues to deliver on TiVo’s pledge to offer consumers an easy way to search, discover and enjoy the broad range of entertainment no matter what the source. Starting today, TiVo users can subscribe to and watch a broad range of video content available through Real Simple Syndication (“RSSâ€?) feeds, including everything from network nightly newscasts and The Sesame Street Podcast to Daily Headlines from MTV News and College Humor from CHTV. The application also gives consumers access to niche interest and hobbyist videos covering areas far more specialized than cable and satellite channels.

In addition to subscribing to and transcoding video podcasts, a wide variety of video can be served PC -> TiVo with the purchase of the Plus license ($25):

Windows Media Video (.wmv)
QuickTime Movie (.mov)
MPEG-4 / H.264 (.mp4, .m4v, .mp4v)
DivX or Xvid (.avi, .divx, encoded with the DivX codec, version 4 or higher, or with the Xvid codec. No other video formats are supported within .AVI files.)

Hopefully, this PC-based transcoding is just a stop-gap until TiVo flips the switch for more expansive on-box video playback capabilities.

21 thoughts on “TiVo Deskstop 2.6 Arrives”

  1. Last I heard (yesterday afternoon), the press release is slated to hit the wires at 8:30AM EST – but I did post the complete text on the TCF. I’m also waiting for an eval key to give this a spin… Though my LCD has already been moved to the new place, while the desktop PC remains at the old place. My Fusion/Bootcamp XP install is pristine and I’m not sure how I feel about loading this up on it. For the real geeky (with a lot of video), pyTiVo is probably still the answer, but for the average Joe who understands the purpose of this it could be useful – especially the subscription functionality. Explaining what this is and how it works will be a challenge.

  2. i really wish they had better support for mac. getting into bootcamp and/or fusion would work but i think in the long run would be to cumbersome…

  3. jon, it was rumored around CES that Roxio would make similar functionality available to the Mac. Though, anything computer-based is too cumbersome in my book.

  4. I think the latest TiVO Desktop is great. I’m not sure if people will understand right away that they may need a Podcast subscription software running to grab the videos and plop them in the folder that TiVo is “watching.” I use Juice but I’m sure there are many others out there. TiVo also has a list of podcasts you can subscribe to through the TiVo itself, but I like the HD ones like “Hubblecast” and “Spitzer Space Telescope.” Boy, those look stunning in HD.

  5. I would still recommend pyTivo since TiVo Desktop has issues transferring files on Vista. Auto transfers are nice, but if you can’t actually transfer large files then the whole application is pointless.

  6. A review would be nice. I’ve been waiting for these features. So we can have folders now? Auto encode is needed badly to manage all that content.

  7. I’ve used the new desktop with iTunes to subscribe to the podcasts. I only had one issue with a file transfering (out of ~25) that the audio kept going but the video paused ~10 seconds in. I deleted the file and had it retransfered, and everything was ok. This is using Vista Ultimate. I’ve also transfered programs off and back on the TiVo before, so I’m not sure what rainwater is seeing, unless it’s trying to transcode larger files that a 1 hour program recorded at best quality.

  8. No frickin folders? Come on. Tivo is starting to feel like Palm. Come on. The Apple TV is a frickin beta almost and it still allowed you to download videos and podcasts directly from the box in the 2nd rev. These guys just aren’t listening lately…

    I don’t know why I would bother to install this…

  9. @Nate: Yes, you have to transfers non .tivo files bigger than 1gb to see the issue. It has been present since TiVo Desktop 2.2 on Vista afaik. There are several discussions about it on the TiVoCommunity forums.

  10. Am I the only one for whom this doesn’t work? After a lengthy uninstall of the previous version and a reboot, plus a clearing of the cache folder, I installed the new version and rebooted again.

    No matter what I do, I cannot add any RSS feeds. In fact when I select the “Select video to publish” menu choice (or the “Add Video” button on the Video tab), I get an error box that reads “The parameter is incorrect.”

    So that’s just great, I suppose. Another buggy non-upgrade.

  11. I couldn’t determine from the TiVo blurb whether I have to pay the $25 AGAIN. I’ve already paid it for 2.5. Am I covered for 2.6?

  12. Free upgrade, Link.

    FYI I got a key and I’ve got it installed. Messing around with it now. It definitely takes a hit on my CPU when transcoding and transferring – CPU utilization is averaging 30-60% (as high as 90%) and my fan is cranking itself up to compensate.The RSS subscription bit is non-intuitive – install Plus on desktop, but then subscribe to (additional) TiVo-suggested video podcasts on-box? I assume the easier way is to subscribe through iTunes and then monitor that folder through Desktop? Hm. I’ll try to find time to play with it a bit more over the next few days.

  13. Link. I had plus on ver2.5.1. I downloaded the ver2.6 using the “free download” button. The install program asked me to first uninstall the older version. After installing ver2.6, I expected that I would have to re-enter the software upgrade key that TiVo emailed to me when I bought the plus upgrade a while back. But that wasn’t necessary.

    So yes, you’re covered! Seemed to work pretty smoothly.

  14. MegaZone – I do, and it’s all properly activated. It just throws that error *every* time.

    Gonna stick my nose in a few TiVo forums and see if anyone else is getting it…

  15. Dave,

    Didn’t know where else to post this regarding Tivo, but last night I got a message on my Tivo HD telling me that I got a software update and my box now supports progressive playback of downloads. I assume Unbox videos primarily.

    Anybody else get this update yet? Dave Z. is usually the first to know!

  16. JimK: That is strange. You might to an uninstall of TiVo Desktop – then completely delete the directory under Program Files *and* the settings directory under Documents & Settings, to clear out as much as possible.

  17. Doh! I have been living in DT Series 2 land, and just recently updated to Tivo HD, so didn’t know that 9.2 had happened. Sorry to bother everyone. Thanks, Dave. Love the blog! Keep up the good work.

  18. I feel your pain JimK… I have the same exact thing going on. None of the searches I have done on forums has turned up anything that works. I have uninstalled, removed registry keys, removed temp directories, and reinstalled. Still I get parameter incorrect on when clicking on add video.
    I sent feedback to Tivo, that has gone unanswered so far. If you fix yours, please let me know. I will do the same.

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