Free TiVo Desktop Discontinued


TiVo will be retiring the free version of their TiVo Desktop PC software next month. And I can’t say it’s a bad idea, given years of neglect… and CCI Byte unpleasantries. While imagery alluding to a replacement TiVo Desktop or, perhaps, web portal streaming surfaced earlier this year, nothing has yet materialized. Until it does, TiVo Desktop Plus will live on – with it, the only official path to Windows 8 support. Pricing has dropped from $25 to $16 and, as a refresher, the fees were initially instituted to cover codec licensing required for TiVoToGo video transcoding and playback. However, we continue to recommend the free, open source, cross-platform, kmttg to offload recordings from your DVR for archiving or mobile. Alternately, the TiVo Stream ($130) is still pretty killer (if you happen to be an iOS household). Should you prefer to possess a copy of TiVo Desktop before they pull the plug “forever,” grab it here prior to June 5th.

(Thanks brennok, Barrett, and Rajiv!)

14 thoughts on “Free TiVo Desktop Discontinued”

  1. I doubt it will happen, but hopefully we will see a new version eventually. It is disappointing but not surprising. I wonder how often it even gets downloaded these days especially since they haven’t done anything to it in years except for the occasional bug fix.

    I guess since it isn’t functionality the MSOs want they don’t have any incentive to do improve it.

  2. I’ve tried to learn KMTTG,but I wasn’t able to figure out how to use the software. I purchase Tivo To Go but it downrezzes everything to where it looks terrible.

  3. Didn’t KMTTG stop working after the whole expired cookie thing? I haven’t been able to download anything on my TiVo since then.

  4. Ensaburnur, I think TiVo was trying to be real careful to not piss off the content owners early on, hence those lower resolution trancodes.

    Anthony, kmtgg was quickly updated to overcome the timebomb when that all went down. You probably need to download the updated software.

  5. “Anthony, kmtgg was quickly updated to overcome the timebomb when that all went down.”

    Quickly? IIRC, it took them a number of hours. Sheesh. I expect better customer service for my community-sourced free downloads.

  6. Also:

    1) Given recent experience with TiVo Desktop, won’t you be able to keep downloading it after June 5th if you set back the clock on your Windows PC?

    2) Given that TiVo Desktop is dependent on Google Reader for basic functionality, wasn’t this inevitable?

  7. I’m all for a paid updated version (live tuner hijacking?) but I don’t want to see this go away and not to return… However the emphasis on FREE to me tells that I am correct and a new paid version is coming soon… Maybe even as a subscription based model.

  8. Look, if they’re not going to maintain it anyway, the existing program code will probably be downloadable from SOMEWHERE on the internet going forward regardless of whether TiVo continues to offer it or not anyway. The only advantage to the TiVo version would be updates but hey, there generally aren’t any…

  9. What software to people use to stream music, mpg (and photos) back to Tivo. I’ve been using kmttg for quite some time but I still stream music from my computer to my Tivo since its hooked up to my AV receiver, etc via Tivo Desktop (as frustrating as it sometimes is with multiple NICs). I’d love to find something cross-platform but different Windows and OS-X servers would also be okay.

  10. The problem is that TiVo Desktop isn’t just a program to transfer TiVo files off your TiVo, it installs the DirectShow filter that allows actually playing them. A number of 3rd party programs, such as VideoRedo, use that filter, so installing TiVo Desktop is pretty much a requirement, even with 3rd party programs, unless you simply want to archive TiVo files.

    The only other program capable of decrypting TiVo files is TivoDecode, but it isn’t robust enough to handle MPEG-TS streams correctly. Kmttg uses TiVoDecode, which is why kmttg does MPEG-PS transfers. The result is that transfers are much quicker with TiVo Desktop than kmttg.

  11. Huh… just realized there are some limitations with the TiVo Mini here. On the TiVo Mini I don’t see my TiVo Desktop computer on the Now Playing screen at all, a TiVo HD that the Elite could transfer from is X’ed out and while pyTivo shows up, its got an ! icon next to it and you get a “Can’t Watch Show” error when you click on it.

    I wonder why this is? I mean I can initiate the transfers from the Elite of course, in my case via a different SlingBox, but that’s a pain. Huh.

    Not enough of a problem to change my opinion of the Mini really but kind of stupid.

  12. A TiVo Mini is a streaming device, there is no disk to d/l a recording to. The Series 4 TiVos (Premiere) are the only ones that support streaming.

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