February 04, 2008

My TiVo and My Mac, Finally on Speaking Terms

With two Tivos in the house and a pair of Mac laptops being on almost 24 by 7, you'd think we'd be earlier to the game as far as getting the devices to talk to one another was concerned. But, despite my occasional protestations, we've sometimes taken the slow adopter route, and not forced ourselves to be exactly cutting edge. That's why, more than a year after Roxio first announced Toast Titanium 8, with full Tivo2Go support for Mac OS X, I'm only now enjoying the benefits of taking my TiVo'd shows anywhere I like.

I couldn't ask for the process to be much more simple than Roxio has devised. Their Toast Titanium suite comes with multiple applications, focused on CD burning, and a TiVo Transfer application. After entering in my TiVo's DVR ID, and connecting the TiVo to our wireless network with a simple USB adapter, Roxio scanned the TiVo's disk and showed me the TiVo's contents, including show name, description, duration and how much space it would take up on my hard drive to download it.

The TiVo Transfer Interface (Click to Enlarge)

To grab a show, all I have to do is click it, and hit "Start Transfer". I can even choose "Create Auto Transfer" for a specific show, so that every time my Mac is connected to the network, it'll download it directly to my hard drive. Now, if my wife is monopolizing the TV, or if the house needs to be quiet for whatever reason, I can take the show directly to my Mac, plug in my headphones, and watch on my laptop instead, with quality no worse than on my set.

Downloading from TiVo Transfer (Click to Enlarge)

TiVo changed the game on television networks by shifting when we watched shows, or how we consumed advertising. The option to take the shows with me on my laptop changes the location where I watch my entertainment. While the downloaded TiVo content isn't set up to play on my iPod Touch, or at least without file conversions I haven't tried yet, I appreciate having this new, fun, feature. Now, I intend to slink off and catch up on a few Daily Shows with Jon Stewart.