HD TiVoToGo Coming in November

More than a year after the first high-definition TiVo made its debut, customers of the original Series3 and new TiVo HD will in November receive access to the DVR's TiVoToGo and Multi-Room Viewing features. The capabilities had been disabled due to concerns about sharing copy-protected HD content.

TiVo had to obtain permission from CableLabs, which licenses the CableCARD technology used by the high-definition TiVos. The delay stemmed from CableLabs not approving TiVo's digital rights management that would protect HD recordings from being pirated. CableLabs recently certified the DTCP encryption standard, which may be what TiVo has chosen to employ.

"These features will provide support for video transfers between Series3 & Series2 systems and between a Series3/Series2 system and a PC. High Definition content will not be supported for transfer or playback on a Series2 system (Series2's just can't play HD), and copy-protected High Def or Standard Def content cannot be transferred (same as our current Series2 products)," detailed TiVo team member "TiVoPony" in the Community Forums.

What's not yet clear is how many high-definition shows are broadcast with the copy protection flag, which would prevent them from being transfered at all. Standard definition programming rarely has the flag enabled, but Series3 and TiVo HD customers may find they are severely limited in transferring HD programming to other TiVos or their PC.

In any case, transferring HD content over the TiVo's 802.11g network may not prove too practical, and TiVo says the boxes are not able to convert HD content into standard definition.

"If it's recorded in HD on a Series3 or TiVoHD, then it can be shared between those platforms, but not with a Series2," added TiVoPony. "And when I say 'can be shared between those platforms', it of course comes with any caveats the copyright owner dictates regarding sharing."

He also clarified the DVR's TiVoToComeBack feature to be added in November as well, which enables sending video to the TiVo for playback. "TiVoToComeBack will initially support HD content originally recorded on a TiVo DVR. It will not support HD content from other sources at this time."

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