TivoToGo, VCR NoGo

Well, well, well. I woke to the long-awaited TiVo system update this morning so, naturally, I’ve been playing with the video extraction to PC all day. The interface, as you’d expect, is fairly elegant and pulling files down is simple, though painfully slow. When, oh when, will you not throttle all networking through a dinky USB 1.1 adaptor, TiVo? To my surprise, it is even fairly easy to circumvent the DRM so the video files will play anywhere and can be burnt to DVD without buying the special Sonic software. Best of all is that the TiVo box now includes a webserver (like my trusty Audiotron) which allows you to check your Now Playing queue and download video from any web browser. There’s even an XML version. This is all ripe for hacking; I can’t wait to see what projects sprout from this (undocumented!) feature. (I maintain that TiVo’s product launch was completely premature, though!)

The irony? In a project completely unrelated to TiVoToGo I spent way longer than I should have trying to dump a 7 minute DVD video to VHS for my grandmother. I couldn’t do it. The rewiring necessary to perform this seemingly simple operation was too daunting. It is like I have pushed off one end of the video technology spectrum with TiVo and can no longer get back to the other end. Ah, progress. Sorry, grandma.