TiVo is about to release a new feature that allows users to download any recorded program (expect pay-per-view and on-demand television) to a video iPod or PSP device. According to a WSJ report, this advancement is an expansion of a current TiVo feature since they have been able to offer similar services via Microsoft’s Portable Media Center technology called TiVoToGo. TiVo also plans to modify the feature so it would work with Sony PlayStation portable mobile game device or PSP. Of course this move has some of the television networks a little frazzled since they had plans to sell their hit shows for $.99 to $1.99 per download while the TiVo enhancement would enable free downloads of these shows by recording them via TiVo.
I think this an awesome move my TiVo since my biggest hesitation with purchasing a video iPod was that I would then have to pay to watch regular programming and at $.99 or $1.99 a download it could really add up. TiVo has totally eliminated that concern from my mind. I would just need to pay TiVo the nominal $15 to $30 setup fee to be able to download my favorite programs to a portable device. It will be enjoyable to see how this all plays out. TiVo's move will most definitely cut into the television networks plans to capitalize on download-able TV programs like "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost".
Can both free TiVo downloads and on-demand pay offerings co-exist? Yes, of course they can, and they do today on television. There is still a market for selling hit shows that people have not been able to TiVo similar to the way TV series have been releasing DVD collections of an entire season of a specific program as well as offering on-demand movies and television shows.