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December 13, 2004

More advice for Tivo

Maury Wright from EDN.com has some advice for Tivo. The mentions two things I've also found needed. The first is to have a standalone Tivo with dual recording capability, something long overdue. The second, which hopefully Tivo will soon addreses, is the ability to open the system to allow storage and transmission of recordings to any PC on a home network.

TivoToGo will hopefully help with accessibility, especially if a user can move recordings off of the Tivo, back them up on a centralized server, and then have access to them from any Tivo or PC in the house. The encryption will always be annoying, preventing one from switching to higher compressed formats like XVID, but at least it's a big advantage over the current state.

I'm actually surprised that Tivo hasn't created a standalone unit with two tuners, given how obviously needed it is. Within two days of installing our original Tivo, my wife was complaining that she couldn't watch live television and record another show at the same time. The feature can't be that hard to implement, given the dual tuner DirecTV model, and it certainly would be worth the extra price at retail.

While we are on the subject, another headscratcher to me is the lack of support for external USB drives. It seems like another obvious upgrade and revenue source for Tivo, particularly if they keyed it so that you couldn't just buy any external enclosure down at CompUSA. For people like the my wife and I, which got our toes wet by buying the cheapest 40hr unit we could find, the first thing I ended up doing was replacing the drive. If I didn't own a torx wrench or have a penchant for living life with voided warranties, I would have gladly upgraded my system with a USB external drive.

Posted on December 13, 2004

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