Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Download Directly to your TiVo

Since the mid 90’s “convergence” has been the big buzzword in the industry. Everyone has been searching for the best way to combine all your entertainment options into a single all-in-one device.

Back then, I worked for Microsoft on something called the “Information Highway PC”. This project morphed into a computer I worked on with Gateway called “Destination” before becoming the Windows Media Center.

Gateway Destination
Gateway Destination with 36” monitor

Unfortunately, the project was ahead of its time. Nobody was ready to surf the internet in their living room. Now we all do it with our laptops while watching TV.

So far, the device which meets my needs continues to be TiVo. We're now up to four units all talking to each other on our home WiFi network. TiVo recently announced a partnership which allows you to purchase or rent videos directly from Amazon. Instead of downloading to your computer, the video is downloaded directly to your TiVo so you get to watch it on your TV and not your PC. Everyone allows you to download videos to your computer but finally, this is the kind of convergent technology I’ve been waiting for.

Unbox Video Downloads

Unfortunately, the price for programming is still a little too steep. New movie releases are $13.99 to download and $3.99 to rent for 24 hours. TV Shows are $1.99.
I don't know about you, but I never know what surprises will come in my life. If they would just increase rental time to at least 48 hours I might be a regular customer.

Update: Thanks to a comment for pointing out that the 24 hour time limit doesn't begin until you start to watch the video. This still isn't as good as a 48 hour limit but might make me download more shows.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually you usually get to keep the video your rented for 31 days.

The 24 hour timer starts when you start playing the movie.

2:36 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Fantastic! I totally missed that part of the deal. Thanks for setting me straight.


3:58 PM  

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