YouTV: TiVo to Support Video Podcasts

TiVo to Support Video Podcasts
Looks like I got back into making videos just in time: TiVo users will soon be able to watch video podcasts as easily as they can watch “regular” television. The announcement was made this week at CES, and will only require a free software update for current customers.

We love our TiVo. So ingrained is this magic box in our family that our kids are regularly flummoxed and dismayed whenever they encounter a television on which they can’t pick shows at whim. But managing what comes from our cable company is only part of the magic. With Amazon Unbox on TiVo (alongside our Apple TV and the new Vudu box), we’re happily able to bypass cable TV completely and get stuff over the Internet.

With the ongoing WGA writers’ strike, and the resulting dearth of new or quality content on the boob tube, the Internet channel is even more inviting.

TiVo did add audio podcasting support some time ago, but I doubt that being able to “listen to your TV” was a very thrilling prospect for the average person. And while TiVo already carries several Internet-born TiVo Cast programs (like RocketBoom and DL.TV), this update will essentially open the door to everyone. If you’ve got a videoblog, you’ll be able to reach directly into millions of American living rooms.

Getting a video podcast on your TiVo was already achievable via a simple hack. But TiVo’s CES announcement will definitely push independent video content even further into the mainstream.

Engadget got their hands on the demo box and posted some photos of the video podcast features in action. You can browse “select podcasts” from your couch, or just point the updated TiVo Desktop software to wherever you stash your videos on your hard drive. The TiVo Desktop software handles the video conversion, taking most any common online video format and turning it into something your TiVo can play.

My only gripe? This new TiVo Desktop feature — like the aforementioned hack — requires a computer running Windows. Macs can run Windows, true, but only reluctantly. I’ll most likely revive one of my old Dell towers and turn it into a dedicated TiVo serving slave.

TiVo Desktop 2.6 is due out in March. If you’ve got a TiVo, be sure to subscribe to HawaiiVog… now in HD!

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