Why Your TiVO Should Be Connected to the Internet

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If we learned one thing from this year's Consumer Electronics Show it's that connected devices are quickly taking center stage in 2011. This isn't surprising as CE manufacturers are seeing a big shift in where people view content.

While HDTV manufacturers would love to see you run out to buy the latest internet connected TV from this year's show, you don't need a new TV to enjoy this new content format. If you own a newer model TiVo, the services are there waiting for you. Not only do you get your standard live TV and DVR functionality, but you also have access to literally thousands of Movies, TV shows and even music all using your TiVo Remote.

As you read the following pages to learn about the services you can access, keep in mind that you'll need to have your TiVo device connected to a broadband internet connection to enjoy them. This can be done either using a wired or wireless connection.

Once you're connected to your home network, continue reading to learn where to find the online content you want to view! Note that with each service listed you will find a link which will take you to TiVo's website. Here you can learn how to access each service and which TiVo devices allow you to do so.

When it comes to video content, the DVR feature of TiVo is only half the story. With a strong internet connection you have access to multiple services that offer thousands and thousands of viewing choices. One of the best aspects of the choice you have is that you can choose a monthly subscription service such as Netflix or a pay-per-view structure such as Blockbuster or Amazon Video-on-Demand.

  • Blockbuster: Known best for its video rental stores, Blockbuster has continued to move towards online distribution to compete with companies such as Netflix. They feature a robust catalog of current and back titles which you can rent on-demand. While that saves a monthly service charge, you will pay for each movie you watch. Rates are comparable to what you would pay in the store without having to leave home! More Information
  • Amazon Video-on-Demand: With a catalog of over 75,000 movies and TV shows, you can always be up to date with Amazon VoD. Amazon allows you to rent or buy your movies and TV shows. As well, you can subscribe to TV show seasons. These will become available as they are aired on TV. If you're already paying for digital cable, this might not be a service you'll need, however it's a great value add for those times when you forget to program a show to record. More Information
  • Netflix: Of all the services available through newer generation TiVos, Netflix is probably the most well known. While subscriptions for streaming start at $7.99 per month, those eight dollars get you a lot of content. While Netflix doesn't offer the latest movies or TV shows for streaming, it is unlimited and they have a great catalog of both classic and newer movies as well as year old TV shows. More Information
  • Music Choice: While it's not a movie or TV show service, if you enjoy music video, you may spend a lot of time using Music Choice. The online service provides access to thousands of music videos which you can search through by artist or song. You can also browse through the latest music. Once you've found content you're interested in, Tivo allows you to download it directly to your Now Playing list. More Information

If you're a music fan, there's no shortage of tunes to keep you entertained with a TiVo. Just because it's a video content DVR doesn't mean they haven't thought of ways to extend the value and make sure that you don't feel the need to switch inputs on your TV or A/V Receiver. Here are some of the bigger music offerings:

  • Music Choice: Although mentioned under "Video Services", Music Choice deserves a mention under music since that is the main focus. Search for and view your favorite music videos right from your couch. More Information
  • Pandora: Pandora Internet Radio is one of the more popular services on the internet and for good reason. You can create customized radio stations that will play your favorite artists as well as similar music non-stop. The service uses what is call the "Music Genome Project" to accomplish this. As a long time user I can say that it works. I've discovered more than one new band due to the artists I selected for a particular station. If you don't mind the occasional advertisement, Pandora is completely free. For a small monthly fee, you get some extra features and the ads will be removed from your music stream. More Information
  • Rhapsody: Another subscription service, Rhapsody provides unlimited access to over 10 million songs for $10 a month. Something to note; with a maintained subscription, not only can you listen to unlimited music on your TiVo but you can also use the Rhapsody app on your smartphone and stream or even download as much music as you want. More Information
  • Live365: If you're a radio fan, you'll love Live365. From classic radio genres to talk, you can find the internet radio station that's just right for your mood. While the service is free, much like Pandora, you can pay a subscription fee and remove advertising as well as get a higher quality stream. As with Rhapsody, the company also provides mobile apps for several smartphone platforms. More Information
  • Your Own Collection: The music in your own collection is probably your favorite, That's why you bought it. That said, TiVo allows you to stream music from PCs in your home directly through your home theater setup. More Information

Not everything fits directly into audio and video. As such, here's a list of some of the other services you can access using your TiVo. Again, each listing has a link where you can go to learn more about the service.

  • One True Media: If you like sharing your home movies and know relatives or friends who also own TiVos, you can now privately share this content with them without mailing a DVD or sending them to Youtube! More Information
  • Fandango: If you've been watching too many movies at home and need a night out, you can use Fandango to not only find out what's playing at your local Cineplex but also purchase tickets using just your TiVo remote. More Information
  • Pictures: Just like music, you can pull pictures from the PCs in your home to display on your TV. As well, TiVo allows you to access Photobucket and Picasa Web Albums if you use those services.
  • YouTube: Access YouTube and search by keyword, user or category for all the latest web memes.
  • Podcasts: If you enjoy podcasts on your portable device, TiVo gives you away to listen to them at home using several different services or even by URL. More Information​

As always, be sure and check the TiVo website to ensure that your model of TiVo can access this content before trying to use it. As well, you'll be required to have your TiVo connected to a broadband internet connection so be sure you've completed that step before trying to connect to online content.

As you can see, TiVo has gone to great lengths to ensure that you not only have access to linear and recorded TV but a lot of other media options as well. This article only lists the more well known or larger services. There are others you may enjoy as well and I encourage you to take the time to try some of these services. You may find something you didn't know was there that will provide hours of entertainment!