How to Move TiVo Recordings to Your PC

The main screen of TiVo Desktop. This is where your programming will be listed.
Adam Thursby

If you’re a TiVo owner who frequently has to travel, you’re in luck. You can take those recorded TV shows with you. The company has provided a software called TiVo Desktop, which makes this transfer possible. It’s easy to use and, in no time, you can be sure that you don’t miss programming while you’re gone. You’ll want to make sure you have the TiVo Desktop software installed and working before moving further into this article. 

Also, in order to make use of the transfer features of your TiVo Device, you’ll need to have your TiVo connected to your home network. You have two options for doing this: wired and wireless.

Getting Started

Once your software is installed and you’ve made the network connection, it’s time to start moving shows. TiVo has made this process as simple as possible so let’s walk through the steps.

To start, simply launch the TiVo Desktop software on your PC. You should see a button labeled Pick Recordings to Transfer. Here you’ll see one of two lists; one that shows Now Playing (shows already transferred to your PC) and a My Shows list that shows recorded programming on your TiVo. If you have multiple TiVos on your network, there will be a drop-down menu where you can select the device you want to transfer shows from. Simply select the TiVo you wish to view and those shows will appear on the list.

At this point, you can highlight each show to get more information on a particular episode. The software will provide you with the same metadata that appears on the actual TiVo. This can be nice for selecting a particular episode to transfer.

Starting the Transfer

You can select multiple shows for transfer to the PC. Simply click the checkbox next to each show you wish to move. Once you have selected all of the shows you want to transfer to the PC click Start Transfer. The TiVo Desktop software will now start moving the selected programming to your PC. As well, if a show is part of a series, there will be an Auto-transfer this series button available. If this is selected, your TiVo will automatically transfer each episode of a series once it finishes recording.

At any time during the transfer, you can click Transfer Status at the top of the application to get information on the progress of your transfer including the time remaining. Since we’re dealing with networking as well as other issues, actual transfer times can vary. TiVo states that it could take as long as the actual show you’re moving but, hopefully, for most people, it will be much quicker.

To watch the shows, simply click the Play button next to a listed recording and your default media player will open and begin playback.

One thing you may notice is that certain shows in your recording list are not available for transfer. This has nothing to do with TiVo and is actually controlled by your service provider. This is due to copy protection being enabled on the channel that the show is broadcast from.