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If you’re a TiVo user, you probably can’t live without its ability to record and control TV shows. Roxio Toast 8, includes a TiVoToGo feature—but with a $100 price tag, it doesn’t quite have the same ring as “free,” which is how much TiVoDecode Manager costs.
1. Your TiVo needs to be on your home network. If it’s not, refer to your TiVo manual to get it connected.
If you haven’t done so already, set up an account at www.tivo.com. Once that’s done, log in and click DVR Preferences in the left navigation bar.
Check the box for Allow Transfers. Click Save Preferences, but don’t log out yet.
The MAK is the key to TiVo goodness on your Mac.
Click Overview in the left navigation bar, then click the Media Access Key (MAK) link on the right side of the window. The page that appears will reveal your MAK. Write it down, or select it and press Command-C on your keyboard. Now you can log out.
2. Make sure your Mac is on your network and launch TiVoDecode Manager.
Find your TiVo on your network.
Enter your TiVo’s IP address in the TiVo IP Address box. If you don’t know what it is, let the software find it for you by selecting your TiVo from the pull-down menu and clicking the Update From TiVo button.
Next click the Pref button in the lower-right corner. Fill in the Media Access Key box with the number you recorded in step 1. Click Update From TiVo again.
3. A list of shows on your TiVo will appear in the Now Playing list.
Select the show you want to transfer to your Mac, and click Add Show To Queue. The selected show now appears in the Download Queue list. Click Download Location to select where you want to save it.
Pick a format, any format.
At the bottom of the window, click the Download Format pull-down menu to select a format for your downloaded show. If you pick MPEG-2 (native), you can use MPlayerOSX (free) to watch the video. Your other choices are QuickTime MPEG-4 (iPod), or a custom MPEG-4 format where you can choose your own settings.