The new TiVoToGo service, announced on Monday, allows subscribers to transfer programs to laptops, so long as relevant copyright protections are in place. TiVo claims that consumers don't want to be tied to a specific place to watch their recorded media, and with TiVoToGo subscribers can take their favourite shows with them wherever they like. However, there are some restrictions.

But subscribers won't be able to watch just any program on their laptops. TiVo has designed the to-go service to shun content that uses Macrovision copy protection technology, including pay-per-view and video-on-demand programming and commercial DVDs.

To transfer television programs onto a laptop, a subscriber must install the no-cost TiVo Desktop software on the portable computer. The system encrypts the program during the transfer, so subscribers must use a password to decrypt and play back the show.