If you've got an HDD TV recorder hooked up to your TV, it's more likely than not that you've recorded dozens and dozens of shows but haven't had time to watch them. They're just sitting there, eating up space, yet they're too valuable to delete.
One of the reasons you don't get around to watching these TV shows is that you have to be in front of the TV connected to the recorder in order to watch them.
Or at least you had to. Now, there's a nifty little app called Twonky Beam that will let you copy shows you've recorded on your DVR to the handheld device of your choosing (iOS version here).
Twonky Beam lets you watch the shows you have stored on your recorder over your wifi network. But with a recent update, Twonky Beam actually lets you move recorded shows from supported TV recorders to your device (with some restrictions).
This means you're no longer restricted to watching TV shows at home; you can pop a couple episodes into your phone and watch them on your morning commute or whenever you have a couple minutes of downtime to kill. Now you've got time to go back and check out all those shows you've been putting off watching.
In order to use Twonky's copy feature, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Your recorder is connected to your wireless network
- Your recorder supports DTCP-IP media
- Your smartphone is Android 4.0 or higher
In the past, some companies would let you copy files if both sides were from the same company (e.g., a Sharp TV recorder and a Sharp smartphone), but now Twonky Beam lets you do this regardless of who made your recorder or phone, as long as the above requirements are met.
Tap the button in the top right, choose your recorder and search for the TV show, then tap the Download button
I tested Twonky with Sony's relatively new Nasne recording system. Tap the icon in the upper right, choose Nasne, search around for the video you want, then download it. Easy as pie!
For people using carriers other than Docomo, in order to use the move feature, you have to make a one-time in-app purchase. You lucky Docomo customers, however, get to use this feature for free until 3/31/2014. Also, if you've got a previous version of Twonky Beam, the DTCP-IP function is already turned on, so you get to use it for free too!
Let's test playback:
It works! ...Oh wait, playback stopped and there's an error message. Great.
I tried a bunch of things, but what I ended up finding out is that you have to be continuously connected to wifi in order for playback to work. It seems that just any wifi network is fine, so you can watch movies outside of your house, but if you're moving (like in a train or car), playback is probably not going to work well.
I checked with the developers about this, and they said that you only need a wifi connection when paying for the upgrade, and that you shouldn't need wifi for playback. Maybe there was something wrong on my end of things.
So as I found out, there still may be a couple bugs to iron out, but the future looks bright for DVR hoarders. I hope they fix the wifi problem in the next update.
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Time used: 3 hours
Device used: GALAXY S III LTE SC-06D
Publisher: PacketVideo Corp
Last updated: 2/1/2013
Price: free (turning on the DTCP-IP function costs money)
Compatibility: Android 2.2 or higher (4.0 or higher is necessary for DTCP-IP)
Translation by Jason Morgan