How-To Watch Any Video Podcast On Your Tivo

Through the use of third-party applications people have been streaming content to their Tivo’s so they could watch the content on their TV’s.  Now Tivo has the ability to play any video podcast on the internet without the need of running a single thing on another machine.  Although this feature has been out for some time there isn’t much talk on it around the Internet.  So I’m going to show you how to use it and what I like and dislike about video podcasts on the Tivo.

Watching and Subscribing to Built-In Podcasts
Tivo has a lot of popular video podcasts already built into the system for you to access. Just follow these steps:

Tivo Central Main Menu
  • Enter the Tivo Central main menu.
  • Click on ‘Video on Demand’.
Tivo Video On Demand
  • Go to ‘Free VOD and Web Videos’ once in the Video On Demand screen.
  • There are a number of podcasts already in Tivo for you to watch and subscribe to.  Select ‘All’ to see the full list or select a category.
Tivo Browse Videos Screen
  • Here I am browsing the list of available built-in podcasts and found one of my favorites, Tekzilla.
Tivo Podcast Selection Screen
  • Clicking on a podcast will bring up an information screen giving you the option of downloading the current episode and subscribing to the podcast.
Tivo Podcasts Past Programs
  • You can also access a podcast’s past programs from the information screen.  Here you can see all of the previous episodes in the Tekzilla podcast.  Clicking on a past episode will give you option of watching now or downloading to watch later.
Tivo Now Playing List
  • Any time you download an episode or one is downloaded automatically via a season pass it can be found in the Now Playing List like a regular TV show.

Custom Podcasts via RSS Feeds
If you looked through Tivo’s built-in podcasts you saw a pretty extensive list, which is always being updated.  But if you didn’t see the podcast you want you can still watch it on your Tivo.  With RSS Feeds you have the ability of adding any podcast to watch and download episodes.

Tivo Custom RSS Feeds
  • If you scroll to the very bottom of the podcast categories screen you will find the Custom RSS Feeds option.
Tivo Add New RSS Feed
  • In the Custom RSS Feeds screen you will have the option to add a new RSS feed.
  • After adding feeds they will be stored in this screen for future use, you will only have to add each feed once.
Tivo Entering RSS Feed
  • You will enter the RSS feed URL for the podcast you would like to add.  Typing out the URL can be very tedious with the Tivo remote.  One of the many phone apps with a qwerty keyboard can make the job much easier.
Tivo Custom Podcast
  • Once the feed has been added you will have the same podcast information screen as you did with the built-in feeds.  The only difference is that you can’t subscribe to a season pass on a custom RSS podcast.  You can however download past and present episodes or watch them immediately.

Podcasts On Tivo:  Pros

  • Everything is done entirely on the Tivo.  In the past most people had one program to subscribe to podcasts and then another to stream the videos to the Tivo.  No computer is needed at all with this.
  • Tivo’s library of built-in podcasts is fairly large.  For example, every Revision3 show is available.
  • With the custom RSS feeds feature you can watch virtually any podcast that exists on the Tivo.
  • Podcast integration in the Now Playing List makes accessing your content a breeze.
  • Did I mention that high quality podcasts look beautiful on my TV played by Tivo?

Podcasts On Tivo:  Cons

  • Entering RSS feed URL’s in the Tivo interface can be tedious.  Luckily you only have to enter it once and then it’s saved for future use.
  • The big one is that you can’t get a season pass for custom RSS feed podcasts.
  • This feature is only for Tivo Series 3 and HD versions.

That’s how you can watch video podcasts on your Tivo.  Personally, I started using this feature recently and I’m really excited about it.  I’m already using Tivo anyways, why not leverage it for podcasts and free up some computer resources at the same time.  I’ll be getting a lot of use out of this feature for a long time, or until I get that Boxee Box I’m dying to get my hands on.

2 Responses to “How-To Watch Any Video Podcast On Your Tivo”


  • It’s WAY easier to enter custom RSS feed URL’s on the TiVo website. Under the TV Shows tab, you’ll find Web Videos. Scroll to the bottom of the page. Click on Sign In there in the Custom RSS instruction box and once you do, it will take you back there where you will find a box, now, to paste your URL’s in to.

    Also… often the built in feeds that TiVo provides are way way way behind in updates. CNet and Geekbrief are two that suffer this. When that happens, I just go to their website and pick another version (like a low res version) and add it to my custom URLs. Then I can use it until TiVo catches up.

  • my TIVO series 3 HD just discontinued this service and the new PREMIER ROAMIOS also lack the services now , any hint or news when it will be back

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