The video iPod isn't the first portable device to play video, but it is an iPod and that seems to make all the difference. I think it will be a watershed in portable video--finally making it mainstream. TiVo apparently can't ignore it either: today they announced that they will add support for creating iPod ready video to their TiVoToGo software. The new features will also be able to sync TiVo programs with the iPod. TiVo will also add support for the Sony PSP. To date, TiVo has only supported portable video players that no one actually owned.
The new features won't be free. You'll have to pay TiVo a fee to turn it on to pay for licensing fees, etc. I'd gladly pay a one-time fee if it made the transfer convenient. TiVo will also watermark the video (presumably with the unique Media Access Key associated with your TiVo) to trace programs that leak onto the 'Net. That doesn't bother me either.
DRM represents yet another way to balkanize your experienceWhat does bother me is that in likelihood TiVoToGo won't appear on OS X anytime soon. Earlier versions of TiVo Desktop ran on the Mac, but newer versions do not--presumably some squabble over competing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) schemes. DRM represents yet another way to balkanize your experience and make sure devices you own will never work together.
I heard a little blurb on Morning Edition driving into my office today that had Forrester Research analyst Ted Schadler answering the question: "what will it take to make the PC the center of the entertainment suite in the living room?" He got the answer half right, talking about how the Internet and Internet video might be what finally makes a living room PC compelling. What he missed was that DRM has to be a lot less in-your-face and interoperable. Heck, getting rid of it all together would probably do the track. My advice: don't hold your breath.