How It works is first you have to purchase TiVo Desktop Plus from TiVo via this site https://www.tivo.com/shop/detail/desktop-plus Then the send you the product key and the download link via email. Then you download and enter your media access number from your TiVo box, then you enter your product key and login to your TiVo account. Then you download the software patch from the same site https://www.tivo.com/shop/detail/desktop-plus Then you can transfer your non copy protected recorded programs. It goes to a folder called My Tivo Recordings. From there you just right click and copy and past in your external hard drive location which mine is Local Disk (F:) and you have your copy there permanently until you manual delete or reformat the hard drive. It plays via Windows Media Player in the same format that you recorded it in so the show I recorded was in 1080i so it plays in 1080i via your computer and my monitor is setup up for DVI. The quality looks really good!