Virgin Media readies 1TB TiVo set-top for Brits
Integrated broadband for internet TV
Virgin Media today said it is bring TiVo back to Blighty with a 1TB set-top box capable of grabbing HD and 3D content from the cable company.
Virgin and TiVo announced a year ago that they were going to bring the DVR pioneer's technology to the UK.
TiVo itself never set up shop here, though Thomson and BSkyB jointly offered its original box in the UK in 2000. Production ended in 2002 when BSkyB launched its Sky+ box, and sales of the TiVo box were stopped just three years later.
Seven years on, and it's coming back. Virgin said it will offer the TiVo-based box later this year. It will connect to Virgin's fibre-optic network, and will be capable of pulling in internet TV streams on on-demand services directly, without going through your broadband router.
Pricing and availability details will be announced in due course, Virgin said. ®
Hummm, TiVo in relation to Sky+ or V+.
From personal experience (Sky+) the software is terrible - if I rewind and ffwd too rapidly, the box can get confused and literally destroy the time buffer, or, it more frequently pauses the playback in such a way the only way to unpause it is to re-rewind for a second! Furthermore the box does need the odd power cycling now and again.
Sky push out updates every so often that screws around with the setup, and I see all sorts of varying symptoms too month in month out.
I also know two different people with V+ boxes and they too report various reliability issues, and the V+ menus and EPGs don't really look all that polished and neat.
So in my opinion, given Virgin (and Sky) are apparently incapable of fixing the issues with their kit, I very much welcome the TiVo return provided they don't charge a premium. And although I can't see it happening, Sky should also consider the same move.
TiVo is a much much more mature system given its popularity in the US for ages, and although I have no personal experience with TiVo gear, even if it reliably handles straight forward FFWD and rewind, and at speeds higher than 30x (which isn't 30x in actuality) then I'm sold already!
Plus, 1TB, fantastiche!
- better interface?
As long as it run's a new UI rather than the bodged implementation that Virgin use, sign me up.
What genius implemented an update mechanism that updates regardless of whether you're recording / watching?
is this not just a higher capacity V+ box?
Nope, it's much more than just a V+ box with a bigger drive, it has a complete new user interface. Different to the normal TiVo interface, custom made for Virgin Media and it integrates all of the nice TiVo features. Widgets that bring online content onto the screen, season recording, search on demand and the TV guide by title, actor etc.
The VM box is based on the TiVo Premiere, have a read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tivo
My original TiVo gave up earlier this year. It was one of the best bits of tech I ever bought. It's interface and general usage was still so much better than the V+ and Sky+ boxes that I was prepared to live with just being able to record the channel the Sky box was on for all these years.
I will be first in the queue for a new TiVo. :)