Virgin unwraps three-tuner über set-top
Tivo box out this month, revamped early next
Virgin Media's much-anticipated Tivo box will begin shipping "mid-December", the cableco said today, despite the fact that its own website has the arrival date down as "early 2011".
Eh? The box out in the middle of this month will contain three tuners, but one of them won't work until Virgin releases a software update, which it's promising to do early next year.
How soon before we have a five-tuner box that shaves even closer, we wonder?
Thankfully, the Virgin Tivo's 1TB of storage, HD and 3D capability, and DVR functionality isn't overpriced. The box is just £199, though there's a £40 installation cost on top of that - the box has its own 10Mb/s cable modem built-in - and you'll have to cough up £32.50 a month for Virgin's XL Tivo package, though you can get £6 off each month if you take out a Virgin phone line too.
Virgin is pitching the unit is an über set-top: quite apart from delivering 160 channels of SD, HD and 3D content, plus acres of online content, it will track what shows you're watching and recording then make suggestions for you.
We eagerly await the update which will allow the box to watch all this broadcast tosh so they don't have to. At which point it will undoubtedly become self-aware, judge humanity to be redundant and trigger global thermonuclear armageddon, etc, etc.
Or maybe not, since the box's UI is based on Adobe Flash.
The service launches with feeds from major brands, including BBC iPlayer, YouTube, eBay, Twitter and Facebook. More will be added in the coming months, Virgin said. ®
Glad to see
There is a hard power switch on the back.
It can be a complete bitch trying to unplug and replug the power cable to reset the old PACE boxes by touch when it's surrounded by PVR, DVD, amp etc.
But will it light up brighter than a Christmas tree even when in standby. My v+ box has more bright lights on it when in standby than not, all the way around the play/ff buttons on the front of it. I resorted to putting black tape around the buttons just so I can watch a DVD without getting sun spots in the edges of my eyeball.
Talking of lights, why has consumer tech decided to put bright leds on everything, why do I need a flashing bright blue led on my router just to tell me the wifi is on? again, black tape on that too else the poor dog would think he was in a disco all night.
Buy or rent?
It's been a while since I had cable, but one of the benifits I remember was that you were loaned a box as part of the subscription. Pretty sensible as it was no use without.
So this box is £199 + install and subscription... and it's mine so I keep the box if or when I cancel? Yet it's only of use with Virgin so I would need to sell it/give it way.... hummm...
Decisions... A free box from Sky which at least can be used for free channels without a sub if I cancel or run low on cash, or £199 box from Virgin which becomes a paperweight..... I hope Virgin have a LOT more HD channels than Sky for the money.
"....the box's UI is based on Adobe Flash."
The competition to build the world's first fiber backboned botnet starts now.....
Nice, but no thanks, so far.
Not sure I'd pay ~ £460 a year (box purchase cost spread over 3 years) but maybe I could be convinced if there's something which makes it a 'must have'.
Unfortunately it's hard to see what that would be over what I've already got; which is Virgin M basic TV (includes iPlayer), Sky FTV, plus Freeview, all tied up by an analogue PVR+DVD. Not perfect but as free as it can be, and there's so little worth watching that one tuner sometimes feels like overkill and three just pointless. Even if what is good is not on iPlayer & friends there's a good chance it's on +1, repeated three hours later, on four times in a week, and will be on another channel in a few week's time.
It would be nice to 'integrate everything', go digital HD all round, but not at that cost.
Maybe I'm not their target market, missing the 'couch potato gene' and not having money to burn ;-)