TiVo users can set one-off or regular recordings remotely using Virgin Media’s on-line TV guide. It works like Sky’s Remote Record, except there’s no dedicated mobile app (that’s promised soon).
You can set recordings on-line, confirmed on the box by an alert message
The box has dormant USB and Ethernet connections, so there are various future options. The most imminent are probably media streaming from a DLNA server and playing recordings to a second-room receiver – but only if it’s Virgin’s Cisco-made V-HD zapper box.
An obvious downside is that this new UK TiVo is exclusive to Virgin and if you’re not in a cabled area, there’s little you can do except relocate or wait for the fibre-optic network to expand, which it might one day.
It’s open to question whether TiVo can now truly offer something that you can’t do with careful use of webtools such as Locate TV or Sky’s Never Miss. Its suggested recordings can be interesting but you might find they range from the irrelevant – particularly in the early days – to the obvious (I set Doctor Who to record and got ITV’s Primeval too). And if you have an eclectic taste or a large household, you could get all manner of things.
When it first appeared, TiVo was well ahead of its time. UK viewers can now have a TiVo suited for video-on-demand and HD, in addition to its many other assets, but there are rough edges that need sorting, such as the fragmented TV catch-up situation and the over zealous PIN protection that, at the time of writing, can’t be deactivated.
When will these companies realise that they are now just another utility?
About the same time you realise that someone who thinks "I'd go get a small-ish, quite PC (something like a Fit-PC2, but maybe with more oomph) drop XBMC/Myth on it and stream from a common source " isn't the target demographic for this device?
This is for ordinary people, they don't want to do what you describe, they want someone to come round, install the magic box for them, then leave so they can watch tv...
... but not a patch on a custom MythTV build.
A custom build will definitely cost more - at least £300 for a reasonable rig.
It'll also more than likely take you an entire weekend to get up and running, assuming you've got the chops.
Built myself a MythTV box 18 months ago and it's still going strong - hooked up to Telly via HDMI.
I'm running Boxee and XBMC on it too, so it covers all the bases.
Copy stuff across the network, schedule TV recordings (remotely too), watch from any computer in the house (with mythtv frontend), or share folders via Samba and watch recordings on any device (android mobile for instance) - plus it's yours to hack away on and install whatever else your heart desires. I use mine as an SVN repository and home Apache dev server too.
Highly recommend this route if your geeky enough to be able to do so - and this being The Register, I'm sure most of the readers here are.
The fact that your not in any way locked down by the hardware or vendor, that you can add more storage space, more ram, run anything you want on the box - is awesome.
Never looked back.
"Fifty-seven channels and nothin' on". Sums up their offer