If you go to the Virgin Media homepage, you will a red silk sheet seductively caressing.......the new TiVo box which is set to roll out to 'selected' customers for the festive season.
The 1TB box, enough for about 500 hours of recorded programming, has not yet been officially launched by Virgin Media and it has also not commented on the price for the box itself or the installation cost. It is believed that some selected customers will receive the box before the television-fest that is the Christmas period. Who these select customers are, we’re not sure but we know a lot of people out there will be looking forward to getting to grips with TiVo.
While the television watching public in the States has had TiVo for quite some time now, we here on this side of the pond have had to look on enviously. The move to bring TiVo was first mooted almost one year ago when TiVo announced a partnership with Virgin Media. With the way we watch TV programmes continually changing, this is one more option for people to consider.
What makes TiVo so much more special than, say Sky Plus HD? Well, it is a far more sophisticated way of recording programmes. It will actually record the programmes for you, based on what it knows about your watching habits and TiVo will, over time, learn what it should and shouldn’t record. You can also rate the recommendations it makes to further teach its programme-selecting brain.
This of course could lead to embarrassing moments when your mates call round and they see dozens of episodes of The Hills recorded on your TiVo player – though you can always claim it was the box that did it. The box will be able to stream HD and 3D movies over the internet via its inbuilt modem - claiming that streaming of HD movies won't affect your broadband speed. The company announced recently that it would be rolling out a 100Mbs broadband service in December and allied with the TiVo service could realistically see 3D movies being streamed direct to your TV.
The TiVo-powered Virgin TV service will launch before the end of 2010 but will be more widely available in early 2011 – unless of course you are on of their 'selected' list.