Virgin Media is really turning into quite the partner for TiVo. They seem very pleased with their TiVo roll out in the UK, and they continue to rapidly improve their service. They already had some features we don’t have yet in the US, like three tuners (we’re waiting on the Premiere Elite) and a handful of apps (expected to hit the US Premiere at some point), and they keep getting more.
While TiVo has just released a new app for iOS and we’re still waiting for an Android app, the opposite is true in the UK. Virgin Media appears to have launched an Android App for UK Android users that supports their TiVo. I can’t access the link to the Android Market, perhaps because I’m in the US, but it should be here. To quote the Unofficial Virgin Media TiVo Blog:
See what’s on telly when and set recordings with Virgin Media TV powered by TiVo
Lets you know what’s on when. It’s even easier to find what you want to watch faster, too. Just choose your Virgin TV region and package (M, L or XL) and see what’s on the channels you have.
However, if you have a TiVo you may find the app useful because:
You can set your box to record a show whether you’re at home or on the move. Remote Record lets you set up recordings online or through your mobile.
It’s simple – just log in, pick a show and press record. You can record a single episode or save the whole series
But that’s not all. Just in time for the final Harry Potter movie to hit theaters, Virgin Media has added a Harry Potter App to their TiVo. The app really seems similar to one of the Showcases on a US TiVo, and is primarily for marketing. But it is a bit like having DVD bonus content for the theatrical release – trailers, interviews, photos, a Twitter feed, etc. A lot more modern and interactive than the old Showcases, as fits the new platform.
One area where the VM TiVo is lacking in comparison to the US TiVo is in the availability of over-the-top (OTT) services. In the US was have a slew – Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube, Blockbuster, Music Choice, Pandora, Live365, Rhapsody, Last.fm, etc. There aren’t quite as many options in the UK. But they are improving, Virgin Media just made an agreement to bring the popular music service Spotify to the TiVo platform.
And to top it all off, they’ve slashed prices. Previously subscribers of the Virgin Media M+ & L tiers would pay £8/month while XL tier subs paid £3 – now everyone pays £3. And acquisitions costs dropped as well. The old £40 installation fee – gone. The 500GB model is now £49.95. The 1TB model used to be £150 for existing and £199 for new customers, now it is £99.95 for everyone. And the 1TB model used to be available only to XL tier subs – now anyone can get it.
But Virgin Media is going one better. They’re actually refunding £50 to the early adopters of the 1TB model who paid the higher rates. Now that’s customer service!
It seems like things are going pretty well for TiVo in the UK.