It's nearly here. Virgin Media are now taking pre-orders for their "next-generation entertainment platform": a personal video recorder that's been built in partnership with US industry leader TiVo. The Virgin TiVo is expected to start rolling out in a few weeks, just in time for Christmas. So what can you expect from this brand new device? See below:
- x3 TV Tuners (meaning you can record two programmes, while watching another*)
- 4,600 hours of streamable TV/music/movies (less if you're on a lower package than XL)
- Inbuilt TV catch-up services (BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD, Five Demand, Virgin Player, etc)
- 1TB of storage capacity (approx 500 hours of playback space)
- Web-based apps (eBay, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter)
- Built-in modem (enabling access to a dedicated 10Mbps line, to avoid using the bandwidth of your existing internet connection.)
- 3D (the box can broadcast 3D transmissions to 3D-enabled TVs)
You will also be able to create "wishlists" of shows you want the TiVo to record, months before they're actually being broadcast. Also, the familiar catch-up functionality will be improved, with users able to browse 7 days into the past using the inbuilt TV guide. A companion app for the Apple iPad will also be released in 2011, turning iPads into a high-tech remote control.
The TiVos will cost consumers £199 + £40 installation, then £26 pcm for the XL package (160 channels). It's currently unknown if there will be other deals available (for brand new customers, or existing XL subscribers), or if this is a flat price.
For more information, check out Virgin's official TiVo site.
* At launch, there will only be 2 tuners, with the standard 3 becoming available in early 2011.