Recently Virgin Media have published that they are  re-launching a TIVO PVR service to their customers in Great Britain.

TIVO & Virgin Media LogoCredit: TIVO & Virgin MediaCredit: TIVO & Virgin Media

TIVO is a popular and sophisticated PVR (Personal video recorder) which provides the facility to record several TV stations consecutively in addition to traditional Time Shift functionality, but it’s the high quality of the TIVO’s software which distinguishes  it’s self apart from the other available PVR’s. TIVO’s are simple to operate and in addition to you manual setting recordings TIVO will learn what category of TV programs you enjoy through thumbs up and thumbs down buttons on the remote control, and if the box has the capacity it will automatically select programs that it thinks you will like and record them.

Virgin Media are going to integrate their existing popular ‘TV on Demand’ service into their TIVO service allowing access to a 7 day archive of programs for several channels directly through the EPG (Electronic Program Guide), so even if you forget to record a program you will be able to retrospectively watch it.

To facilitate the TV Catch up facility Virgin Media are providing every TIVO unit with a dedicated 10mb Internet connection, so that streaming video won’t disrupt your normal Web usage.

TIVO has been highly popular in the USA for many years, but previous attempts to launch in the UK haven’t proved to be successful, despite launching the TIVO 1 with a glowing recommendation from Sky, Sky were able to put their marketing machine behind their SKY+ box when they decided to enter the PVR market, which left TIVO with little option but to withdraw from the UK.

Even this brief spell in the UK market has left an army of TIVO fans who to this day maintain that the Original TIVO 1 has yet to be bettered in the UK Market, the good news for these fans is that they get a discount on the new Virgin Media TIVO box.

My First ever PVR was a Thompson built TIVO 1 box, the thrill of pausing Live TV wore thin after a while, but I was impressed with how the box soon learnt what type of program genre I enjoyed watching. This became very important to me as at the time I had very little spare time to watch TV, so it was with great relief that when I did sit down there was something on the Box that I wanted to watch. TIVO was a Godsend and I became quite attached to it. The ability to search through the EPR and a true series link (which could search across different channels) was greatly utilised as well.

Virgin are currently behind Sky+ with their V+ PVR boxes, but have a much greater VoD offering, so this teaming seems like a perfect match up.