Thursday, 30 June 2011

Virgin Media begins advertising campaign for TiVo

Virgin Media Press release:

Virgin Media today unveiled the first advertising campaign for its next generation Virgin Media: TiVo® Service. Promising to be the best way to watch TV, ever, the TiVo service combines the live TV schedule with catch-up TV, a huge library of on-demand programming and popular web-based applications alongside a market-leading personal video recorder. With a simple way of finding great content and intelligent recommendations based on a household’s telly habits, the new service makes it easier than ever for Virgin Media customers to discover new types of entertainment they’ll love.

Virgin Media’s multi-million pound ad campaign is fronted by Marc Warren, star of Hustle and Mad Dogs. Created by DDB UK, the campaign involves TV, digital, print, retail, experiential and social media, beginning today with three ten-second TV spots and a raft of print ads which highlight the hugely positive reception the Virgin Media: TiVo Service has enjoyed since it launched in December 2010. The campaign continues on Saturday with Marc Warren featuring in three 30-second TV spots, exploring the TiVo service’s simple solutions to the increasingly complex choices facing viewers today. Set against a clean, white backdrop, Marc is faced with a carousel of spinning TVs, catapulted screens and falling TVs, before demonstrating the TiVo service’s ability to search through a wide choice of programmes to find your favourite shows quicker than ever; avoiding clashes by recording three shows whilst watching a fourth; and making sure you never miss the start of your favourite series by setting a WishListTM, providing the viewer with the ultimate control of their TV.

Nigel Gilbert, chief marketing officer, Virgin Media, said: “Virgin Media is leading a much-anticipated revolution in the way people enjoy their favourite shows and our new advertising campaign is focused simply on the great stuff on offer from our new TiVo box. We know the features and functions our customers have already fallen in love with and are making the most of a fully integrated campaign to cut through the noise and highlight these stand-out attributes. We’re inviting people to take a look at our brilliant new service and interact with TiVo’s iconic ‘thumbs up’ and ‘thumbs down’ buttons online to discover even more.”

Guy Bradbury, creative director at DDB UK said “We’ve developed a campaign with the necessary depth for Virgin Media’s new TiVo service. The campaign sign-off of ‘We think it’s the best way to watch TV, but what do you think?’ invites the audience to interact with the campaign, showing the confidence Virgin Media has to engage with consumers which comes from the game changing nature of the Virgin Media: TiVo Service itself.”

From Saturday, Virgin Media’s campaign will invite people to visit to explore an interactive video journey and discover more of the TiVo service’s next generation features for themselves. From a 1TB hard drive, able to record up to 500 hours of content, the ability to scroll back in time and through the past seven days on the EPG and the ability to rate shows with thumbs up and thumbs down buttons and receive recommendations based on a viewer’s preferences, visitors to can interact with the site and give their favourite Virgin Media: TiVo Service feature a big thumbs up.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Virgin Media's iPad TiVo App really is Coming Soon

Remember that iPad app which I've mentioned again and again on this blog? Well, work is indeed underway on the app, as first revealed today by TechRadar:

It should (hopefully) have all the features from the existing app, including the ability to control multiple TiVos in your home. There's no word on an Android version, but since that's busy taking over the world, surely a Android TiVo App will follow......right, Virgin?

Meanwhile, Virgin Media TiVo customers with an iPad should look watch this video (again) and just replace the blue background for Virgin Red:

Monday, 27 June 2011

Quickie Reviews Roundup for Virgin Media's TiVo

From Neowin:
We have been very pleased with both the TiVo box and the Virgin Media service in general. The box works perfectly and the menus and content are easy to access as well as fast to use. Picture quality has been very good throughout; especially pleasing is the SD upscaling, which feels like a step up from Sky’s HD service. Sound is another area in which the TiVo box outclasses Sky; the HDMI Dolby Digital 5.1 is far better quality to our ears than the optical only Sky HD box and even improves basic 2.1/2.0 content too.

Virgin TiVo is a great step up for the company and we really hope that they keep improving the service with new channels as well as fixing some of the small niggling issues that are within the TiVo software. If they do, they could be doing some great things for the future of TV in the UK.

From SeenIt:
The TiVo looks very nice, is generally speedy and is packed with potential – the Games & Apps feature allows for future enhancements which could see the TiVo become the centre of a home’s entertainment world.

But as product being sold right now it should be measured on what it actually does, not what it might do in a few weeks or months. And on that basis it falls short of expectations.

Thought it has good points and obvious potential, there’s no getting away from the fact that this is a product awaiting software updates to implement features most users would expect as standard.

From PcPro:
Largely, however, the TiVo is a resounding success. It’s more responsive than the Virgin V+ box and generally easier to use. It’s far more powerful, packed with clever features and boasts more capacity. The only criticism we have is over the “activation” pricing of the 1TB box – £150 is way too expensive for a box you’ll never own, particularly as Virgin Media is asking you to spend an extra £3 per month after that.
So that just leaves the 500GB box at £50, and we’d say at this price it’s worth an upgrade. For anyone who’s struggled with the clunky interface of the V+ box and cursed its restrictive capacity, it will come as a breath of fresh air, a shaft of sunlight after a summer thunderstorm. We urge you to order one as soon as you can.

Monday, 20 June 2011

iPhone and Android control apps: Coming soon to Virgin Media's TiVo?

The Zatz Not Funny! site (and CEPro) report that TiVo plan to launch control apps for both the iPhone and Android. The apps would (hopefully) feature most of the options available from the existing iPad App, which will hopefully be coming soon for Virgin Media's Tivo later this year.

The arrival of such apps for Apple's iPhone and Goggle's Android phones and tablets would offer a cheaper remote option than Apple's iPad for Virgin Media customers. 

Poll Results: The majority of Virgin Media's TiVo customers want Reminders

After 247 votes, the latest poll closed and the message is clear - the majority of you want reminder functionality on Virgin Media's TiVo.

72% of voters (178 to be precise) voted for the return of the legacy feature, found on Virgin's legacy V+ HD and just about every other PVR out there. 27% (69 votes) were quite happy not to have reminders on TiVo.

72% - Are you listening, Virgin?

Monday, 13 June 2011

New Poll: Does Virgin Media's TiVo need Reminders?

Reminders (or rather, the lack of them on Virgin Media's TiVo) have been a hot topic of debate on various blogs and forums. The offical word (from the TiVo User Guide) is that:
You can’t set a reminder with your TiVo box. But you can record it, then watch it back from My Shows whenever it suits you.
Well, that's great. If you're not a fan of Live TV events such as major sporting events (especially if you're betting on them).

Then there is the Twitter Factor. Programmes like the BBC's The Apprentice and dare I say it, Eurovision benefit greatly from Twitter interaction, especially when watched live.

In my opinion, it doesn't matter how many tuners a box has or how much hard drive capacity it contains - the point is, I've forgotten to watch certain programmes live because I've been unable to set reminders for them, something I could do on my old V+ HD, or just about every other PVR out there.

Agree? Disgree? Vote and comment. The poll closes on Monday 20th June and can be located at the top-right of every page.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

TiVo reveal new hardware; Update for iPad TiVo App

A report over at Engadget/TMCNet reveals TiVo's future hardware plans - a new, quad-tuner PVR called the Premiere Q, and the Preview, described as TiVo's first non-DVR HD set-top box, which acts as a client to the local TiVo PVR.

While the Premiere Q packs an extra tuner compared to Virgin's TiVo, the Preview sounds on par with the previously annouced plans to bring TiVo software to Virgin's non-PVR, the V box, and in time (we hope), allow streaming of recorded content from the main TiVo box to any V box in your home.

The report also mentions that the TiVo iPad App will receive an update which allows Cable VOD content to be accesssed and then 'flicked' to a TiVo box. The App is expected to be available for Virgin Media's TiVo at some point this year.

Virgin Media TiVo installed: First impressions + 53 days later

Following on from my orginal First Impressions post:
  • Virgin really need to cut down on the number of button presses required to watch VOD content. Once an episode has been selected from the list of available episodes for a programme, it takes another 4 button presses to watch the episode (make that 8 if the episode requires you to enter your PIN first).
  • Speaking of VOD, I don't think I've watched so much VOD content from Virgin before now. TiVo does an excellent job in exposing VOD content which, before now, would be hidden deep in VOD menus.
  • Almost every series link I've created is configured to record in HD - I couldn't do that with V+ HD due to the lack of recording space.
  • The invasion of Adverts has begun in the Discovery Bar.
  • I continue to miss reminders. Heck, I forgot that the England vs. Switzerland football game was on, its a pity that my next-generation PVR didn't allow me to set a reminder for the game while other PVRs from Virgin, Sky, BT Vision etc have this functionality.
  • So far, I've had to reset the box twice. Once on the day of the previous software update, and again last week. On both occassions, the box locked up when I attempted to view the 'My Shows' screen.
  • Suggestions are becoming my favourite feature, its nice to come home from work and discover that TiVo has recorded TV which I actually like watching. But...
  • ...there's a recording priority bug which results in cases of Suggestions being recorded instead of Series Links. Virgin are looking at fixing this and several other bugs.
  • I really didn't give the Browse TV menu enough credit in my review. I would have missed several films I ended up recording if hadn't had a peek now and then in the films section. Of course, Wishlists are a great alternative for seeking out and recording content as well.
  • My TiVo has slowed down a little, and it appears I'm not alone. Possible reasons for this include network congestion (with reports of performance increasing when the box is disconnected from the coaxial cable) and the inexplicable lack of data/image caching in the TiVo software. Endgadget noticed this in their review of the TiVo Premiere, which Virgin Media's TiVo is based on. Virgin need to get this issue resolved now that the cheaper 500Gb box is available for existing customers.
  • I wish the programme start and end time showed up within the EPG.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Photo Gallery App arrives for Virgin Media's TiVo

The new Photo Gallery App for Virgin Media's TiVo can be located - not surprisingly - in Home\Apps & Games.

It currently allows you to display a wall and slideshow of pictures from your Facebook, Flickr and Picasa accounts, once of course, you've linked your TiVo to those accounts.

You can also explore some default photos from Flickr and Picasa, and create a list of favourite photos. Like every other TiVo App, Photo Gallery uses the 10mb dedicated broadband connection for TiVo, so you won't have to worry about getting STMed while viewing your Facebook photos on your TV via TiVo.

Like TiVo itself, there's room for improvement for this App - for instance, pictures aren't resized to fit the screen if their too big, and the privacy policy looks like its been copied from one of Virgin's website's, with references to 'our site' -  I thought I was using a TiVo App?

Nevertheless, its always welcome to see a new App for TiVo. Lets hope that future Apps will focus more on delivering videos, like blockbusters movies for those who love films.

My Blog List