Virgin Media Connected TV TiVo-Fueled Set Top Box (STB) Device and New Service Unveiled

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Virgin Media today has recently announced the first details of its upcoming TiVo-powered HD/3D set top box which will give customers a whopping a TeraByte of storage for personal recordings or up to 500 hours of content.

(Ed Note:) Interestingly they mention Apps. But there's no mention of whether or not the platform will be open for 3rd party app developers - such as Google TV with Android, Youview, HbbTV, Samsung Connected TV, Yahoo, etc. etc. etc. If it remains proprietary it will be a blip on the radar - fine for their current clients, but without innovation driven by the application development community and building a wall, they are working against themselves. As a fan of Branson, I would be surprised if he takes the closed route over the open one. However, there's no mention of how it will play out yet.

When coupled with Virgin Media's pioneering TV on Demand service, the new service will give UK consumers unrivalled access to over 4,600 hours of TV shows, movies and music videos, including hundreds of hours of HD and 3D entertainment, plus catch up TV from the terrestrial broadcasters, all available instantly. The new HD/3D set top box will launch alongside Virgin Media's new TiVo-powered next generation connected TV service scheduled for later this year.


  1. New HD/3D set top box will offer 1TB of personal storage
  2. Thousands of hours of TV on Demand instantly available
  3. Dedicated internal modem to bring internet services and apps direct to TV

Powered by Virgin Media's unique fibre optic network, the box will also feature its own dedicated internal modem able to deliver HD video and other online services without impacting customers' regular broadband connections. As a result, Virgin Media's new TiVo-powered service will not only be able to deliver linear TV alongside an unbeatable instant TV on demand offering but will also be able to support compelling online video in HD straight to customers' TVs without having to sacrifice other online activities when in use.

Competitors' 'connected TV' products rely on just one central broadband connection, typically DSL, making it difficult for families to watch online TV or TV on Demand and take advantage of the internet at the same time. With Virgin Media, a typical family enjoying the new TiVo-powered TV service alongside Virgin Media's ultrafast 50Mb broadband connection will be able to enjoy a seamless experience with incredible connectivity, allowing the whole family to watch, surf, and play, all at the same time without compromise.

Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said:

"Virgin Media's next generation connected TV service - powered by TiVo - and combined with our superior broadband will blow other 'connected TV' products out of the water. We're really proud of our new next-generation TV service which will appeal to anyone and everyone looking for the best of live broadcast TV, catch up, on demand and internet apps and services."

Virgin Media and TiVo announced plans to join forces in November 2009. Virgin Media and TiVo have developed a unique converged television and interactive service bringing UK consumers the best in TV entertainment, be it broadcast, on demand or online.

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