Friday, 18 November 2011

Virgin Media details TiVo software update

Virgin Media has announced details of a major software update for its TiVo service, bringing a raft of new features including express series link, a redesigned YouTube app and more Red Button content.

The software update, first revealed in September, will roll out to TiVo customers from today until November 24. The upgrade will run automatically at 2am to avoid disruption for the vast majority of users.

Customers are advised to keep their boxes on standby overnight as the update will take 60 minutes to complete, and Virgin recommends users not to use the box while the process operates.

"As an evolving platform, this update will be the service's first major boost as part of its continual evolution to maintain delivering the most advanced digital entertainment service in the market," said Virgin Media in a statement.

It added: "We've been listening to customer feedback and have made some tucks and tweaks here and there to make TiVo even meaner and leaner."

Among the new features is greater integration of the BBC iPlayer app (including the high definition service) across the TiVo search, catch-up and on-demand menu. This will increase the options available to TiVo users for accessing BBC content.

The update also brings 'Express Series Link' to the TiVo personal video recorder, enabling users to create "one click" series links through the electronic programme guide or direct through the programme information.

Recordings will also now begin one minute before a selected show starts and end four minutes after it finishes to ensure no part of the programme is missed.

The YouTube application has been given a whole new look, bringing a host of new videos and also support for high definition clips and films.

Text searches have been streamlined with "multi-tap text entry", simplifying the process of searching and browsing content, both on-demand and live.

New parental controls now mean that all-adult households can tell the TiVo box not to prompt them for a PIN number for post-watershed programmes, both recorded and on-demand. Parental controls available to families remain unchanged.

Virgin Media said that it has been "working extremely closely" with its channel partners such as the BBC, ITV and Sky Sports to develop a range of next generation interactive services for TiVo.

From today customers can experience the first stage of new Red Button functionality, with more services to follow on the platform in the future.

The cable operator said that a raft of new digital apps will launch on TiVo shortly,
following a Twilight discovery service that went live today. A Spotify app will launch on November 29, as part of a collaboration deal between Virgin Media and the popular music streaming service.

It is understood that the TiVo update will also include a number of fixes, including improved 1080i upscaling for picture quality, a HDMI connection reliability fix, and a tweak involving the info button providing programme information in-guide and in the mini-guide. There will also be a correction to the SCART aspect ratio.

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