Friday, 10 December 2010

TiVo Returns to the UK

Virgin Media’s eagerly anticipated TiVo set-top box was made available for pre-order last week, and it’s up take will be carefully monitored by many industry analysts. The set-top box will enable consumers to access an interesting mix of applications, content and services.

TiVo is a leading brand in the US, however its previous UK partnership with SKY in 2000 was short-lived. So Virgin Media will be hoping for a more positive response from the market with this new offering.

The TiVo service makes recommendations to viewers based on their previous programme choices. The new box also has a ‘Wish List’ feature where the consumer can add keywords and then all relevant programmes will be added to their personalised list. It also boasts an EPG that goes back 7 days, a feature that YouView also hopes to roll out in 2011. In a market where the level of media content is rapidly rising, personalisation is a key strategy in harmonising broadcast and broadband content for viewers. By working with TiVo Virgin Media is addressing this growing need for ‘personalised’ TV.

Virgin Media commented that the UK audience was perhaps not ready for the full internet experience on their TV screens, a concept that we’ve discussed many times on this blog – the internet experience needs to be tailored for the TV. Virgin Media appear to have addressed this by ensuring consumers can easily navigate the new user interface with preinstalled TV widgets such as YouTube, eBay and iPlayer.

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