In an interview with Pocket-lint, Brian Lenz, Sky’s director of TV Product Development believes that a lot of the functionaly offered by TiVo is inconsequential (no shock there!)
“I think that a lot of those functions are functions. They aren't necessarily things that will fundamentally change your happiness with your TV. [Virgin Media have] thrown a lot of stuff up there and Tivo has always been about lots of high-end functionality."A bit like 3D channels then?
"It will appeal to certain super users. It will certainly give us some things to think about, but all those things we’ve looked at, but you have to ask whether they are mass market and whether your average viewer wants them."
With YouView, the rollout of Sky's Anytime+ VOD service and of course, the return of TiVo to the UK via Virgin Media, the battle of the Digital TV platforms looks like it will be heating up as we enter 2011. Lenz questions the cost of owning a TiVo box which "you don't own" and states that Sky still have the edge for content. A edge somewhat blunted by the arrival of Sky HD content to Digital Cable this year and the coming of Sky VOD content and Red button functionality next year.
Lenz admits that Virgin have "upped their game" and that their TV product has improved:
"in this business, you can’t stand still, [Virgin Media] aren’t standing still and we aren’t standing still either. We will try and play our strengths and they will play theirs."