Firstly I hope you are enjoying use of your new Virgin Media TV service powered by Tivo.
I wanted to share some good news which is that we have now launched the BBC iplayer app in our Apps and Games section! Please check it out and let us know your thoughts.
I also wanted to let you know that we are working hard to prepare the product for general commercial availability, which we expect to be in April.
In particular we are in the final stages of creating the the triple tuner functionality (allowing you to record/watch up to 3 channels simultaneously) and we anticipate releasing this software to your boxes around the middle of March. This software will also contain significant bug fixes and other improvements.
I'd also like to address some specific issues which have cropped up quite frequently:
---- Reminders: In "Tivo world" reminders do not exist, because in a world where you have a massive hard disk plus our upcoming three tuners, there is less and less need to watch TV according to reminders. The easiest thing is to simply record programmes if the timing is not convenient for you. We realise this is different to the way some people use our current V+ service but we do believe that "Tivo-type" usage will eventually overtake the use of reminders.
---- Padding: ie giving recordings "leeway" either side to ensure that endings or starts are not missed. We definitely understand the importance of this and is a high priority in our roadmap. Given the cycle of code releases we have with Tivo, this is likely to be available in September.
---- Multitap text entry: Again we understand the importance of this and indeed we do have this on several of our Apps. For core Tivo Search we anticipate this being available in September.
---- Some channels not playing in Picture-in-Graphic (the small video window when you're looking at menus): This is a legal rights-based issue and is the same for our V+ service.
---- Tivo Suggestions in your recordings: Most people are finding these great, while some are finding these more random! Anyway this element of the service should get better and better, especially the more you use Thumbs Up and Down. I would strongly encourage you to use the Thumbs (especially giving more than 2 Thumbs either way!) to allow the system to learn better about you.
---- Finally, regarding our roll out plans, we have deliberately phased the roll-out to non-staff in a VERY tightly controlled way, prior to general commercial availability. We have run 3 promotions - an offer to 1000 of our VIPs (VIPs are our highest spending customers), a prize draw of 1000 Tivo boxes among all XL TV customers who also have Broadband and Telephony from Virgin Media, and a specific promotion to Tivo series 1 users. This has been deliberately done in order to control the roll-out to a very limited numbers of customers. When we move towards general availability we will prioritise those customers who have pre-registered their interest. We realise this has caused some "healthy impatience" in our marketplace but we feel this is right way to manage a controlled release of the product.