Monday, 2 May 2011

Virgin Media to ramp up TiVo deployment

Broadcast Engineering has an article on-line on how Virgin Media has committed itself to TiVo. The article mentions that Virgin will start advertising TiVo later this year to existing customers, as well as customers of Sky and BT Vision. The article also looks at how Virgin intend to increase deployment of TiVo:

So far, Virgin Media has been constrained by the time taken to show customers how to use the TiVo content discovery features, which takes on average at least an hour on-site. By training existing engineers and fine-tuning the process, Virgin Media has been able to ramp up TiVo box deployment to 1000 a day, which means it is heading for about 300,000 subscribers by the end of 2011. At that rate, it would take a decade for the TiVo box to make it through even the existing customer base, but Virgin Media plans to ramp up deployment further as its network continues to be upgraded and expanded in the move toward “through the middle” delivery to all customers. Through the middle is a term adopted to describe a kind of hybrid IPTV/Internet TV service that delivers pay-TV content through a dedicated portion of the operator’s broadband spectrum.

In the case of cable TV, this is over DOCSIS and ensures that the TV service is independent of broadband Internet activity, making it easier to ensure high QoS. In effect, this makes it a walled-garden IPTV service, but it also brings genuine over-the-top (OTT) Internet content to subscribers. In the latter case, QoS is largely beyond the control of the operator at present and is dependent both on the wider Internet and on the third-party content providers themselves.

For the Virgin Media TiVo subscribers, all content is delivered via the TiVo box, including scheduled services. TiVo has therefore had to adapt the box to integrate with both Internet content and Virgin Media’s own catch-up service with the normal linear broadcast schedule. This was a challenge for TiVo because it has not so far had to integrate catch-up services to the same extent for its existing U.S. customers.
The article also mentions how Virgin intend to become a customer of the proposed Fujitsu-built fibre network, which would allow Virgin to expand their cable network, "across a further 20 percent of UK homes initially, with the help of its TiVo box, in effect as a hybrid IPTV/OTT provider outside its footprint."

Read the full article at Broadcast Engineering.

1 comment:

Tom Chiverton said...

So, unsurprisingly, those fireside chats over a mug of tea with a relaxed installation engineer are going to be thrown to the wolves, and we'll go back to the busy bloke who shows up for as few minutes as possible, and leaves as long as the box boots.
This isn't going to help me hand over 200 quid, plus extra each month !

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