We have been very pleased with both the TiVo box and the Virgin Media service in general. The box works perfectly and the menus and content are easy to access as well as fast to use. Picture quality has been very good throughout; especially pleasing is the SD upscaling, which feels like a step up from Sky’s HD service. Sound is another area in which the TiVo box outclasses Sky; the HDMI Dolby Digital 5.1 is far better quality to our ears than the optical only Sky HD box and even improves basic 2.1/2.0 content too.
Virgin TiVo is a great step up for the company and we really hope that they keep improving the service with new channels as well as fixing some of the small niggling issues that are within the TiVo software. If they do, they could be doing some great things for the future of TV in the UK.
The TiVo looks very nice, is generally speedy and is packed with potential – the Games & Apps feature allows for future enhancements which could see the TiVo become the centre of a home’s entertainment world.
But as product being sold right now it should be measured on what it actually does, not what it might do in a few weeks or months. And on that basis it falls short of expectations.
Thought it has good points and obvious potential, there’s no getting away from the fact that this is a product awaiting software updates to implement features most users would expect as standard.
Largely, however, the TiVo is a resounding success. It’s more responsive than the Virgin V+ box and generally easier to use. It’s far more powerful, packed with clever features and boasts more capacity. The only criticism we have is over the “activation” pricing of the 1TB box – £150 is way too expensive for a box you’ll never own, particularly as Virgin Media is asking you to spend an extra £3 per month after that.
So that just leaves the 500GB box at £50, and we’d say at this price it’s worth an upgrade. For anyone who’s struggled with the clunky interface of the V+ box and cursed its restrictive capacity, it will come as a breath of fresh air, a shaft of sunlight after a summer thunderstorm. We urge you to order one as soon as you can.