Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Features for major update revealed for Virgin Media's TiVo?

A couple of posts at Cable Forum (here and here) claim to reveal the improvements in the forthcoming major update for Virgin Media's TiVo:
  • Improved 1080i up scaling so improving the picture quality.
  • HDMI connection reliability fixed
  • Info button now provides programme information in guide and mini guide
  • SCART aspect ratio corrected
  • Express Series Link – You can set your series links in a flash
  • Padding – Automatic padding around the start and finish of new recordings and series links (doesn’t change existing series links)
  • Multi-tap text entry – You can now search using the number buttons on your remote, just like texting on your mobile phone
  • More flexible parental control – If you don’t want to be asked for your PIN when you’re playing a recording from My Shows, you can now switch it off!
  • Skippable playlists – Full skipping functionality for Music On Demand playlists will be available
  • Live Events – Great news! You can now buy a live event on your TiVo box
  • BBC iPlayer – Full integration of all the content from the BBC iPlayer is now available in the TV Guide, the Catch Up & On Demand menus and in TiVo Search and Browse
  • PIN access on Apps – You can now control access to Apps and Games
  • YouTube app – The YouTube app has been given a whole new look with more videos than ever and now supports HD quality video
  • TiVo Buddy App – Just after we launch the new code you’ll be able to download this great new tool from the Apple App Store. If you connect your wireless router to the TiVo box with a cable you’ll be able to control many features from your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. Watch this space for more info.

More information on the automatic padding feature was posted by Virgin at the Help and Support Forums:
Automatic padding will be available later this year. It defaults at 1 min before and 4 mins after for all recordings, which seems to be the best way to avoid recordings cutting off early. You will still be able to change this on individual recordings.... it will be a new default, rather than a user controllable "General" setting.
This may actually cause more problems then it solves considering that TiVo uses 2 tuners to record back-to-back padded programmes (compared to 1 tuner on V+ HD). While the padding can be manually removed, that may be annoying for users who don't use padding.

As for the other improvements, a few random thoughts:
  • The improved picture quality fix is very welcome, since the display of standard definition content on TiVo has been a little subpar compared to the same content on V+ HD.
  • Express Series Link - Not on my personal 'to do' list for TiVo, but I'll take it.
  • The BBC iPlayer integration is an odd one - wasn't that done already?
  • More flexible parental control - Reduced PIN nagging? Thank God!
  • YouTube App - I hope this means that the bug preventing favourites being displayed has been fixed.
  • TiVo Buddy App - Will there be an Android version?
Still no Red Button or Reminders, or more efficient use of tuners. But there remains a glimmer of hope for those features, since the major update is a dependency for a series of smaller updates to follow.


Gaz said...

While the Tivo and Android apps will be be welcome for consumers with those products, it would be really cool if that "buddy" feature was available as a web server hosted on the Tivo - surely doable fairly easily.

Not all of us are sheep with tablets. A lot of people have laptops and smartphones which could access content served as web

Carryonvending said...

Any idea as to when these updates will be added??

Nialli said...

The BBC iPlayer content isn't really integrated into the backward EPG yet as it only includes the old, more limited content from the V+ listings. I guess this new version is the whole of the TiVo's iPlayer App content now being "reversible"?

stanch said...

How about the US available "TiVo® Desktop software for the PC" this allows you to publish your personal photo library & music library to a Tivo. Also, no mention of Spotify, yet this was recently announced?

Mark Browell said...

They should really allow use of "My Favourites" instead of "All channels" when parsing wishlists so you don't get multiple recordings scheduled on BBC regions etc.

NDAS Contribute said...

So no news on RED Button functionality? Hi Def menus?

Greig Byrne said...

The idea of the buddy app makes me drool

Tony Hoyle said...

Wouldn't surprise me if Tivo Desktop (or something like it) worked - the current Tivo is able to 'see' data from such apps (but not do anything about it, as the port isn't configured properly).

Early on when some of us first got our tivos 'broadcasting' random messages into the My Shows list was fairly amusing...

With an active data port you could probably get much further - depends on whether VM actually go to the effort of crippling the code already in there or just leave it.

CWH said...

What about a windows 7 mobile app

My Blog List