Monday, 19 December 2011

You want Red Button? Virgin Media will give you Red Button for TiVo, and then some!

Lots of sport, lots of buttons - coming
next year to a TiVo near you
 Here's today's press release:

Virgin Media and the BBC today announced a new deal that will bring next-generation BBC TV services to the Virgin Media TiVo® Service in 2012, continuing the successful partnership which saw BBC iPlayer launch on its first TV platform.

The BBC and Virgin Media will now begin to develop new applications and user experiences for TiVo homes - paving the way for Virgin Media customers to gain access to the BBC’s interactive coverage of next year’s major sporting events via a brand new Red Button experience, including Formula 1, Wimbledon, Euro 2012 and the London 2012 Olympics.

A forthcoming BBC Sport app will build on these “enhanced Red Button” services to bring next-generation viewing experiences to connected TVs in 2012. The new app will bring together all the live streams from the BBC’s existing Red Button service, video streams on-demand and additional content from BBC Online - providing a next-generation TV experience of Wimbledon, Formula 1, Euro 2012 and London 2012.

The BBC Sport app will sit alongside the BBC’s existing BBC News and BBC iPlayer apps.

The partnership between Virgin Media and the BBC has already delivered full integration of BBC iPlayer into Virgin Media’s TiVo Service. BBC catch-up programmes are now even easier to access through the search, menus, and EPG, made possible by the openness and flexibility of the TiVo platform.

The award-winning BBC News app, which brings together the best of BBC News on TV and online in an on-demand service will launch on Virgin Media TiVo. Accessible via the Red Button and the Virgin Media TiVo ‘Apps and Games’ section, it is expected to launch in the first quarter of next year,
Jane Weedon, Controller of Business Development, BBC Future Media said: “With its pioneering BBC iPlayer service now available on more than 300 different internet-connected TV devices, the BBC has successfully taken catch-up TV beyond the PC and into the living room.

“Having partnered with Virgin Media to bring BBC iPlayer to TV back in 2008, we have since brought a vastly-improved, fully-integrated experience of BBC iPlayer to Virgin Media’s TiVo Service. With the addition of the BBC News app and enhanced BBC Sport services – all accessible via the Red Button – we plan to build on this partnership and continue to innovate in connected TV through 2012.”

Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said: “Our innovative new TiVo service offers a whole world of catch-up, on demand, HD, 3D and live TV content and we’re delighted to be adding the BBC’s next generation News and Sport services to the line-up.

“2012 promises to be an unforgettable year for UK viewers and our customers can look forward to every minute of it. We’re pleased to be partnering with the BBC to make even more of their content available on what is the UK’s most advanced TV platform.”

Now this is more like it. Enough of the promotional apps please for the likes of Harry Potter, Twilight, and Sky Premium Channels. I've seen the BBC News app on my Samsung TV, suffice to say it makes the existing BBC MultiScreen app look like its running on a Sinclair Spectrum:

Of course, running that Sammy app uses my home broadband connection which is shared among other networked devices. The TiVo version of the BBC apps will of course, use that dedicated 10mb broadband connection which I've typed a lot about, but until now, feel that Virgin haven't really exploited. The BBC apps will change that.

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