Monday, 9 January 2012

Wanted: Movie streaming apps for Virgin Media's TiVo

The arrival of Netflix to the UK has me wondering (again) what's happening with the movie streaming apps on Virgin Media's TiVo.

So...where's the Netflix app? The one which is already available to TiVo Premiere users in the States?

Or come to think of it, the Lovefilm app?

Both companies have cheap streaming-only price plans available. Both companies allow access to their content on a wide variety of devices. There's other streaming services available from the likes of Blinkbox and I can access that on my Xbox 360, which now offers loads of streamed content after the last firmware update. I can even stream movie content from Lovefilm to my Sony Blu Ray player.

As blogged before, TiVo is in a unique position of allowing access to content via its own dedicated 10mb connection, which is free of STMing and other bandwidth caps - something which owners of other streaming devices would have to take into account. As such, streamed apps providing quality content could become the killer apps for TiVo.

Virgin Media's TiVo is in an ideal situation to deliver streamed content, especially films. So....why isn't it doing that?

What we've got so far instead are promotional film apps. App for new Harry Potter film? Check. App for new Twilight Film? Check. App for actual films.....erm, where are they? We know Virgin are willing to have these apps, they said so.....over a year ago.

The waiting continues. In the meantime, I'm off to watch some films on my laptop and worry about hitting my STM broadband limit because my TiVo is a movie-app free zone.


Delboy said...

They wont put those apps on the VM Tivo. Its because the company supplying the box is Virgin there aim is maximum profit, where as the Tivo box in America box isn't given out by any cable/sat company the clients buy and own the boxes.

Jason (Admin) said...

@Delboy, I hope you're wrong, otherwise why have VM said their looking to add those apps?

It would daft if TiVo customers got STMed streaming Lovefilm/Netflix content while the STM-free 10mb connection for TiVo is just sitting there, waiting for the next Twilight promotional movie app.

Imagine the adverts VM could do:

"Our TiVo box offers you access to Sky Movies AND Full Catch-Up TV AND YouTube AND Lovefilm AND Netflix. Want movies? Get TiVo, and don't worry about broadband caps! Hell, don't worry about the broadband because TiVo comes with it!"

No other provider or platform could complete with that.

Dogsbody said...

Perhaps it's worth pushing from the other side too? I notice netflix has an 0800 number on their site. Perhaps if enough of us called up and requested their service on VM TiVo they'll listen!?

gmcausland said...

As usual VM is utterly slow at implementing anything.

indie design said...

I am guessing that Virgin are "Willing" to have the apps on the Tivo, but will charge Lovefilm/Netflix for the App, or at least will want a cut of the profits.

As things stand, the Tivo market is simply too small for the app suppliers to bother.

Think about it... Virgin make a profit out of Filmflex. Why supply their users an easy access to a lower-profit alternative?

I really hope I am wrong, but most companies are driven by short-term profit strategies and work quarter to quarter... suddenly reducing the income on Filmflex... well.

The other concern Virgin might have is the streaming quality. While Netflix is supposed to be reasonable (720p/5Mb), it will be nothing compared with flimflex HD's superb quality.

Are Virgin worries about streaming picture quality?

Anyway... essay over. Will be interesting to see if it appears and such apps are certainly wanted. I just dont think its an obvious choice for Virgin.

Martine93 said...

I simply don't see the appeal in Netflix and Lovefilm for movie fans.

Matteo Doni said...

I would like a app for TiVo. If the Roku Box can have it the TiVo definitely should.

spudgun055 said...

Lets face it bot services (lovefilm/Netflix) are not bad services for £5-6 a month even though some of the films are a bit dated (this is down to the fact of copyright law and competition which would kill Sky Movies and rental services overnight if they could stream everything for this price)

This in turn is why they are probably stalling as adding a streaming film service to Tivo will have a serious effect on FilmFlex revenue and potentially anoy Sky even more which could effect future TV channel negotiations

Jason (Admin) said...

Flimflex (and for that matter, Sky) shouldn't really be in a position to tell VM what is and what is not allowed on the TiVo App platform. I'm sure Sky had no issues with the 2 promotional apps on TiVo for Sky Sports and Movies.

I suspect with services like Lovefilm and Netflix, Flimflex will or have taken a hit anyway, regardless of what platform their movies are on. I haven't used Flimflex in over 3 years, in part because I find other services (mainly Lovefilm which I'm a customer of) much better value for money.

Ironically, today's news of VM's broadband speed increases just makes streaming an more attractive option for those who wish to consume content that way - if it means (sadly) bypassing TiVo and using another device like PS3 or Xbox 360, so be it.

I just look at some of the other devices and their bursting with apps: the Xbox 360 is now a IPTV powerhouse and the PS3 isn't bad either. My Sammy TV has a dozen VOD apps alone.

Besides, VM didn't seen are so concerned with competition for Flimflex when encouraging the likes of Lovefilm to get Apped-Up on TiVo:

"If Lovefilm came along and said ‘we’ve got something that adds to this’, we’d be the first ones to embrace them - we’re not precious about that. Let a thousand flowers bloom!"

Unknown said...

Well I have Netflix running on my Apple TV Box and it seems pretty good to me for £6 a month. The quality of the picture is not bad and the selection is interesting although it may pale after a bit. The great thing is that its so easy to use,

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