Saturday, 8 September 2012

Virgin Media's TV Anywhere Service: 30 channels to stream & enhanced for TiVo

More details have been revealed from Virgin Media and various media sources regarding the forthcoming TV Anywhere service, which will allow customers to stream around 30 live TV channels and over 2000 hours of On Demand content directly to their PC or Tablet device.

Virgin TV Anywhere will use adaptive bitrate streaming technology (currently used by the likes of Netflix and Lovefilm), so the more bandwidth available on your connection, the better the stream quality. For reference, 720p HD streams via Netflix only requires 3.5Mb.

According to CNET, streaming will only be available via WiFi. Recorded content won't be available to stream, but Virgin are apparently looking into offering that option in the future.

There's no word yet on what the available channels will be, but I wouldn't expect to see any Sky channels on the service since its likely that the likes of Sky One will be exclusive to stream on Sky Go.

Customers without TiVo (and Virgin are trying their best to convert you) will also be able to use Virgin TV Anywhere's web access on their PCs to enable limited TV Recommendations.

Customers with Tivo will also have access to a Tablet app which will allow you to remote control your TiVo and change channels, fast-forward and rewind live TV via buttons or gesture control, search and discover content, manage content and set recordings.

There is no extra charge for the service and all content will be available to stream regardless of what TV package you're subscribed to.

Virgin TV Anywhere is scheduled to launch this Autumn. The app will be available for Fruit owners from the iTunes store around the same time. Owners of Android devices will have to wait until 2013. If they can't wait until then, they should check out the excellent TV Catchup app from Google Play.

There's no connection details yet for the service, but I'm betting (hoping?) that CAT-5/6 cable is involved if the remote control functionality is to be responsive enough to use. The Virgin version of the TiVo iPad app had been previously delayed due to Virgin's desire to eliminate the need for extra cables within their customer's home networks (we can handle the extra cables, Virgin, really!).


Tom Chiverton said...

Wired is a myth.
I've got XBMC running on a *Raspberry Pi* and it's perfectly responsive controlling it over a wireless network from an Android app.

Ricky Mills said...

This is all well and good but with the current iPhone app they provide for TV listings and recordings, if you ask it to record something, it will do it on all your tivo boxes.

Will the iPad app allow you to select individual boxes? If not its useless as a remote!

TAC2983 said...

Well the Tivo isn't connected to the home wifi as it has no wireless card built in, as such any instruction sent to it via a tablet would have to travel to the home wifi hub, then find its way back to virgin media then get appropriately routed to the relevant Tivo server, then make its way back to the home Tivo at which point the Tivo has to act on the instruction; all of this creates unacceptable lag and necessitates the aforementioned cable cinectuin between the Tivo and wireless hub!

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