Friday, 8 February 2013

Liberty Global CEO: No plans to replace Virgin Media's TiVo for Horizon (for now)

Liberty Globals's CEO has stated that - for now - Virgin Media will continue to use and deploy TiVo within the UK digital cable network

Following Liberty's purchase of Virgin Media, there's been speculation that Liberty would be replacing TiVo with Horizon - Liberty's own next-generation TV platform. Recombu's comparison between the two platforms reveals some advantages for Horizon (like 4 tuners compared to 3 for Virgin's TiVo) and cons (no Catch-Up EPG - TiVo goes back 7 days).

Speaking via C21 Media, Liberty CEO Mike Fries believes that its too soon to compare the platforms or for Liberty to start swapping out TiVo hardware and firmware for Horizon:
Virgin has done a terrific job with TiVo and there’s been a tremendous acceptance among their digital subscriber base – 35% have already asked for the box and received it. We need to learn more about the device and the relationship, but from what we understand at this level, it’s working very, very well.

Thus far when you look at the market, TiVo is a leader in the connected TV space and Virgin Media, as a result, is driving the level of innovation that competitors can’t really react to. So I’d be surprised if we did anything to mess that up at this point.
Virgin's deal with TiVo is expected to run for another 4 years and isn't affected by the change of ownership for the Cable company. After that, all bets are off. Liberty may want to use their own product to standardise rollout through their European markets. Interestingly enough, Liberty Global did consider using TiVo firmware to deploy to their customers, before deciding to develop their solution which became Horizon.

BroadBandTVNews.Com speculates that there could be "some pooling of resources and a roadmap, probably several years down the line, which brings Horizon and TiVo somewhere together. Virgin’s 1.33 million and growing TiVo installs make it somewhat impractical to consider anything else."

2 comments:

Manj75 said...

Why don't liberty global buy out Tivo as well. I'd be disappointed to see TiVo replaced after getting so used to it. Though a slow smooth merging of TiVo and Horizon roadmaps would ease the transition. I now this is probably years off. Having said all this I don't know what Horizon is like.

Jamie Ellis said...

Is there much difference between an App on an UPC Horizon box when it comes to "development" and an Tivo be it one from the US (Tivo Inc) or from VM

The first VM Tivo users are getting Netflix as an pilot after being on the US Tivo (Tivo Inc) for a number of years!

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