Virgin have officially launched TiVo today, a new service that it is calling "next-generation entertainment" or a turbo for your TV. The new device offers a whole new TV experience through an intuitive interface that allows you to easily record and watch programmes that you want to see including rating shows you like to help build an intelligent recommendations system. A built in search allows you to find programmes and films to watch as well as letting you search for actors (and auto-record things they are in) and giving results from online services such as YouTube. It contains 1TB of storage which should allow you to record around 500 hours of standard definition TV.
"This is a landmark moment in the UK's digital revolution and vividly illustrates why Virgin Media is the only company who can provide the ultimate digital lifestyle. For the first time, viewers will have a truly personalised viewing experience so they can get the most out of the wonderful worlds of the internet and TV all in one place. We're really excited to bring our customers what is just the first of successive generations of transformational services based on this unique TiVo-powered platform."Cindy Rose, (Executive director of digital entertainment) Virgin Media
The box is available for £199 (with £40 setup) and costs £3 per month extra on top of Virgin's TV service. It features a built in 10Mbps cable modem which allows it to gain access to online content and Video-on-Demand without interfering or slowing down the existing broadband connection. It will have three tuners built in allowing viewers to record two programmes whilst watching another, but early adopters should be aware that the launch models only have one tuner.
Also coming next year will be access to control the TiVo box from your iPad allowing you to use the device as both a remote control and also to set up remote recordings or find out information about what you are watching or easily find new things that might be of interest.
To sign-up or find out more, visit the Virgin's TiVo microsite.