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Virgin Media TiVo Set Top Box
I have been with Virgin Media for many years now, up until a couple of years ago we had the Virgin+ box, but when we phoned Virgin Media to ask about upgrades we were offered the TiVo box. We had heard of TiVo in American programmes and to be honest we didn’t know much about it, but since they were offering us free installation and the usual £50 fee for the box was wiped due to us being loyal customers (with a bit of bartering of course!) we decided to go for it and get ourselves the box. A couple of days later, the box was installed and we were up and running, and for me, there is no going back!!
What is Tivo?
Tivo is a set top box, such as the regular V+ box, the main idea of the box is that you can record TV shows, Pause and Rewind live TV and store your programmes. Many companies have these boxes these days, in fact when you sign up to a subscription service such as Sky, you will most likely get the basic recorder box as standard. You can even buy Freeview boxes like this now with no subscription, so how is the Tivo box any different from these other boxes?
Tivo is more than just a Set Top box, not only can you do everything you can with a regular box, let’s compare with the V+ box from Virgin Media, but also there are many other features which are not available on other, cheaper services. With Tivo, you can connect yourself to Apps, these are limited (you cannot get Social Media apps for example!), but the “Apps” you can get include; Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, BBC Sport, iPlayer, WorldBox, BBC News, my NickJnr, NBC, Nat Geo plus Games and more. This means that rather than having to watch Netflix through your laptop, or even through your Xbox, you can simply go to the menu, click on apps and sign in, and watch your Netflix account through your regular TV, you don’t even have to move in your seat! Let alone mess around with plugging in the games console and fussing around changing channels etc.
The apps are not the only addition to the set top box which are simply fantastic, the V+ box is great, but you can only record two programmes at once- and you must be watching one of those channels (or have the TV set to that channel before leaving the house), with the Tivo box, you can record 2 channels whilst watching a third, and record the third at the same time! This may not sound important, but if you have 3 programmes you want recording at once, it really does become a battlefield in the house, with mum shouting at kids for recording the latest film on Sky Movies and shouting at dad for recording Air Crash Investigation when the latest episode of The Walking Dead is getting cancelled because of their “rubbish” recording- we have had that argument numerous times, until we got this box!
In addition, you can also watch On Demand programmes (dependant on which TV package you pay for).
How easy is Tivo to use?
Tivo can be a little complex at first, it does take a while to get used to, there is a lot of fiddling with buttons until you work out what you are doing, but it doesn’t take long to find out where everything is, and within a few days of use, we were all completely fluent in the Tivo instructions; even our 4 year old can use the box!
What does it cost?
You can get Tivo regardless of your TV subscription with Virgin (you can have the basic package and still have a Tivo Box), so this major part of the bill will be dependent on what you subscribe to, after this cost, you will pay £5 per month for the Tivo service; this is for your apps, the extra recording options etc. I must say I do find it a little cheeky of Virgin Media to charge you for your box and installation and then charge an extra £5 per month on top for the service, and I do think that if you are an XL customer (the largest TV package) then you should get the Tivo service for free.
The price of the box is just under £50, the offers change all the time and sometimes you can expect to pay another £50 for installation, whilst at other times they will offer the box for free and just pay for installation- if you are an existing customer, you may be able to haggle and get the entire thing for free if you are clever about it and haggle just right!
Is it worth it?
ABSOLUTELY! I could not go back to having a regular V+ box now from having this box, I subscribe to both Netflix and Spotify and I use these apps regularly at home, I also use the YouTube app regularly- they have just added a new feature where you can connect your Smartphone to your TV and play your music from your Youtube app on your phone through your TV- this is helpful as it means you’re not having to constantly search using the slow search bar with the remote control!
I would absolutely recommend Virgin Media Tivo box!
We've always been a virgin media household but only ever had the medium package and the standard set top box but early last year after receiving a good offer we decided to upgrade to the XL package and the virgin media tivo box.
As we already have virgin media installed in the house all we had to do was have an engineer install our new box which only took around 10 minutes.
I love the simplicity of being able to record your own programs at the click of a button. You can also record up to 3 other channels whilst watching a program you'd already recorded.
The box has 500GBP of internal space (holds up to 250 hours of recordings!)
It has the 'pause, rewind and slow down' feature on it so if you miss any thing you can simply go back and watch it rather than having to record and watch the whole program again.
The box is sleek and fits in nicely in our living room. I find the remote response time can be a little slow at times but this is only a minor issue in what is generally a fantastic product!
I've had the Virgin Media TiVo box for a while now and although I've had a few problems with it, it's mostly been alright. I've always been a Virgin Media guy and while that's no criticism of it's rival organisation SKY, I've just never had the pleasure of having a SKY box. Now as I mentioned, it's a good box that has plenty of good features; but I've suffered some problems with it that has really affected my overall experience of the TiVo box. To start with, the size of the box is pretty darn large, and by that I mean you may struggle to fit it into your entertainment system. It's not the size of one of Godzilla's babies or anything, just for a modern TV box, it's not small. But the reason for this I think, is to help keep the sound down; and while this is just my opinion, the box is really quiet and not something you can hear when you're watching a program or when it's on standby. Now onto the remote, the remote is a solid piece of machinery with all the standard buttons on it that you'd expect, they are also easy to push down and are quite touch sensitive; so you don't need to worry about the buttons getting broke any-time soon (unless you're a rough houser). I've had this box for just over two years and my remote is still in tip top shape today, as it was all the way back then.
Now that's I've covered the basics, I'll move onto recording programs. The box itself can hold up to around 100 hours, give or take a few hours, I once had about twenty movies (around a couple hours apiece) and the box was at 47%, so I'll guess at around 100 hours; but it's flexible. As far as recording programs or films or whatever tickles your fancy, it's simple and couldn't be easier. All you need to do is press the record, change a few settings such as "when to delete" and "how long for" and you're all set; you can also adjust series link settings if you're looking to record multiple episodes in a series. Now if you want to look at all the programs and films you've recorded, just simply go into "my recordings", it couldn't be any easier. Additional, if you want to check your planned recordings, just go into "my planned recordings", easy as pie... the number that is. Another terrific thing about TiVo is if you wanted to search an item by name, just type it in, and it gives you a massive selection. You can also browse films and TV shows by genre and category, just in case you're struggling to think of anything to search for yourself. Now onto the final part of this section, if you want to view the TV guide, you simply press the guide button and there you go; the guide is also fully up to date for as far as two weeks into the future, so it gives you plenty of leeway. PS. If you're wondering how many programs you can record at once, it's four, so plenty of space for the both the parents and the children to record items.
In this section of the review, I will talk about different apps and features on the Virgin Media TiVo box. One superb feature is the red button, which you can use on any channel that allows you to use it,
SKY Sports is one that instantly springs to mind. The box also features the I-Player app, which is fast, easy to navigate, and very user friendly. It's not something that I've used too often, but when I have it's been a blast. Another unique feature is the ability to "thumbs" a program or film, namely up or down on it. By doing this, the box will help you by telling you which programs you will like and which ones you will dislike; it's not something I've really bothered it because it's not my cup of coffee, but for people who are open to plenty of suggestions; it'll be gold for them. There are other good things scattered around also that people will want to use, you can stop, pause and rewind live TV, which is something I use all the time (damn those bathroom breaks!). Now what TV channels you can watch and access isn't down to me, it's down to what package you choose to buy and subscribe to; obviously the better package you want, the more money it will cost you. And speaking from my own personal opinion, I have damn near every channel, and I think it's great value.
Now if you're reading this, you're probably thinking I love this box with all my heart and want to marry it right away but I can't (damn you society!!). But that simply isn't true; there are problems with this box, and I'll mention it now. For one, the box takes an ice age to load up and plugging it in and turning it on; if you think I'm wrong that go buy one and try it, you could go make a cup of tea, a bagel, take your dog for a walk and by time you come back it probably won't even be on yet. Also, after it finally turns on, it takes ages to speed up and everything is really slow for a while. But that's not the worst part, one of the primary bad things about this box is sometimes it refuses to record things. This is my own personal experience, I go onto the search box, type in a movie, click on the movie, press record and then it all just freezes, crashes and takes you back to the search box again. After unplugging the box, turning it back on, making a cup of tea and a bagel (and checking my watch every five seconds), it sometimes works; but not all the time. Sometimes it'll still refuse to record the program, and I have to try again the next day to which is works fine then. Now this only happens once a month-ish, and unless the program you want is the next day; you won't miss it, but it's a problem that shouldn't be there and I don't like it. But for the final part of this paragraph, I'll mention the worst thing that's happened with this box, it deleted all my stuff. Basically what happened was I came onto the box one day, checked my recordings, and noticed my % had gone down and a program had vanished. It wasn't in the recently deleted folder (a great feature though), it wasn't anywhere, the program had disappeared into the Twilight Zone. And I began to notice, that my programs were slowly disappearing one by one each day, until they all went. If I recorded a program, BAM, it disappeared a few days later; this really started to p*** me off big time. But then after a few months, there was an update for TiVo and suddenly this stopping happening; so although it's irrelevant that I mentioned this; it was still a massive bug which shouldn't have been there. But if there was a bug before, who said another won't put up in the future? I don't have a crystal ball, but I'll say it's a strong possibility.
So here we are at the conclusion portion of the review, throughout this I've mentioned the core basics the Virgin Media TiVo box has to offer, and the many positives in which the box has, but also a few negatives. So to sum up, if you're looking for a nice looking, albeit large TV box that has plenty of good features, apps and is easy to use for beginners, then I recommend this one highly. But be aware, it's very slow to get going and sometimes it fails to record programs. But other than that, it's fine and a great box.
Finally, thanks for reading and if you have any questions or queries about this box, feel free to drop them in the comments section and I'll be sure to get back to you.
This is a difficult one to judge. If you hav never had a set top box or Virgin media, this is great. If, like me, you were more than apply but offered an upgrade to a TiVo box as part of renewing your contract, you can make comparisons, and personally, I preferred things how they were.
You need to get into the habit of recording things, which takes some planning. Six months into owning this and I'm not there yet. I still tend to rely on watching things from catch up but they can't always be viewed. I have no idea why. Home and Away episodes tues-fri are fine. Won't let me watch Monday's. and this is a regular problem.
When you do remember to record a series, sometimes it chops off the beginning or end of the programme. Very annoying.
The guide is also far more difficult to navigate. You need to know the channel, day and name to stand a chance. So, browsing is out really.
The worst bit is, it takes AGES to load when you first turn it on.
All in all, I am not happy. If you're thinking of changing. Don't!
On the other hand, virgin service care was amazing and staff very helpful.
Having been with Virgin for a while (that is another story) We needed an extra set top box for my daughter's bedsit conversion.
The Virgin call centre were very helpful in pointing out that we could upgrade to Tivo for£5 and keep the old set top box - it would have cost the same to have added a normal set top box!
Now I will admit that it didn't mean much to me at the the time, but in a short space of time it has become an indispensable tool.
The box itself is sleek and black; it is relatively unobtrusive. It is certainly far more attractive to look at than the standard box.
The box (for the uneducated like me) allows you to record direct from your Virgin service (only the channels that you have paid for). You can even record 2 channels at once whilst you are watching another one - a real bonus when there is a sport / film conflict! You can also series link your favourite programmes so you can watch at your leisure. There are 2 options for storage size, 500 GB or 1 TB - we have the smaller size and it is more than sufficient for our household of 7.
The controls are via a remote control that is more or less the same as the standard Virgin remote. As a result they are pretty easy to get used to. In essence you can set a show or series to record through the on screen prompts, however in cases of emergency you can start recording what is on screen at the time.
Once recorded, programmes are accessed through the remote and on screen display at the push of a button. They are sorted by series or alphabetical order; it is easy to scroll through and select what you want.
If you are anything like us, you will record far more than you will watch. Fortunately the Tivo box conveniently tells you how much storage is remaining and it is quite straightforward to delete items if a little time consuming as you have to delete each item individually - there is no option to block select. THis is a pain and the only reason the review is not 5 star.
The quality of playback and reliability of recording has been 100%, the Tivo will even adjust recording times for pre-programmed shows when they are running late
Would I recommend?
Yes - great tool and it is one less gadget draining electricity as you do not need a dvd recorder! The other bonus is that you are in effect renting it from Virgin, so if anything goes wrong, it is there responsibility to fix - unlike Sky
When I moved into my new build house last year, we were told that no satellite dishes were allowed without prior planning permission from our local council and that our property had already been fitted with the correct sockets for Virgin Media to be installed. As a previous Sky customer I was a tad disheartened but upon hearing a few friends enthusing about the pros of the TiVo, I decided to go for a package that included this box. We have the VIP package which at £100 a month is expensive but my partner insists on having Sky Sports and Sky Movies which obviously ups the premium, but there are definitely cheaper options available so do not let this deter you.
The installment process was quick as we already had all of the equipment installed so it was just a case of the engineers bringing a box and setting it up correctly which took them around 15 minutes. However, my mum recently had to have everything installed from scratch when she took out a contract and it took no longer than an hour. The only disappointment I had was that I was not shown how to use the box and was just left with a booklet and remote to figure it out.
The TiVo, is a DVR recorder. This means you can record all your favourite programmes ready to watch when it suits you (and can fast forward all the annoying advertisements of course!) you can record upto 3 programmes at one time but must be watching one of them, I use my box a lot and I think there has only been one occasion where I have recorded 3 at the same time so this is more than adequate. There are 3 led lights that turn red when something is being recorded.
We have a 1TB box, which is standard with the VIP package. We currently have at least 15 films recorded plus various series and are still on only 61% so fantastic storage. There is also a suggestions feature. This records shows that the box thinks you might like based on your personal recordings. So for example, if you record a lot of football or soaps, it will record other programmes similar to this for you. These get stored under your suggestions rather than "my shows" which is where shows you've recorded yourself go. This means that no additional memory is taken up by recording these suggested shows.
There are "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" buttons on your remote control. These are pretty clever. When you record a show it will automatically get a thumbs up as obviously you like it. You can give a show anything from 1 to 3 thumbs up and it is this that will then look for other programmes to suggest to record. Likewise, if the TiVo keeps recording a programme under the presumption you like it and you don't (Jeremy Kyle kept getting recorded in this house) then you can give it between 1 and 3 thumbs down and this will tell the box you do not like this programme and therefore it will stop recording unwanted shows.
Aswell as being a DVR the TiVo also contains catch up and on demand using BBC IPlayer, ITV player and 4OD amongst others. YouTube is also built in and can be synced to you mobile to allow easy searching and viewing. And of course there is the pause/rewind/fast forward feature of on air tv shows, so if you need to pop to the loo in the middle of Eastenders you won't miss a thing!
I'll admit upon first receiving this service, neither me nor my partner were too keen as we had both been used to Sky for some years. We also had an urial problem with the TiVo box and engineers were called out twice to replace out box. Luckily Virgin Media do not charge for service call outs unlike Sky, so this didn't matter
After the initial teething problems and getting used to using our new service I can honestly say I'm so happy with TiVo! Even the kids know how to use it now although in not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing!
We had another problem a couple of months ago where the box was making a loud buzzing noise, we were told it was the hard drive inside and had to have the box replaced again and subsequently lost all of our recordings but I cannot fault Virgins customer service.
I would and have recommended TiVo to friends and family and would be lost without it now.
Having recently relocated to a new flat we went with Virgin as their Tivo box appeared very appealing to us, particularly the price. I've never had the ability to record TV so easily so this was my first experience of what many consider normal!
Our setup was a bit of a drag, but once everything was in place we knew immediately how to use the box. It was certainly very intuitive and the menus are quite well laid out and easy enough to navigate with the provided remote. The main issue we have is that it doesn't seem particularly responsive and you need to have the remote pointing very directly at the box, rather than the TV which is quite forgiving if you aren't dead on! A feature where you could fix short cuts to the home page would also be brilliant. We always use the BBC Iplayer feature for instance and we find it tedious to have to go through the apps>tv movies>iplayer route every time.
The positive is undoubtedly the ease with which you can record what you want to watch, even while you're watching something else you've already recorded. Recording series of things is also done at a touch of a button (although be careful if you do something long as I've accidentally filled ours up with lots of episodes of daytime TV repeats!). The navigation inside a recorded programme is very easy, you can skip through as you would expect to be able to with a DVD, but when using the catch up service (not as part of an app) it can be painful to go through an episode (it can take five minutes for 30 minutes' worth of tv time to whizz by!).
On the whole it's a great bit of kit and now we're used to it we'd really struggle without it. Although I haven't tried using my phone to set things to record, that's a great feature. It's an unobtrusive colour and it sits nicely in our living room out of the way.
I have been a loyal customer of Virgin Media for over four year and have always had great service until recently. Our broadband kept dropping out and lots of our channels wouldnt work. I got so annoyed phoning them all the time that I finnally asked to be put through to cancelations. After lots of discussions back and forth I was finally offered Tivo with the XL tv package (which I had always had) for less money than I was paying. I decided to stay with Virgin.
Well my experience with my new Tivo box started out on the wrong foot. The engineer who came to set it up was the rudest person that has ever stepped foot in my house. If I hadnt now been looking forward to the tivo box I would have thrown him out. When I contacted Virgin about him afterwards they apologised but said he was an outside contractor so they couldnt do anything about him.
So then new box is installed, the man leaves, and I dont have a clue how to work it. I am in my late 20's and normally anything electrical or gadgety is no problem for me to work out, but Tivo not so much. It is really complicated to do anything on it. Even just to scroll through the tv guide while you are watching something already involves hitting two many buttons. I feel they have made it to fancy. I want to hit the directional buttons to find out other shows, not have to hit okay then scroll through. I want the back button to always go back, not have to work out if this screen needs the left arrow to go back or the back button.
All the menus are that over compliacted that I found it difficult to find Tivos many features and dont feel I am using it to its full potentional. Most of the features I have found, I love. I love being able to search by an actor or word. Me and my husband are about to go New York and we searched this on Tivo. The list it brought up was amazing - documetaries, movie's set in NYC, programmes about food in NYC. These are things we would have probably have missed if we were just looking through tv listings. And now things relating to NYC appear in my suggested items, its great.
Overall it really is a Gadget that I love and hate. I love how it makes it easier to watch things that interest me, no more changing channels constantly as there is always somthing I want to watch in my suggestions. I also hate how the simplest of tasks takes forever, loads of menu's just to set up a series link, or to deleate a programme. Now that I have it I dont want to watch TV without it so the love does slightly out weight the hate.
We upgraded to TiVo about 6 months ago. Before we got it I was very excited as I was jealous of my dad's ability to record TV programmes through his set top box. I was really chuffed when Virgin offered us TiVo for cheaper than we were paying for a normal set top box before.
Mr Stacey was there for installation so I didn't witness that, but I believe an engineer came round and fitted it and took our old box back. It seemed fairly simple, although staying in for an engineer might be a pain for some households. I don't pay this particular bill, but I believe we pay around £40-50 per month for TV, internet and phone line.
The box is fairly large but it's black and sleek and quite discrete. We have it on our TV unit next to the Playstation and the surround sound system and it blends in quite inconspicuously. There are buttons to the front and two small green lights. It can make some noise as it has a hard drive in it, but it doesn't bother us and is no louder than using a laptop/Playstation.
We've got a fairly standard TV package. There is a 'guide' button on the remote control which allows you to browse channels. My biggest bugbear is that you have to scroll through each channel individually and can't click 'screen down' like you do with the regular Virgin Media set top box.
On demand is quite difficult to negotiate as the programmes are listed in a long line and you have to scroll through individually, which can be time consuming especially as the menu pauses every time the screen scrolls down. I swear it once took me 5 minutes to scroll down to 'Russell Howard's Good News' as it was right at the bottom of the R's!
From the 'home' button you can access the TV guide, catch up and on demand, you can search and browse for programmes on demand (doing this for Russell Howard from now on!), recordings and games. You can also browse programmes by category and set your favourite channels.
For me, the recording is the best feature. You can record in advance by pressing record on the programme in the TV guide. You also set up 'series link' so you record all episodes of a particular programme (up to ten episodes) I've found this really useful as Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model isn't on demand, so if I had plans I could easily catch up! It does record adverts as well but you can easily fast forward. Items are easy to delete afterwards, and the top of the screen has suggestions of other programmes you might like based on what you've recorded. There is also a 'thumbs up' and a 'thumbs down' button on the remote where you can rate shows on the TV as you watch them to generate suggestions. I was amused when I realised Mr S had clicked 'thumbs down' for the BBC3 channel offline 'programme'.
~Other remote features~
You can use the remote to pause live TV, although I can't say we use this feature very often. You're also supposed to be able to rewind but I find it will only rewind back up to a minute so again not very useful. Doesn't do anything for me. There's also a slow button which slows down the picture - I have no idea why you would want this feature. I mainly use the fast forward option when watching recorded programmes and the adverts come on.
~Other remote buttons~
* Text button - no idea what this does
* Info - displayed programme informaiton
* Arrow buttons - for menu scrolling
* Numbers - for manual channel entry
* Last channel - easily skip back to the last channel you were watching
* TV - easily go back to you programme from any menu screen
TiVo can access the internet and we've used it for YouTube etc, which is great to be able to watch on the big screen.
I was really excited about getting TiVo But I can't say I've been that impressed with it. I find the menus slow and difficult to navigate. I wish there was a 'screen down' option whilst using menus. However I love the record option, it's great for series you really want to watch and also good for just good TV to have on hand for when there's nothing on. We always have The Big Bang Theory recorded so if there's nothing on and we want something to watch we know we've got something we will enjoy, and then we can delete after we've watched it and it will record the next episode for us.
I can also say we've never had any problems with service or it not working, it's always worked fine.
Overall TiVo has some good features but I was surprised at how basic it was and the simple solutions that would make it so much more user friendly. It makes you wonder if these things are consumer tested at all!
Edit: Thanks to user Olibob I've just discovered that you can 'page up/down' via the channel buttons on the remote. This will make things much easier for me! Wish it was more obvious as we've been individually scrolling for months!
We upgraded from the standard little black Virgin box last year to the Tivo box. Straight away we had problem after problem with it, there wasn't a day where we weren't on the phone to Virgin Media for one reason or another whether it be it not switching on or the lights coming on and it not working, missing programs etc. but a year later thankfully all those problems have gone and to be fair to Virgin Media, they were very quick in rectifying it.
Now that everything is okay, we really like Tivo. It is very easy to use and the EPG (the TV guide) is much more asthetically pleasing and easy to use than the Sky guide a lot of friends and family have. The Sky EPG looks dated but Tivo with the sleek dark red design is very easy to use.
You can pause, record and rewind live TV like Sky but unlike Sky you can record up to 3 programmes at once (so long as you are watching one you have recorded earlier) or 2 if you are watching a different channel. It also has on-demand TV from BBC Iplayer, ITV player, 4OD and Demand 5.
It's easy to record shows and the box holds 500 GB of TV which is pretty big and we rarely even use half of that. I think we have about 45 % of recorded programmes on the box, and that includes a load of HD programmes.
There are plenty of channels on offer too, we have the L package but the XL package has loads of HD channels, but it is quite expensive.
Overall, we are really pleased with the easiness of Virgin's Tivo once you get used to it and the look and design of it, and if something does go wrong, Virgin have been very good at fixing stuff for us.
Well where I start with this product. It is easy to use has onscreen help menus and will even remember what you like to watch and record if you happen to miss. TiVo is the future of Televisions and my 3 daughter love it. If we manage to avoid one episode of peppa pig the box will record for them as they have used the thumbs up and thumb down buttons to tell the box what they like to watch and what they don't. The Reason I like the TiVo box so much is because it is quick as it has its own built in modem so watching videos and you tube and playing the games on TiVo are never slow and image is always of top quality. This Modem also means that the TiVo can do background updates while you watch TV or record. Recording is also very easy to use and you can record a series or certain episodes if you know which ones you will miss, manual recording is also very good if there's a live football game which goes into extra time you can also leave more than enough time to catch the game. My favourte feature is when your wife deletes your favourite programmes instead of losing the programme all together is goes into recently deleted so I can still watch the show after all. The TiVo also has a huge memory of a 1tb there is also a smaller option of 500 GB which adds up to around 500 hours of recording so always something to watch on them boring days. I am very happy and will not be moving anytime soon from this product.
When I moved into my new home, I decided to treat myself and get Tivo. Having always had Sky at my parents, this was quite a culture shock. The main reason for me choosing Virgin Media was the far superior fibre broadband. The benefit I wasn't expecting was the fact that my new TV provider would be so good.
I am on the highest TV package, but don't get sports or movie channels. For my TV, broadband and phone I pay £68 per month but for the service I receive, I am extremely happy with this.
I originally got £140 cash back by signing up through a cash back site and also only paid £40 a month for the first 6 months, so financially, this was a great deal.
The Tivo box comes with the on demand / catch up facility, although normally the programs I want to watch aren't available, but my girlfriend always seems to have something ready to watch on demand.
The hard drive allows for 250 hours of recordings. One thing I will say is it is a bit clunky to delete programs so after you have watched something, delete it otherwise you will have a backlog of things taking up precious disk space.
You can watch and record 3 programs at the same time, which is always great because when you live with somebody who loves X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing and other programs (rubbish in my view), this is a great benefit.
There are also many "apps" that can be downloaded such as YouTube. Having YouTube on your TV is fantastic when entertaining guests at home.
EASE OF USE
Moving from Sky to Virgin Media, I was expecting some teething problems, and to find it harder to use and for it to take me a few weeks to get used to it. How wrong was I! Immediately, I picked up the remote an instinctively knew where to navigate to and what to press to do what I wanted.
I couldn't be happier with my Tivo box, it has some great features, it is easy to use and hasn't skipped a beat. 10/10
I had finally convinced my parents to upgrade to TiVo as being a student with my college a long journey away I can have a lot of free time or very little so when I do I want to be able to do what I want to do swiftly. I could not do this before. Regarding our internet we had a 2 upload and 2 download speed.. needless to say this is terrible! (4G is 10 upload and 10 download.. that's on a mobile phone!) The V+ Box was alright nothing special and no queries on the line rental as it didn't really affect me. We upgraded to the 'VIP Collection'
Anyway enough complaining once I had brought this across I noticed the change straight away, here's a summary of all the great things that came with it and upgraded old features:
- You still have the options to watch on demand, music and films but it has a much better layout
- The V+ box that could only record 2 programmes at the same time (or if a programme finished at 9 and you had 2 set to record at 9 this would count as three and clash. With TiVo you can record 3 programmes at the same time and the end time does not factor into this. Still can record series or single programmes
- It has an internet connection (so did the V+ Box) but with this you can watch videos on YouTube and use other apps pre installed on the box which are great and very innovative. It does not have an internet browser though
- Space for 250 hours of recordings
- Same layout for watching programmes can fastforward or rewind, live TV too. But the one main thing is that with TiVo you can put a programme into a slow mo mode. Which can help to see everything in great detail and being able to do this anytime is great!
The controller is slightly different to the V+ one with the middle slightly curved, takes a while to get used to but is more comfortable and will feel that way straight away to anyone who hasn't had a Virgin media controller before. The buttons are the same apart from the slow mo addition and V+ changed to 'My Shows' When I say the same I mean they all do the same thing but they are in different places. Can't say the layout is worse or better to me it's just different. The box looks well made though I won't be testing its durability anytime soon! The controller has had it's fair drops already and it seems durable the last one definitely was! One thing I have to say is the V+ Box could be very slow and freeze frequently, TiVo does not it is very fast and responsive, may be because its relatively new but have to see as time goes on.
Finally the internet speed is amazing! I have not lagged on the internet once, we have 4 people with smartphones connecting to the WiFi, 2 laptops, 1 desktop computer, the box itself and 2 PS3's all connecting to the internet. Never lagged on any online game, or while browsing since the upgrade whereas before I would be disconnected and slow even when it was working. This is all I thought I would benefit from with the upgrade but the TiVo box itself was a lot better than expected!
The price we got was only £10 more than before ended up as £40 month + £10 line rental. I do not know the price ranges for a new customer but the TV by itself can be got for £20 a month, I am sure this is for a limited time but it is what was advertised, getting a quote from them directly is a better way to find out. Also go around and find out what Sky and the other companies are offering if they offer cheaper tell Virgin Media that and they will 9/10 times match that price.
All in all this is more than just TV now and is an amazing improvement. Would recommend to anyone well worth the money and it is used a lot in the house!
Specs :- Size (approx.): Width is 37cm Diameter is 24 cm, and height is 7 cm. it has a Cable Co-Ax In, a SCART socket, HDMI cable, Optical Audio Out, 2 x USB , an Ethernet Network Port and a Mains Power
We have been with virgin media now for about 8 months and so far i love the Tivo box. We only have the basic package but with the added extras of the apps on it we are very happy with it overall. I love the fact that you can watch one programs and record another 2 programs at the same time which is a good thing in our house because all we have on is cbeebies :)
The TiVo will even record programs it knows you love, if you have given a similar program 3 thumbs up it will record it as a program you may like which i think is a great little extra. You can also express series links for any program you wish to watch the whole series of - and this even extends to programs not even on air yet, you just request that they start to record the series once it is on air.
A few things that bother me is when we are watching something some times it turns itself over to another channel and when we try and use the apps 40% of the time it crashes or doesnt work at all.
We decided to get the Virgin media 'Premium' package last week for our new house. There were a variety of choices with regard to television, internet and phone packages, but Virgin Media seemed to offer the best value for money. 'Premium' brings a 60 mb fibre-optic broadband connection, XL TV package (with HD channels, ESPN and a few other extras *not including Sky extras), a phone line with unlimited weekend calls, and an extra 'standard' box for your second sitting room or bedroom (with HD channels, but no recording). With their "first 6-months for half-price (not including line rental of £13.90 per month)" offer, the temptation to go with Mr Branson's business prevailed. I can safely say that after trying Virgin out for a few days (Broadband and TV) the £60 per month cost (a little under £40 for the first half-year) seems well worth it. The capabilities of the technology you are treated, freely installed and demonstrated, is both fascinating and fantastic - I'm fanatic!
The Tivo box is sensational. I've never had Sky or Virgin before, so I didn't really know what to expect. Once the features of the Tivo box were fully realised, I was well and truly hooked, obsessed, glued to our 40 inch LCD screen for hours on end! Here's a list of the 'Tivo Features' and some brief explanations:
- The box has 500GB of internal space - that's enough for 250 hours of recording.
- You can record up to 3 channels at once, settings the box to record whole seasons/series or just single episodes. You can watch while you record or have it recording in the background.
- It has internet connectivity - obtained via a cable to your router. You can watch YouTube videos, and use other apps pre-loaded to the device. The box doesn't have a browser like your PC or laptop though!
- The internet allows for you to rent new films from Virgin through your TV for a fair price.
- The guide looks far into the future and also into the past if you want to see any programs you've missed, then record the next one!
- Pause, rewind, and 'slow' down TV so you never miss a piece of muffled dialogue, or you want to see something in slow-mo for added entertainment value.
--- All this is arranged neatly within a straight-forward interface (which makes satisfying noises when flicked through). This consists of pages and menus moved between by an ergonomically designed controller: Guide page, 'My Shows' page, Catchup, Internet apps page(I.e. YouTube, Spotify, etc), and a few more. The controller has a play, pause, fast-forward, re-wind, and 'slow' button for manipulating Live television. It also has a red 'record' button in the centre with the 'My Shows' button above that so that once something is recorded you can jump to the list of downloads quickly.
The box and the controller are well made, solidly constructed to offer some protection if dropped or hit against something - general wear and tear is catered for. Though there are some buttons and lights on the box, everything can be operated through the controller perfectly, and communication between the two is lighting fast, as responsive as can be - how this will develop over time I can only guess. Predominantly rubber, the controller buttons are thick and durable, large enough for the hard-of-sight to make out clearly, but not too clumpy, and not too clumsy or fiddly either. The perfect design balance has been achieved - much better than the old Virgin Media controller (the bluey-purple one) which I had the misfortune of using at a friends recently, it's horrible, plastic-ey and flimsy to the touch.
I am still exploring the confines of the Tivo box, and will never truly reach its distant limits - as updates are likely to be thorough and frequent. Its features are exceptional, it's entertainment a-plenty, so I doubt I'll ever really get bored of the thing - unless TV channels and the internet get boring!
BEWARE: You have to buy it on an 18-month contract (...and this begins again if you move home!)
PRICE: £45 a month + £13.90 line rental - £22.50 + £13.90 for first 6-months.
AVAILABILITY: Only through the Virgin Media store online (or call).