The argument over “lean-forward” and “lean-back” TV viewing experiences has been, largely, pushed into the background as more viewers become increasingly comfortable with the need to do a little bit more work in finding the content they really want to watch among the growing number of online outlets.
But that doesn’t mean making it easier isn’t a good idea. Virgin Media this week begins rolling out an upgrade for its TioVo boxes that does just that. The boxes are getting a major update over the next few weeks that includes new features to help users search, find and save content on the service.
A new feature called Series Link+ will enable customers to pull together live TV channels, on demand and online services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer.
“This update gives our box an even more intuitive intelligence while, crucially, retaining many of the familiar features we know our customers love,” said David Bouchier, Chief Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media.
The main features included in this update are:
- Smart search, which requires just the first letter of the program title and to the box does the rest to find shows.
- Series Link+, which will record the entire series and also find all of the related episodes available on demand and on platforms such as Netflix. Episodes will be put into one folder (My Shows).
- Fewer lists, less text, more images. On demand program will now appear as image-based tiles and subtle changes such as changing channel names to channel logos help to improve the functionality and access.
- Continue watching will be extended to all on demand TV.
- Bookmarking will be available on traditional TV, on demand or on Netflix, with all being available in a single folder and in “My Shows” so that viewers can more easily get to the TV they love.
This update comes as Virgin Media is making significant changes to its TV service this year with an improved user interface, exclusive programming and a new set top box – the V6. TiVo was purchased by Rovi for $1.1billion in April. TiVo has said it has more than 7 million subscribers and has a small, but strong list of operator partners including Virgin Media, Com Hem, Altice-owned Suddenlink Communications, Mediacom Communications, and RCN.