What is Virgin Media TV Anywhere?

Latest news for Virgin Media TV AnywhereVirgin Media TV Anywhere is a mix of live TV channels and on-demand films and TV, available free to all Virgin subscribers via web browsers, or apps on smartphones and tablets. 

The web browser experience includes TiVo-style features such as searching for TV shows and films via cast and crew, smart recommendations, and 4,000 hours of on-demand films and TV. TiVo users can also use it to manage their recordings and preferences, while non-TiVo subscribers will see these options teasingly greyed-out.

The TV Anywhere app is exclusive to TiVo subscribers, with the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch edition live now and an Android edition due in 2013. It offers live channels via WiFi, with on-demand to be added in 2013.

Virgin Media TV Anywhere web recording

TiVo owners can also use their tablet as a remote-remote control, with the complete TiVo interface available for browsing the programme guide, using the TiVo ‘thumbs up’ and ‘thumbs down’ buttons to mark programme preferences, and managing and setting up recordings while you’re roaming.

Once on the same home network as your TiVo, the app will become a complete remote control for playback and changing channels, with a swipe-and-tap interface for controling fast forward/rewind, play, pause and slow motion.

You can stream live TV and recordings from TiVo to your iPad via your home network, even if your TiVo is tuned to another channels and playing back another recording on your TV.

It also offers extra information on whatever you're watching, such as cast and crew biogs, to let you find more content.

What are the live channels on Virgin TV Anywhere?

Virgin TV Anywhere iPad app live streaming Virgin TV Anywhere offers up to 45 live streaming TV channels, depending on your subscription, although the Sky Movies and and Sky Sports channels are currently only available on the web not in the app. Virgin plans to expand this selection in 2013.

The live channels on the web at launch are:

5*, Boomerang, British Eurosport, Cartoon Network, Channel Five, CNN, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Eden, ESPN, ESPN Classic, Eurosport 2, Five USA, GOLD, Heat, Kerrang!, Kiss, Magic, Smash Hits, The Box, Nat Geo, Nat Geo Wild, PBS, SET, Sky 1, Sky Living, Sky Movies Action & Adventure, Sky Movies Classics, Sky Movies Comedy, Sky Movies Crime and Thriller, Sky Movies Drama and Romance, Sky Movies Family, Sky Movies Indie, Sky Movies Modern Greats, Sky Movies Premiere, Sky Movies Sci-Fi and Horror, Sky Movies Showcase, Sky News, Sky Sports 1-4, Sky Sports F1, and Sky Sports News.

The live channels on mobile phones and tablets at launch are similar, but with Sky 1, Sky Living, Sky News and Sky Sports News yet to be confirmed, and no access to the premium Sky Movies or Sky Sports channels.

What's in the on-demand video library on Virgin TV Anywhere?

The browser edition has around 4,000 hours of on-demand films and TV shows, which will also be available in 2013 on the iPad and other apps. The app can only stream live TV if you have a WiFi connection (or on-demand when that's added). 

Channels providing on-demand content at launch are: Aardman Animation, Bio, Cartoon Network, Crime & Investigation, Discovery, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney Original Movies, Disney XD, ESPN Classic, E! Entertainment, FX, History, Military History, MTV, National Geographic, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, Pop, Tiny Pop, and numerous US TV boxsets. 

Sky On Demand including Sky Movies and Sky Sports is available for subscribers to these services, and Virgin TV Anywhere includes integrated access to catch-up services from BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand Five.

As well as individual shows and channels, all Virgin TV subscribers can access the same kinds of themed TV and film Collections found on TiVo, from seasonal selections to a dedicated children's area.

How much does Virgin TV Anywhere cost?

Virgin TV Anywhere is free to access for all Virgin Media TV customers, with channels and on-demand depending on your TV subscription. The apps are free to download and use for TiVo customers.

Can I use the Virgin TV Anywhere on my PC or Mac?

Yes, just head to the Virgin TV Anywhere website at anywhere.virginmedia.com and log in.

How can I get the Virgin TV Anywhere app?

The app is available now on the Apple App Store, and will be available from Google Play for selected Android devices in early 2013.

Can I share what I'm watching on social media?

Yes. Virgin TV Anywhere has sharing functions for Facebook and Twitter on both the browser and app interfaces, and this is an area Virgin wants to expand in future.

Can I control more than one TiVo with Virgin TV Anywhere?

Virgin TV Anywhere iPad app remote controlIf you have more than one TiVo box, there's no limit to how many TV Anywhere can control, and you can also use it to rename them so they're easier to identify.

If you're using the mobile/tablet app as a remote control on your home network, each TiVo can only be controlled by one device at a time.

Do I need to connect my TiVo to my Virgin Media Superhub broadband modem/router?

There's no need to connect to your router to use the live streaming, on-demand and remote management features from your PC/Mac, or from your mobile device when you're outside the home, as your TiVo has a built-in connection to Virgin already.

To use the TV Anywhere app as a remote control within the home, you will need to connect your TiVo via Ethernet to your Superhub, so that both devices are on the same local network.

If your Superhub is not located near to your TiVo, or it doesn't have any spare Ethernet ports, the Virgin Media Accessories store offers Powerline Ethernet extenders, while Ethernet switches are widely available.

On which mobile devices can I use Virgin TV Anywhere?

TV Anywhere has launched for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch (requires iOS 5.0 or above), and will be available on Android in 2013. There's no timetable for launch on Windows Phone 8 or Blackberry.

The Android launch will be focussed on the most popular handsets and tablets, with an emphasis on those available through Virgin Mobile.

How many devices and PCs can I use to stream TV channels with Virgin TV Anywhere?

You can use as many different web browsers as you like to stream live TV channels, although you can only be logged into one browser at any time. 

Up to two mobile/tablet devices can be registered to TV Anywhere to watch live streaming channels, and you can change these up to once every month. There's no limit on how many devices can be used to manage your recordings, Wish Lists and programme preferences.

Do I need an active data connection to use the Virgin TV Anywhere app?

Remote control features on the app work over 3G connections. WiFi connections are recommended for streaming video, but are expected to work over a high quality 3G connection also. 

You’ll need a broadband connection speed of at least 3Mbps for Virgin TV Anywhere to properly stream programmes. If you’re streaming programmes on a mobile device then you’ll only be able to do this if there’s a strong enough 3G signal or you’re connected to WiFi.

Virgin TV Anywhere will use adaptive bitrate streaming, so if you’ve got a busy connection or the speed drops for whatever reason, then you’ll notice changes as streams re-optimise. No word on how fast your connection will need to be for HD content, but given what the story is with Netflix, Lovefilm, Now TV and the rest, we’d expect the minimum speed to be 5Mbps.

Latest news for Virgin Media TV Anywhere

Virgin TV Anywhere: hands-on video first look

The long-awaited Virgin TV Anywhere app and web service have gone live - as you can see in our video below.

The web service service provides all Virgin Media subscribers with 45 live TV streaming channels and a 4,000-hour on-demand library, with a teasing flavour of TiVo for those without.

Virgin’s TiVo subscribers get the full benefit of TV Anywhere, with extra features online and an exclusive app for the iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch (an Android version is coming in early 2013).

TiVo subs can send instant remote record requests from the web and connect directly to their TiVo box’s ‘My Shows’ section to manage their recordings, Season Passes and Wish Lists. They can also rate shows with Thumbs Up/Down and manage their programme ratings.

Non-subscribers can see the greyed-out thumbs and other options, but can’t use them.

“This is for everybody so people who don’t have TiVo will start to understand what it’s about and start to get some of the benefits,” said Scott Kewley, Virgin’s director of multi-screen product.

The app has two modes: away from home it has live channels, on-demand streaming and remote management like the web app; but at home it becomes complete TiVo remote control and second viewing screen - TiVo can play separate content to both screens at once.

Users can control playback with a virtual remote, or swipe the screen to fast forward, pause and play. Swiping from the screen will also change channels or start TiVo playing from the TV and on-demand guides, or your recordings.

For those people lucky enough to have more than one TiVo, TV Anywhere can control several boxes and rename them to make them easier to manage.

November 7, 2012

iPad app and online preview screenshots

Virgin Media has officially announced Virgin Media Anywhere, the forthcoming catch-up app for online and iPad which we reported on last week.

Among the official announcement are some new details including:

  • Social sharing to Facebook and Twitter
  • 3Mbps minimum speed
  • Remote access to TiVo recordings considered for future

Virgin Media Anywhere: iPad app and online screenshots

Social sharing to Facebook and Twitter was perhaps a given. We all like a bit of second screen action and we didn’t think that Virgin Media wouldn’t include this in the Anywhere iPad app. 

Virgin Media also revealed that the ability to remotely access and stream your TiVo recordings through the Anywhere service is ‘something we are investigating for the future.’

We’ve also got hold of some screenshots of how the Virgin Media Anywhere iPad and desktop apps will look. You can see how the TiVo functions have been mapped for the iPad screen and how you can easily schedule recordings on the move. 

Virgin Media Anywhere: iPad app and online screenshots

September 7, 2012

Virgin Media TV Anywhere coming in October

TV Anywhere will launch for the iPad and web browsers in October 2012, What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision reports, allowing Virgin TV customers to watch live TV and an on-demand library away from home like Sky Go.

The iPad app will be exclusive to TiVo users, with a host of recording management and remote control features over WiFi and 3G - with iPhone and Android apps to follow.

August 29, 2012

Virgin chief promises iPad TiVo app in September

Virgin Media TiVo users’ long wait for the iPad app *could* be over in September for iPad-wielders, if their latest announcement is accurate.

Virgin chief exec Neil Berkett told an industry conference that the app will go live on the iPad in September.

Virgin has iPhone and Android apps which let you browse and set up recordings via broadband, but a more powerful app has been promised since Virgin’s TiVo was first previewed in 2010.

There are more than 500,000 Virgin TiVos now up and running, reports Broadband TV News, and new boxes are being fitted every 15 seconds.

Virgin's chief operating officer Andrew Barron reportedly told investors in February that the app is stable and ‘impressive’, but Virgin wanted to make sure it was ready for the mass market.

“We wanted to make sure early adopter enthusiasts will love it - but that, when it hits, it goes mass-market quite quickly and is not viewed as some flaky application for enthusiasts but is polished and doesn’t generate calls to support,” he added.

March 9, 2012