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Virgin Media boss: TiVo is here to stay

Virgin Media boss Tom Mockridge has quashed rumours that TiVo might be replaced. 

Since the takeover of Virgin Media by international cable giant Liberty Global last year, rumours circulated that Virgin Media TiVo could be replaced by Liberty Global’s own Horizon set-top box. 

Both products are similar in that they offer many on-demand services but Virgin Media TiVo has a backwards programme guide, offering streamlined access to catch-up content. 

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The only advantage customers would see from switching to Horizon from TiVo is that the current orizon box has four tuners – letting you record up to four programmes at once – while Virgin Media TiVo has three. 

At a Broadcasting Press Guild event, Mockridge said that the success and continued growth of Virgin Media TiVo meant that Virgin Media wasn’t planning to introduce Horizon to UK customers. 

Mockridge said: “It’s a bit like saying Virgin Media’s not a brand that Liberty Global uses in other markets. They haven’t turned up here and said ‘we’ll take away the red paint and slap Liberty on everything.’

“The [TiVo] boxes deployed today have been very successful here. The strongest mantra we take is that our customers like it.”

Digital TV Europe reports that there are roughly 500,000 Horizon boxes currently used by Liberty Global customers across Ireland, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Virgin Media TiVo by contrast has been installed in over 2 million UK homes

The latest figures from Virgin Media show that the appetite for TiVo continues to grow, with the majority of its 3.7 million TV customers now taking the connected smart TV service. 

Virgin Media TiVo gives subscribers access to apps and services including Netflix, YouTube and Spotify as well as traditional catch-up services like BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and 4oD. Virgin Media recently confirmed that Amazon’s Prime Instant Video could soon arrive on TiVo, bringing the likes of Vikings and Ripper Street to more TV screens. 

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