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back to article Virgin close to releasing long-delayed TiVo app

Virgin Media first showed a TiVo app for iDevices off in June 2011. Almost 18 months later, the cable telly company may at long last be gearing up to release the software. The app, which works with Virgin’s TiVo-based set-top box was originally due to go live in September 2011 but with that deadline missed, the company kept …

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Mushroom

"Virgin has a working app that it’s currently mak[ing] small cosmetic tweaks to."

FFS, that's near enough what they had before they even started; the original, working, TiVo app that just needed a bit of tweaking to get the Virgin Media colour scheme on it.

What the hell have they been doing all this time?

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Re: "Virgin has a working app that it’s currently mak[ing] small cosmetic tweaks to."

Judging by the amount of junk mail I get from them (despite me being a customer already), they've all been hard at work stuffing envelopes.

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Re: Judging by the amount of junk mail I get from them (despite me being a customer already)

Why do they do that?

What do they want from me? Do they want me to plug myself directly into the co-axial cable 24/7?

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Soooooooooo anything for the legions of us that don't own iPads?

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At most you'll probably get a "Your OS is not supported" message, just like their website. Feckin' eejits.

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Unhappy

I doubt it

Who knows? I think there's an official TiVo app for Android in the US, but I've no idea if it's any good.

There's the open source TiVo Commander for Android, and I briefly had a basic WP7 app in the store that provided some of the same features. Unfortunately Virgin have twice updated the TiVo firmware with code that either purposefully (the first time) or perhaps unintentionally (the second time) stopped applications using the protocol reverse engineered from the iPad app from working.

I want the new iPad app to come out so that I can use it to see if it's possible to get my WP7 app talking to the TiVo again. If I can I'll write a Windows 8 one myself (I have a Surface).

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Mushroom

I fucking hope so. Because it seems pretty retarded to write an App that you can use on a big thing that lot's of people mainly use for looking at while sat on the sofa in front of the TV and is mooted by use of the sodding remote.

I think I'd rather have something that the majority of mobile users can use to record things while they're out of the house than a vanity App.

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If you have a iPhone then VM already have an app for your phone that you can use to remote record from

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Which is also available on the Google Play store for Android devices...

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FAIL

got all excited about this when it was first rumored.

i've since cancelled virgin and sold my ipad, so meh

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Coat

I already have a working [MythTV] app...

It's called MythWeb and I can program my mythbox from my phone/mini tablet to make recordings and see what's already recorded. Mythmote allows me to use the phone as a remote control to the box and stream recording from my MythBox to my phone (thanks to Skifta/DLNA client of you choice).

All works very well

So what HAVE Virgin been doing - unless they've been making a 'superapp' of it all...

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Re: I already have a working [MythTV] app...

Can it decode Virgin and record cable channels?

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Re: I already have a working [MythTV] app...

No the article was about the CAPABILITIES + FEATURES + delivery of the app - not the box it controlled! I cannot have a TiVo as my town has no Virgin cable (or from any company...) but if I HAD a TiVo I would be asking why there is this control interface gap.

"Can it decode Virgin and record cable channels?" is irrelevant as far as discussion of the app goes - if an app can control a box to record FreeView; then if the box is also capable of decoding virgin/cable channels the the app will be able to do that also.

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Re: I already have a working [MythTV] app...

Oh...so you system which has nothing whatsoever to do with Virgin and can't even interface with it, can do things that Virgin can't. Hmm...this is relevant why?

"Hey, I can't control my car from my phone. Why not Ford, why not? I've seen radio controlled cars that do things like that Ford, why not you? What's holding you up?"

I think you just wanted to show off a little. I'm kinda surprised you didn't mention that you run Arch.

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Re: I already have a working [MythTV] app...

Putting it politely, rather than with peevish remarks/sniping, the point is an open source DVR manages to have a web interface to control it's actions whilst Virgin seem to be struggling to get an app out to do the same on a commercial product.

Just to put the record straight, I don't run Arch. I have better things to do with my time.

Are you having a bad day? You do seem rather bitter about something...

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Re: I already have a working [MythTV] app...

You made a point that one piece of software/hardware(not Virgin's) did a thing that Virgin's doesn't and wondered why Virgin's didn't. I made a similar example with Ford and a remote control car. I could have made it about, say, LinuxMCE. Why doesn't Myth let you control your house? LinuxMCE does. What is keeping those work-shy Myth devs, eh?

My point was, that unless your software/hardware can do the fundamental most important thing (decode the encrypted Virgin media TV streams) then it is useless in this context and you are comparing apples and marmots.

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Re: I already have a working [MythTV] app...

I'd like to see you try and get to the shops in a remote control car; at least both TiVo and MythTv allow you to record TV programs; the fact that TiVo has satnav is irrelevant

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Just cut the cord

We have.

Our VM bill was £86 a month for XL TV, 100mb net and calls. When we looked at what we actually watched we (the paying adults) realised that most of it was on Freeview anyway or available online via iPlayer or 4OD etc. Our kids watched and recorded all manner of rubbish. So, both VM boxes have gone and the bill for net and phones is now under £50. We can either watch a show when it goes out or online later, the kids have Freeview in their rooms and as Im keen to point out, when I was a lad we only had 3 channels!

Ok, we are missing the convenience of an all singing,all dancing STB experience but I feel better now that I'm not paying for channels that were never watched.

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Re: Just cut the cord

I'm tempted to do the same. There's rarely anything worth watching that's not available on Freeview. Having all the iplayer stuff there is useful though and I don't want to fork out for a new TV with all of that built in when the one I have works fine.

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Happy

Re: Just cut the cord

I was paying over £70 a month for the same (except one V+ box and what was then 50mb internet). I called and threatened to go to Sky - I was put through to the Customer Retention team, and managed to wrangle Tivo, V+ box, 30 (now 60) mb internet and free evening/weekend calls for £52 per month (goes up slightly after 12 months). The only thing I had to do was commit to an 18 month contract. Oh yes, I got free installation for the Tivo box as well.

And, as an added bonus, the engineer didn't replace my modem with that new VM box which has all the problems :-).

If you talk to the right people, you can get a decent deal.

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FAIL

Too much TiVo

Virgin have taken their eyes off the ball big time recently. They've spent far too much time banging on about the capabilities of it's TiVo box without realising they are capabilities that most people don't want, need or are prepared to pay £5 a month extra for.

Meantime they've failed miserably to attract an acceptable amount of HD content to the platform, something that people expect to be normal in 2012, not something special.

Without offering an acceptable HD channel line-up, VM are merely trying to polish a turd with this app.

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Re: Too much TiVo

One thing I've never worked out about the HD channels is why they don't just replace the SD channels. Why would I want to watch BBC1 when BBC1 HD is available?

Also - I wish Virgin would stop displaying channels you haven't subscribed to in the EPG. It doesn't make me want to rush out and upgrade, it just frustrates me.

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Re: Too much TiVo

I wish Virgin would stop displaying channels you haven't subscribed to in the EPG."

Just put all the channels you want in the Favourites list. leave out the SD where an HD exists as well as all of the +1 channels.

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Re: Too much TiVo

Except the HD variants don't carry regional opt-outs... ok that's probably the only difference, but still.

As for the unsubscribed channels, they're greyed out in the full-screen TV guide, just showing in the mini-guide.

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Par for the course

Virgin Media has previous for (very) late delivery. Just the three other items I can think of:

1) announcement of "speed doubling" with a timetable for various areas of the country, then delivery times for many places put back perhaps 6 months

2) all Blue Yonder and NTL email addresses to be transferred to VirginMedia.com or similar - still waiting for this after at least two years!

3) SuperHub firmware is dire, to the extent that they don't dare roll it out to business customers, who are still staggering on at 10 Mbps and 20 Mbps maximum

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Par for the course

18 to 24 months appears to be the usual time from VM announcement to delivery. All VM announcements should be seen as customer retention or new customer fooling propaganda.

Recently cancelled all 4 VM services. Landline was the most stable product they offered and even that was broken last month.

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Meh

Of course

It would make it far more useful if i could actually connect my Tivo box up to my home network. It appears the box does not like my IP address range and so it's software cannot connect (even though i can see the box actually connected to the network and allocated an IP address). So i'll not be able to use the "watch on TV" functionality on my Iphone around the house.

Record features work nicely though.

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