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Virgin Media ups intelligence of TV box

UK cable MSO Virgin Media has started a major new platform update for its TV customers.

virginThe update, which will see all Virgin Media TiVo boxes updated automatically over the next few weeks, will give the existing box some fresh new features to help search, find and save content on the service.

Virgin Media TV customers will be able to access the programmes they love more easily, with fewer clicks to content and more images. Through a new feature called Series Link+ customers will also be able to pull together more of the TV they love into one place – from live TV channels, on demand and online services such as Netflix and BBC iPlayer.

David Bouchier, Chief Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, said: “This update gives our box an even more intuitive intelligence while, crucially, retaining many of the familiar features we know our customers love. Series Link+ takes the convenience of finding and saving series to the next level by breaking down the divisions between traditional TV and on demand programming.

“Series Link + will be available to all of our TiVo households, simplifying TV and bringing people closer to the TV they love. This is yet another example of the work we’re doing upgrading Virgin TV, so keep your eyes peeled for more later this year.”

The main features included in this update are:

  • Smart Search – found in on demand and catch up menus right at the top, it requires only the first letter of the programme title and the box does the rest to find the shows you love.
  • Series Link+ – this is all about bringing programmes together, no matter where they sit. By setting a Series Link+ for a particular programme Virgin Media’s TiVo box will not only record the entire series but will also find all of the related episodes available on demand and on platforms such as Netflix. All of these episodes will be put into one handy folder (My Shows) ready to watch whenever.
  • Fewer lists, less text, more images – On demand programmes 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 to the best programmes.
  • Continue watching – for years Virgin Media customers have been able to continue where they left off on their recordings; this feature will now apply to all on demand TV too.
  • Bookmarking – sifting through hours and hours of different boxsets and movies can be a tough task, but saving programmes and movies has now got much easier. Virgin Media customers can easily bookmark any programme whether it’s on normal TV, on demand or on Netflix. These programmes will all be put in a handy folder and in My Shows so that viewers can more easily get to the TV they love.

The update comes as Virgin Media is making significant changes to its TV service in 2016 with an improved user interface, exclusive programming and a new set-top box – the V6 – details of which were teased in a recent Tweet, which said: “Sneak Preview: Say hello to our new Virgin TV V6 box, powered by TiVo. More to come soon.”

It is likely that the V6 will be 4K-compatible to enable Virgin Media to compete with Sky and BT’s offering.

“More details on this will follow in the coming weeks,” said Virgin Media.

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