Netflix was just enabled on about 40,000 Virgin Media TiVo boxes housed in Peterborough, Crawley, Andover, Londonderry and Swindon (UK) as a pilot – with all 1.7 million deployed units expected to receive the app later this year. Beyond enhancing the experience for Virgin/TiVo customers, this deal is also notable as the first time Netflix has been offered via a pay television provider. And TiVo CEO Tom Rogers referred to the licensing complexity yesterday from a Merrill Lynch conference:
We enabled Netflix, as I said, through our retail device but because of the peculiarity of the over-the-top studio agreements, Netflix couldn’t be offered to a cable owned set-top box and still can’t be. I personally believe that’s going to be solved [...] Virgin Media, because you have a different rights situation over there, Netflix could offer itself through a cable operator owned set-top box.
Related, RCN has stated publicly they’d like to bring Netflix to their US cable customers and were “eager to reopen the dialogue” back when Netflix’s STARZ agreement had expired… yet we haven’t heard anything more on the matter.
Back to the Virgin Media update… additional UK TiVo features are rolling out:
Say hello to your more energy-efficient, money-saving TiVo box.
To save on energy (and your monthly bills), your TiVo box will now automatically go into Standby if you haven’t used it for four hours. To change the default to save more energy or to switch this off go to Help & Settings > Settings > Devices > Power Saving Settings.
To wake your TiVo box up again just press the <Home> or <Power> button on your TiVo remote.
This means you won’t need to switch your TiVo box off at the mains every night as it will help save energy itself now. Even when saving energy your TiVo box will wake up to make any recordings you’ve requested.
It’s easier to find the stars and shows you love with WishList™.
We’ve made WishLists™ even easier to set up. Just let TiVo know the actors, directors or shows you can’t bear to miss and TiVo will automatically record anything that fits the bill. And you can do it without interrupting what you’re watching.
We’ve even redesigned the WishList™ menus in HD, so they look that little bit nicer.
Clever TiVo will make even better Suggestions for you.
TiVo will suggest more of the shows and films you love based on the stuff you record and give the Thumbs Up.
Discover your new Discovery Bar.
Your brand new Discovery bar makes it much clearer why we’ve suggested films and programmes for you to watch, whether it’s a live sports event, it’s similar to other programmes you’ve enjoyed, or simply because our team have handpicked it for you to enjoy.
We’ve now introduced high contrast displays for some of our screens, these include our full screen guide, mini guide and channel banner.
To turn this on go to Home >Help & Settings > Settings > Display and Subtitles > High Contrast Display