In an unusual move for a pay-TV operator, Virgin Media is going to enable Netflix on its TiVo DVRs in the UK. Here in the US cable company-provided TiVos are missing the app and have blamed its absence on Netflix's content agreements with the studios. Virgin Media's claim that its the first pay-TV operator to offer TiVo doesn't seem quite right though, since Google Fiber TV has included Netflix and YouTube (which VM wedged into TV guide listings earlier this year) alongside regular TV since it launched, and recently added Vudu to the mix. Either way, we expect subscribers will be happy to see the option when it pops up for all later this year, a trial starting this week is limited to 40,000 households. The two will still need separate accounts and billing, at least for now, and users can create a new account within the app itself. According to the press release, this rollout comes alongside updates that increase energy efficiency while improving WishLists and recommendations -- let us know if you're seeing any changes for the better.
Netflix coming to Virgin Media
Virgin Media TiVo customers to access Netflix app via their set-top box
Broad variety of great series and films, including Breaking Bad, House of Cards and Arrested Development, to be available instantly
Pilot to 40,000 Virgin Media TiVo homes begins this week, full launch to follow
Virgin Media today announced an agreement that will bring Netflix, the world's leading Internet TV network, onto a pay-TV platform for the first time. Using the Netflix app, Virgin Media TiVo households will be able to watch award-nominated Netflix series, documentaries, comedy and kids titles through their set-top box. Netflix will be available to 1.7 million Virgin Media TiVo homes this year, starting with a pilot launching this week.
The addition of the Netflix app to Virgin Media TiVo, the fastest growing pay-TV service in the UK, will allow viewers to discover critically acclaimed Netflix original series House of Cards, Hemlock Grove, Arrested Development and Orange is the New Black and Netflix exclusives like the hit series Breaking Bad.
The Netflix app complements Virgin Media's ever-expanding collection of over 6,000 hours of On Demand entertainment, all ready to watch instantly. Virgin Media TiVo customers will be able to easily search and browse titles across Virgin TV's entire collection of films and TV programmes as well as from Netflix and other content apps including BBC iPlayer.
Alongside catch-up and On Demand TV, Virgin Media viewers are already able to rent hundreds of the latest blockbusters from Virgin Movies, subscribe to Sky Movies and PictureBox and enjoy channels including Film4 and TCM, all available in HD.
Dana Strong, Virgin Media's chief operating officer, said: "We're delighted to be bringing yet another groundbreaking service onto TV screens in millions of Virgin Media homes. Netflix is a fabulous addition to Virgin Media TiVo, enabling our customers to enjoy even more of their favourite shows and movies simply and easily – all through their TV set-top box and at outstanding value.
"Virgin Media TiVo offers different ways to watch, either subscription or pay per view, all seamlessly integrated for simple, intuitive viewing so there's a world of great entertainment at your fingertips and everyone can be sure of the perfect TV moment."
Bill Holmes, global head of business development, Netflix, said: "The UK has given Netflix a fantastic welcome and we're excited to be partnering with Virgin Media to bring an amazing Netflix experience to Virgin Media customers."
The pilot begins this week with around 40,000 Virgin Media TiVo households already selected to use the Netflix app. For the pilot, the Netflix application will be available in the Apps & Games section of Virgin Media TiVo with Netflix members able to log-in using their existing Netflix credentials and new members able to sign up for Netflix via the app. Netflix will be rolled out to all Virgin Media TiVo customers following the successful completion of the pilot later this year.
Through a dedicated broadband connection built into each Virgin Media TiVo set-top box, viewers will be able to experience a brilliant, HD big screen TV Netflix experience. Virgin Media TiVo households with Virgin Media broadband can also make full use of their superfast 30Mb, 60Mb or 120Mb broadband speeds in addition to the dedicated TiVo connection.
The Netflix roll-out coincides with the latest updates to Virgin Media TiVo for all customers. From greater energy efficiency for each set-top box, to improved WishLists™ and recommendations, Virgin Media continues to develop the service, making Virgin Media TiVo the best way to watch TV, ever.