Product Type: Cisco set top boxes
Newest Review: ... than an hour. The only disappointment I had was that I was not shown how to use the box and was just left with a booklet and remote t... more
I wanted to love TiVo... but I don't
Virgin Media TiVo
Member Name: staceymylove
Virgin Media TiVo
Date: 15/09/13, updated on 15/09/13 (84 review reads)
Advantages: Recording programmes, show suggestions, pause TV
Disadvantages: Slow menus, not very user friendly
We upgraded to TiVo about 6 months ago. Before we got it I was very excited as I was jealous of my dad's ability to record TV programmes through his set top box. I was really chuffed when Virgin offered us TiVo for cheaper than we were paying for a normal set top box before.
Mr Stacey was there for installation so I didn't witness that, but I believe an engineer came round and fitted it and took our old box back. It seemed fairly simple, although staying in for an engineer might be a pain for some households. I don't pay this particular bill, but I believe we pay around £40-50 per month for TV, internet and phone line.
The box is fairly large but it's black and sleek and quite discrete. We have it on our TV unit next to the Playstation and the surround sound system and it blends in quite inconspicuously. There are buttons to the front and two small green lights. It can make some noise as it has a hard drive in it, but it doesn't bother us and is no louder than using a laptop/Playstation.
We've got a fairly standard TV package. There is a 'guide' button on the remote control which allows you to browse channels. My biggest bugbear is that you have to scroll through each channel individually and can't click 'screen down' like you do with the regular Virgin Media set top box.
On demand is quite difficult to negotiate as the programmes are listed in a long line and you have to scroll through individually, which can be time consuming especially as the menu pauses every time the screen scrolls down. I swear it once took me 5 minutes to scroll down to 'Russell Howard's Good News' as it was right at the bottom of the R's!
From the 'home' button you can access the TV guide, catch up and on demand, you can search and browse for programmes on demand (doing this for Russell Howard from now on!), recordings and games. You can also browse programmes by category and set your favourite channels.
For me, the recording is the best feature. You can record in advance by pressing record on the programme in the TV guide. You also set up 'series link' so you record all episodes of a particular programme (up to ten episodes) I've found this really useful as Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model isn't on demand, so if I had plans I could easily catch up! It does record adverts as well but you can easily fast forward. Items are easy to delete afterwards, and the top of the screen has suggestions of other programmes you might like based on what you've recorded. There is also a 'thumbs up' and a 'thumbs down' button on the remote where you can rate shows on the TV as you watch them to generate suggestions. I was amused when I realised Mr S had clicked 'thumbs down' for the BBC3 channel offline 'programme'.
~Other remote features~
You can use the remote to pause live TV, although I can't say we use this feature very often. You're also supposed to be able to rewind but I find it will only rewind back up to a minute so again not very useful. Doesn't do anything for me. There's also a slow button which slows down the picture - I have no idea why you would want this feature. I mainly use the fast forward option when watching recorded programmes and the adverts come on.
~Other remote buttons~
* Text button - no idea what this does
* Info - displayed programme informaiton
* Arrow buttons - for menu scrolling
* Numbers - for manual channel entry
* Last channel - easily skip back to the last channel you were watching
* TV - easily go back to you programme from any menu screen
TiVo can access the internet and we've used it for YouTube etc, which is great to be able to watch on the big screen.
I was really excited about getting TiVo But I can't say I've been that impressed with it. I find the menus slow and difficult to navigate. I wish there was a 'screen down' option whilst using menus. However I love the record option, it's great for series you really want to watch and also good for just good TV to have on hand for when there's nothing on. We always have The Big Bang Theory recorded so if there's nothing on and we want something to watch we know we've got something we will enjoy, and then we can delete after we've watched it and it will record the next episode for us.
I can also say we've never had any problems with service or it not working, it's always worked fine.
Overall TiVo has some good features but I was surprised at how basic it was and the simple solutions that would make it so much more user friendly. It makes you wonder if these things are consumer tested at all!
Edit: Thanks to user Olibob I've just discovered that you can 'page up/down' via the channel buttons on the remote. This will make things much easier for me! Wish it was more obvious as we've been individually scrolling for months!
Summary: It's ok but could do better. Nothing spectacular