Daily Archives: Wednesday, 4th Jan 2012

Virgin Media TiVo – Now with added app goodness

It’s been a while since I last talked about the TiVo in any detail, which is more to do with the fact that it quite simply sits there and works rather than any loss of interest in the beast.

Since that last report, it’s had a major update which apart from simplifying a few things (fewer steps when setting a series link, for instance), removed a moderate annoyance. Before the update, it wasn’t possible to completely disable the parental controls stuff, so that if (as is often the case) I wanted to watch something originally transmitted after 9pm at an earlier time of day (Sunday afternoons are when I often catch up on things), I had to enter the PIN to confirm that I was an adult. A bit annoying, as there are no kiddies, supervised or otherwise on the premises. Following the update, that’s gone away – I was able to tell it to not bother me again with such things, which is a definite improvement.

Something Virgin had mentioned previously was that a future update would enable the use of an iPhone app for remote setting of recordings. This can already be done from the website, though last time I tried to use it from a non Virgin connection, it had a bit of bother loading the programme data after I logged in, which meant that I wouldn’t have been able to set recordings if I’d wanted to. But while I was waiting for a train at Cardiff station last week, I remembered the app promise, and had a quick look. Sure enough, there’s a Virgin Media TV guide app in the store. I downloaded it while I was waiting and found a quite neat TV guide. You can set it up so it uses the correct TV region, you can select which channels you want it to list (so you don’t need to scroll past a load of channels you never watch, nice), and you can immediately see what’s on now and next for all channels. Tap on a channel and you’ll see the full day’s listing.

Then comes the clever bit. Sign in to the app with your Virgin Media ID and you can then set recordings! Woo, hoo, etc. I did a couple of tests, and it does indeed work. A very welcome extra feature – ideal if you realise you’re going to be late home and you’re going to miss something, or if you’re away and find out that there’s something on tonight you really, really, really don’t want to miss.

There’s no way to change existing recordings – it’s strictly a one way push to TiVo thing, but that’s good enough for now.

Weight and Stuff Report – 4 January 2012

Down a wee bit today, which is nice to see. I walked to work again today, finding it to be a wee bit less windy than yesterday[1]. It seems the Garmin app has got over its new year hangover, and it did its job properly today:

Walk to work

Walk to work

I decided to have another walk at lunchtime, taking another one of those loops around the city centre, this time passing between bits of Northumbria University that didn’t exist last time I was in that vicinity:

Lunchtime Walk

Lunchtime Walk

I’m feeling generous this evening, so I’m going to give you two pictures. This is part of the legal graffiti wall behind the Sage. There’s some really good work on show there, and in my not particularly humble opinion, it’s more interesting art than can generally be found in the nearby Baltic. I particularly liked this:

Brasilia of the North East

Brasilia of the North East

This refers to T Dan Smith‘s 1960s vision of transforming Newcastle into, as it says here “the Brasilia of the North”. Parts of this came about, most of it didn’t, and some of what did come about didn’t work out that well in the long run. But looking at this as art, I’m impressed. Take a closer look at the face:

T Dan Smith

T Dan Smith

If you click for the bigger version, you’ll see that the face emerges from a pattern of swirls. Walking around the piece, I found that the face seemed to drift in and out of visibility, which may be an indication of the artist’s technique, or possibly a sign that my varifocals were getting confused. Good work, anyway, and I suggest a visit to the location.

[1] Though as I type this, the wind is definitely back in full force. It’s gusting quite aggressively out there