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.