September 26, 2016

Another suggestion for speeding up your TiVo

Thanks to a couple of guys for the following comments after my previous post:

Jaunty wrote:
Suggestion here to remove the smart card if you still have one in the back and reboot. Does seem to have helped me.
And Jay added:
Taking the card out of the back improves performance massively night and day. Way more than formatting the box. Life saver! :)
It’s a little disappointing that our mate at Virgin Media engineering, Spiderplant, is less convinced:
Removing the card makes no difference. If it went faster, that would be because of the reboot.
I don’t have a card in my new TiVo so I can’t check this out for myself but if anyone else does it, can they please let me know how they get on?

September 22, 2016

TiVo too slow? Maybe try this

Here’s a suggestion for those who are struggling with their TiVo boxes post the recent software change:
I have no big issues with the speed of my TiVo. My main box is a 1Tb Samsung but it is a recent replacement after my previous one had developed disc problems. That means I have only Series Links and Wish Lists from the last few weeks, no Favourite Channels and I’m not currently using Suggestions. My disc is only around 25% full at the moment. And guess what? The box works fine for me - it’s not as zippy as the Now TV box but it is not noticeably slow either.
If you have a TiVo that’s incredibly lethargic and are okay to sacrifice your existing recordings (you’ll lose your recordings if you leave VM anyway of course) it may be worth reformatting the TiVo’s disc and seeing how it performs before jumping ship. Not a permanent solution, but it may sort things out for you until the new TiVo arrives for your consideration.

September 16, 2016

Here's what the price increase letter says...

Just got mine as an email:

From 1st November, your bill will be going up by £3.49 a month
Dear XXX,

We know when prices go up it's never welcome news. That's why we've been busy making your Virgin Media experience bigger and better than ever before. Take a look below to see how much more you can enjoy.
The good stuff just keeps coming
The new Virgin Media WiFi app is here on iOS.
We've now teamed up with The Cloud and Arqiva to give you thousands of WiFi hotspots nationwide. Our new app automatically connects you to secure hotspots in places like airports, cafes and high streets. Download and register now on your iOS device (it's available on Android™ soon).
All the football, brilliantly brought together.
Only we bring you all the live Premier League games from both Sky Sports and BT Sport in one package. That's 14 more Premier League games than last season. Plus with BT Sport we've got every live televised UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League game.
We're rolling out improved Virgin TV.
We're updating your TiVo® box to include our amazing new Series Link+, which will save whole series, record live TV and find shows on demand in places like Netflix and Catch Up. This service is unique to our customers, so if you haven't got it yet, it'll be with you soon.
The fastest widely available broadband around.
We're proud to have the UK's fastest widely available broadband. Our super reliable network offers speeds of up to 200Mbps - that's more than twice as fast as BT's and Sky's top speeds. And with unlimited downloads you can stream, game and much more, even at peak times.
Peace of mind is built into all our packages.
With inclusive servicing and repairs, you can relax knowing if your kit needs to be repaired or replaced we'll take care of it without charging you a penny - unlike Sky who charges £65 for call-outs once your Sky+ box is out of warranty.
To help you make the most of your entertainment, you can also download a helpful guide with handy hints and tips for all your services at
We really hope you'll want to carry on enjoying it all. But if not, don't worry - you can change your package at any time. Or you can cancel it before 31st October 2016 and you won't pay any cancellation charges. Just click here for more information.
Kind regards,
Mark Davidson,
Executive Director, Customer Care
Things to Note
If you are on a promotional offer we will honour it. Some of your increase may therefore happen at the end of your promotional offer. Visit to find out more.
If you are one of the thousands of customers that have Line Rental Saver you will continue to benefit from this fantastic offer. Some of your increase may therefore happen at the end of your Line Rental Saver period.
Information and prices correct at the time of going to press.

TiVo US getting a new User Interface

In the US it has been announced that the TiVo brand is getting an interface refresh to bring it up to day with people’s current viewing habits. The next-generation user interface is designed to 'allow for even better TV content discovery and predictions, a customisable viewing experience and overall less time spent fiddling with the remote', according to a report on Endgadget.
“We are transforming TV viewing into an easy, personalized experience,” TiVo’s Chief Design Officer Margret Schmidt said. “The new UX brings the content the viewer wants right up front faster through expanded discovery and predictions from their own cable subscription and the best online video sources. In short, we designed this UX so the viewer spends less time searching channel guides and opening apps and more time enjoying their favourite shows.”
You can't tell much from the single screenshot supplied by TiVo but apparently the interface also includes TiVo’s innovative new Prediction technology, which goes a step further than basic recommendations to predict which shows you want to watch at that moment.
As we have now sadly come to expect, there’s no word yet when exactly this update will be released or even if it will ever hit the Virgin Media hardware in the UK. Also, TiVo's new parent Rovi apparently has a history of showing off next-gen guides that never get a real release, so don't hold your breath.

September 10, 2016

Virgin Media price rise: customers have had enough

After Virgin Media announced yet another 2016 price rise for customers whilst offering even less for our money I ran a poll to gauge customer dissatisfaction. I expected some kick back, but nothing like the fury the latest hike has stirred.
There was a sizeable vote: 420 votes cast, and the response can broadly be split into thirds:

  • A third of existing customers say they will leave for other providers (Sky, BT, Now, etc)
  • A third will call to downgrade their services to cheaper options
  • A third will wait to see how the long-promised new TiVo box will be priced before making a call

What is remarkable is that just 4% still consider Virgin good value. That’s damming, and alarm bells at Liberty Global should be ringing with that kind of response from their existing customer base.
VIRGIN MEDIA, ARE YOU LISTENING?? Here are some of the responses you have been posting following the price rise announcement: Customer Dissatisfaction