Known as the second-best subscription TV service in the UK region behind satellite broadcaster Sky, cable service operator Virgin Media yesterday (7 November) revealed a new feature that they hope can challenge the connected catch-up offerings of their more established rival.
Virgin TV Anywhere has been revealed as a ‘no extra cost’ TV service (based on subscriptions owned) that enables users of the cable TV set-top box to stream live TV content to their screens and mobile devices, with the online features expected to be accessible to around two-thirds of Virgin Media’s customer base.
Available platforms for the Sky Go challenger include the TV screen, computers (through a dedicated website), and Apple iOS devices, with integration on Android products set to occur next year.
Channel-wise, Virgin TV Everywhere allows access to up to 45 stations (depending on regular subscription package), including the 4 main free-to-air catch-up services (BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5), British Eurosport, Cartoon Network, Sky Sports and Sky Movies (and catch-up platform Sky On-Demand), amongst others, offering around 4,000 hours of on-demand content at any one time, though again Virgin have left open the strong possibility of expanding on the channel and content aspects of their service over future years.
In addition, the service will be powered by social media functions and Virgin TiVo features for remote recording and finding content, as Virgin Media digital entertainment director Cindy Rose summarised: “The world of digital entertainment is moving so fast, consumers are always looking for the next ‘big thing’ to take advantage of the features and connectivity built into today’s gadgets. Virgin TV Anywhere builds upon our fantastic TV service, blending in the best of TiVo and our expertise in broadband and mobile, to bring customers a compelling entertainment experience to enjoy whenever they want, wherever they are – all at no extra cost.”