So, Virgin Media has finally launched its new Tivo based set top box. But I'm failing to see what it offers, beyond perhaps a better interface and annoying 'apps' (no I don't want to Tweet from my 50" LCD thanks very much) compared to the Virgin + box. Yes, there's YouTube, but pretty much all the other content is available on the Catchup TV service on the plus box. In fact the Virgin + box has three tuners, whereas the Tivo box at launch will only have two (but perhaps the ability to skip backwards and forwards on the timeline will render this irrelevant anyway).
And it comes at a cost of £200 in these times is steep when Sky give away their PVR for free. From what I know of the box industry that's priced to give Virgin (or, perhaps Tivo) a profit margin, even with a HD tuner and 1TB hard drive. A brave move when more and more boxes will be bundle and given away (such as BT Vision's YouView box, allegedly coming next year).
It's a bit unfair to judge the service without having seen and used it, since the success or otherwise will be down to the user experience, which is dreadful on the Virgin + box, but I won't be rushing to order one just yet.