Virgin Media has launched a cloud-based entertainment service, letting subscibers access live and on-demand TV and movie content via online and mobile devices.
The service, called Virgin TV Anywhere, is available exclusively for Virgin TV subscribers, and can be accessed via a Wi-Fi connection. This also means people can use the service on the London Underground, following Virgin Media’s commitment to providing free Wi-Fi on the tube.
Virgin Media customers can stream live TV from up to 45 channels, depending on their TV package, across genres including sports, news, movies, entertainment, and kids.
Meanwhile the service also features up to 4,000 hours of on-demand content including Sky On Demand featuring shows from Sky Living and Sky Sports and Movies for those that subscribe to those packages. It plans to add further channels to the service in the coming year.
It also includes access to the TV catch-up services of UK terrestrial broadcasters including BBC’s iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5.
The service will be available initially on iOS devices, with plans to extend to Android next year.
Virgin Media TiVo customers will have access to additional features including being able to manage their set-top boxes with remote record features and personlised settings ‘My Shows’. Customers can also rate shows via their mobile apps.
Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment, Virgin Media, said, “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 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.”
Virgin Media worked with Red Bee Media on the online version of the service.
Meanwhile rival Sky has seen downloads for its own Sky Go mobile app steadily rise, with the satellite broadcaster reporting 16m monthly video-on-demand (VOD) views on its tablet app earlier this summer (nma.co.uk 26 July 2012).
Sky launched Sky Go, a newly branded service fromer from the merge of VOD player Sky Player and its mobile services in July 2011 (nma.co.uk 13 July 2011).
It has since incorporated dual-screen service Zeebox into its mobile products, beginnning with its Sky+ iPad app, having taken a 10% stake in the start-up earlier this year (nma.co.uk 26 September 2012).