Virgin Media's new set top box and the brand new TiVo-powered user interface have been officially unveiled, and TechRadar has all the pictures.
The Virgin Media powered by TiVo concept has been in development for over a year – with the first public announcement made back in November 2009 – and will begin to roll out this year.
The TiVo user interface is the headline-grabber for the new box – bringing a wealth of connected features and the famed recommendation engine, enabling people to mark programmes with thumbs up or down and allowing the box to record things you might just like after analysing your choices.
Virgin Media TiVo set top box: Looking quite PS3-like
First up, the new box itself which will have offer 1TB of storage and, interestingly, comes with its own built-in modem. This means that the box can be hooked up straight to your cable connection, so any internet use on it won't impact on your normal web connection.
It also has the expected three tuners, although only two tuners will be active at launch, with a firmware upgrade bringing the third tuner into play in 2011.
"In due course, there will also be the facility to set recordings remotely via online and mobile devices," adds Virgin Media.
"Featuring cutting edge hardware design, the Virgin Media TV powered by TiVo box will have three tuners, allowing viewers to record two channels whilst watching a third so recording conflicts become a thing of the past."
Virgin Media TiVo remote: Featuring TiVo 'thumbs up' and 'thumbs down' buttons
The new Virgin Media box remote control is hugely reminiscent of the current TiVo remote control – and features the distinctive 'thumbs up' and 'thumbs down' buttons.
Virgin Media has not gone down the route of having a full QWERTY keyboard – which may surprise some people given that search is such a massive part of the 'discovery' experience in the user interface.
Virgin TiVo box: exclusive shot of the back of the box
Last but not least, here is a picture of the back of the TiVo box – complete with ports.
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Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content. After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.