American DVR giant TiVo is to return to the UK market by powering Virgin Media's new converged TV platform, it was confirmed this morning.
TiVo will develop a converged TV and broadband interactive interface for Virgin's new service, which will seamlessly blend linear and on-demand content. Under the terms of the arrangement, TiVo will become the exclusive provider of all middleware and user interface software for the cable operator.
"TiVo's proven track record of innovation, strength of its patented technology and experience in developing best in class user environments, make it an ideal strategic partner for Virgin Media as we move aggressively to bring our next generation TV service to market," said Virgin Media chief executive Neil Berkett.
"The superiority of our fibre optic network combined with TiVo's capabilities, will allow us to offer consumers the most significantly advanced and compelling TV service available in the UK, and we believe will do to the TV market what Virgin Media has done to the high-speed broadband market."
In September, Virgin confirmed it was replacing its existing TV infrastructure with a new IP-based TV transmission platform based on Cisco's Digital Video Headend technology. TiVo's hardware and software, which Virgin expects to make available during 2010, will run on this system.
TiVo president and chief executive Tom Rogers said: "This deal underscores TiVo's commitment to expanding its global footprint through strategic alliances with leading international media companies to help them deliver the best in-home entertainment experience for consumers.
"We are very excited about this new distribution relationship with the UK's most advanced pay television provider and are particularly proud to have been selected as Virgin Media's core software partner for its next generation DVR-enabled set top boxes and its next generation non-DVR set top boxes.
"Virgin Media is a true leader in the world of entertainment and their enthusiasm for building the next generation of pay television is an excellent opportunity to put all of TiVo's innovation to work in a product distributed by a world class partner. We believe this international deal affords us a significant subscriber growth opportunity."
Smart move VirginMedia - Sky Couldn't quite kill off TiVo & now you bring it back fom the Brink!