Virgin Media launches TV Anywhere streaming for Mac and iOS

by Kenny Hemphill on November 7, 2012

Virgin Media has launched its long-awaited TV Anywhere service which allows subscribers to view live and on-demand TV on a Mac, PC, or through its new iOS app.

The browser-based service provides live TV streaming of some of the channels available through Virgin’s set-top boxes; the content accessible is dependent on your subscription package. The initial line-up is somewhat limited, there’s no BBC, ITV, or Channel 4 channels, for example. Likewise, you can view on-demand content from channels to which you subscribe.

The iOS app is designed for users of Virgin’s Tivo box, and requires subscribers to have Tivo in order to use it. The app allow users to control various aspects of Tivo remotely over a wifi internet connection, including setting up recordings, deleting recorded programmes, and adding ratings. The app can also be used as a gesture-based remote control. While the TV Anywhere app allows you to view live television, it doesn’t yet provide access to on-demand content, something Virgin says will be added next year.

To use the service, you must register the device on which you plan to access it – whether it’s a Mac, iPhone, or iPad – with Virgin Media. You can only register two devices at a time, but can make one change to registered devices per month. You’ll also need to be on a fixed connection or wifi network, as TV Anywhere, despite its name, doesn’t support connections over a mobile data network.

In our brief test using Safari on a MacBook Air hooked up to a 27in display, with a 10Mbit broadband connection, both live TV and on-demand content were delivered smoothly. Image quality was reasonable, though on-demand content seemed sharper than live TV. The interface, however, is sluggish and logging in feels like it takes an age.

You can find out more about TV Anywhere here.

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