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Virgin launches ‘TV Anywhere’

UK cable operator Virgin is launching a new online TV service that will let subscribers access TV content from anywhere on different devices.

Virgin TV Anywhere will be available via PC or Mac for all Virgin TV customers, allowing them to access more than 4,000 hours of catch-up and on-demand content and to watch live TV over the web, from outside the home.

The TV Anywhere site will launch with 45 channels of live-stream content, with more to be added in time.

The launch line-up includes a wide selection of Sky channels, including Sky Sports and Sky Movies channels, which viewers will be able to stream online provided they subscribe to them as part of their TV package.

The likes of Channel 5, Disney Channel, National Geographic, PBS and a string of music channels will also be available. However, live channel feeds from the UK’s biggest terrestrial broadcasters, the BBC, ITV or Channel 4 are not included at launch.

The on-demand library includes content from networks including Cartoon Network, Discovery, History, MTV and Nickelodeon and will include integrated access to all the terrestrial UK broadcasters’ catch-up services, including the BBC iPlayer, as well as Sky On Demand.

Alongside basic web access, subscribers to Virgin’s TiVo TV packages will also be able to download a Virgin TV Anywhere app.

Initially available for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, with Android to follow next year, subscribers can use the app to set and delete recordings on their TiVo box from outside the home.

When users are connected to the same home network as their TiVo box, the app also acts as a second screen service that will detect what channel a user is watching and offer additional information around shows. Users can also share what they’re watching on Facebook and Twitter.

On the app, users will be able to live-stream 25 of the 45 initial TV Anywhere channels when they are connected to Wi-Fi. The main set of channels missing from this offering is premium Sky channels, though conversations are ongoing about adding these.

Virgin’s on-demand catalogue will not be available through the app at launch, though is planned for mobile and tablet devices next year.

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