Despite the hundreds and thousands of movies and TV shows available for us, there are still times when we think nothing is good enough. We still find ourselves looking for more options, more shows, and more films. You have a 40-inch flat screen but you can’t watch anything nice. You have subscribed to Netflix but your laptop screen makes it hard for you to watch the movie. You have a set-up box for your cable though and how you wish you can make better use of it. Some of our folks in the UK have been struggling with this problem for some time. Fortunately, here comes the answer to their prayers.
Netflix and Virgin Media have recently inked an agreement in response to the growing demands of UK-based viewers who are looking for more viewing options. Virgin Media UK is a major stakeholder in the British cable industry, and recently made news when it announced its partnership with Netflix to become the first major pay-TV provider to integrate the web-delivered Netflix.
The first to experience Netflix in the UK will be the 40,000 subscribers of Virgin Media who use TIVO set-top boxes. But once everything is in order, any of the 1.7 million TIVO users can get to take advantage of this offer once they have subscribed to Netflix.
The partnership was an answer to many who doubt that the traditional pay-TV and web-TV can ever come together in one medium. According to Virginia Media, Netflix shows will be searchable on the same screen where pay-TV programs appear. Hence, users can see all his options on one on-screen guide. For instance, a Virgin Media customer searching for shows featuring Jennifer Aniston will find on is screen, a list of movies from both Virgin Movies and Netflix. In other words, there’d be no competition between the two producers. The very purpose, after all, is better customer experience.
Though Virgin Media is based in New York, all of its 3.77 million customers today are in the UK. The set-up boxes used by 44% of the total users are imported from California-based TIVO, a company known for pioneering digital camcorders.
This is the first time that Netflix will be included in an operator box but it’s already available in other mediums, such as game consoles, Blu-ray players and televisions.
The move was strategic for both Netflix and Virgin Media as it means they get to provide better services and focus on things that matter more in their respective markets today.