The new TiVo EPG will go live from next week, with the 2.3 million Virgin TV boxes expected to have the update by Christmas. As well as a new look, there are new features and the promise of a much faster, more intuitive experience.

Virgin claims that "as soon as you turn it on you'll see the difference", thanks in no small part to the change from Virgin's familiar red (which has been the design for four years) to a new 'plum' colour interface.

There's a new What To Watch Now section, which combines your viewing habits with the rest of Virgin's TV customers to recommend live TV that might tickle your fancy if you're not sure what to watch. This, like your recorded programmes, will be divided in to categories such as kids shows, movies and sports, to help you find content more quickly.

This crowd-sourcing of Virgin customers' viewing habits will also be used to improve TiVo's search feature. The TiVo search will predict what you're searching for from the first letter you type, based on what other people are searching for and watching, as well as your own viewing history, to deliver more relevant results.

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Much like Sky's EPG update, Virgin has also put more emphasis on catch-up and on-demand programming, with dedicated sections for that content. Virgin's 'backwards' EPG, which allows you to scroll back as well as forward to find programmes to watch, ensured more than one billion programmes were watched on-demand last year.

There's a new Partially Watched section, too, allowing you to quickly find programmes you started but didn't finish. Support for HTML is also coming to TiVo, which will mean apps such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix will soon jump from Flash to HTML for a better, faster experience. A new HTML iPlayer app should be live by the end of 2014.

 

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There will also be a new Virgin Apps Store, with Virgin partnering with Opera to deliver more apps, from Vimeo to TED Talks to Red Bull events.

Elsewhere, Virgin will also update its TV Anywhere app in line with the new EPG, with an iOS update expected in the coming months and Android soon after. 

Finally, there will be a new Quick Start installation process, which allows customers to set-up their own Virgin TiVo box instead of waiting for an engineer, saving customers time and money.

The new Virgin TiVo interface is in beta testing now and will go live to "tens of thousands" of customers next week. A full roll service is expected to begin towards the end of October, with Virgin aiming to get the new EPG on all Virgin TiVO TV boxes by the end of 2014.

 

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