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Virgin Media launches TiVo box to give your telly magic powers

Virgin Media is launching its TiVo-powered set-top box today, allowing your telly to access an app store and record things it thinks you'll like. Magic powers, basically.

Good news, square-eyes: TiVo is back in Blighty today. Virgin Media is launching its TiVo-powered set-top box today, allowing your telly to access an app store and record things it thinks you'll like. Magic powers, basically.

The TiVo set-top box includes a whopping 1TB hard drive, which means you'll be able to store huge amounts of telly, even in high definition. It has two tuners, with a third tuner being added in 2011.

Virgin has teased some screenshots of the interface, which cleverly allows you to delve back into programmes that have already been on. You can find out more at Virgin's official TiVo site. Crave's telly addicts are meeting with Virgin as you read this, so stick around for a hands-on review imminently.

The box will offer live TV as well as catch-up and on-demand services. Virgin offers high-definition channels and 3D movies alongside standard programming. The new box packs a built-in 10Mbps cable modem, which means your telly-viewing arrives separately from your Internets, so your Web browsing shouldn't be slowed when you're watching TV.

The best thing about TiVo is it gets to know you, recording your TV shows and learning what you like. You can create a wish list based on a particular show, theme, actor or director that will be automatically recorded. The remote features thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons to rate recordings.

The box also accesses an app store for Internet-powered goodness. You can access BBC iPlayer, YouTube, eBay, Twitter and Facebook, with more sites to follow. An app to record telly from your phone is also on the way, similar to the Sky+ app.

The TiVo box will be available in mid-December. Magic powers don't come cheap: the box itself costs £200, followed by a £26.50 per month charge. If you don't have a Virgin phone line, that fee goes up to £32.50. Installation costs £40.