TiVo and Virgin want to combine video on demand services available online with DVR capabilities and traditional programming.
The DVR will offer features such as biographies of actors and news. The users can connect to the internet and record programmes. The device will also intelligently suggest TV shows to viewers based on their preferences.
The set-top box will be designed by Virgin, while the hardware would be based on TiVo Premiere available in the US.
If the BBC Trust approves Project Canvas, TiVo and Virgin will have to compete with BBC's Internet-enabled TV.
TiVo entered the UK market in 2000 in partnership with Sky. Both split up in 2003 when Sky came up with its own set-top box.