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UPDATE Virgin Media Launch New 4K Capable Virgin TV V6 Set-Top-Box

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 (10:34 am) - Score 3,829

Cable operator Virgin Media will this morning take a break from focusing upon the ultrafast broadband side of their network and has instead announced the launch of their new Virgin TV V6 Box, which represents an attempt to catch-up with Sky Q (Sky Broadband) and BT TV.

Lately all of the focus on broadband has somewhat distracted from the fact that Virgin Media also offers a TV service, which comes down the very same coaxial and fibre optic cable as their Internet connectivity.

The problem is that Virgin’s existing set-top-boxes are starting to show their age, particularly with BT and Sky Q’s rival TV platforms now doing all sorts of fancy things with streaming and 4K video content.

Thankfully all that will change today as the operator, which has been hinting about their plans to launch the new V6 Box since the spring, finally takes the wraps off their new hardware and unveils a number of other TV related changes.

So what’s new?

Broadly speaking the new V6 box supports 4K (Ultra HD) video content (initial support via Netflix and Youtube), is roughly half the size of their current STB, offers 1 TeraByte (TB) of storage for recording 100 hours of HD content, is powered by the latest “intelligent TiVo software” and has ten times more processing power than the old kit. A new User Interface (UI) will also be introduced to help you find content and there’s more..

Virgin TV V6 Box – Feature Highlights

* An improved remote control that works even if the STB is sitting inside a closed cabinet. The remote can also be made to beep if you lose it somewhere.

* The Virgin TV V6 box is also High Dynamic Range (HDR) compatible so that, as more HDR content becomes available (assuming you have a supporting TV), a software update will be downloaded to support it.

* Record 6 TV shows and stream another at the same time via the new “EPIC” feature.

* SeriesLink+ can record a TV series and then you’ll find all related episodes via catch-up or on-demand, saved in a handy folder ready to view.

* Stream selected recordings from the V6 box to a mobile or tablet and vice versa.

* Updated TV Anywhere App will allow users to download selected programmes.

* The V6 Box will feature a “digital locker” where you can buy and keep movies, and get TV shows.

* Lots e-books and games content for children.

* The V6 box is designed so that recordings can be accessed and streamed on other TiVo boxes around the home. The new set-top box is completely compatible with Virgin Media’s original TiVo box meaning that existing Virgin Media customers can keep recordings and transfer settings while updating their home entertainment.

On top of that a new Virgin Media Store service will launch in December 2016, which will enable you to buy Movies etc. Virgin has also announced the Virgin TV TellyTablet, which is essentially a huge 14″ HD screen tablet that is designed to act as a “personal smart TV“.

We’re not sure there’s much of a market for this, but that will be decided by consumer demand. Otherwise the tablet is based off Android OS (Marshmallow), offers 7-8 hours of battery life, 32GB of memory that can be upgraded with a Micro SD card, two USB ports and will be launched next month. It will cost £299 to buy, but there will be special offers and 24-month payment plans too.

We haven’t yet received the official press release and so that’s all we have for now, although there seems to be a big question mark over what kind of 4K content will be available (other than via Netflix and YouTube). Sky and BT both have a growing amount of 4K video and hopefully the press release explains more about Virgin’s plans for this, once it arrives.

UPDATE 11:11am

The official press release has arrived, although it doesn’t really add much to what we’ve already written about above and we are told that more 4K programming will be “coming soon“.

Otherwise Virgin states that the new V6 box will be available to existing customers on a Mix bundle or higher, before the end of 2016 (existing customers will not need to change package to benefit) and it will NOT incur additional monthly subscription fees (Sky Q take note).

New customers joining Virgin Media will be able to order the Virgin TV V6 box when choosing their TV bundle from January 2017. The standard price of the Virgin TV V6 box is £99.95 (one-off). New and existing customers with a top-tier Full House or VIP bundle will benefit from a promotional price of £49.95.

David Bouchier, VM’s Chief Digital Entertainment Officer, said:

“Our new Virgin TV line-up raises the bar in home entertainment, marrying the latest and smartest technology with the very best TV programmes, all underpinned by our ultrafast cable network. This is game-changing TV. [The] V6 box is small in size but big on brains giving our customers a simple, smart and speedy way to find the telly they want whether that’s on a channel or on demand.”

We also note that the new box has been developed for use by Liberty Global companies across Europe and in Latin America. The UK is the first market to launch the new box, with plans to launch elsewhere in Europe from 2017.

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Chris P says:

    looks huge

    * The Virgin TV V6 box is also High Dynamic Range (HDR) compatible so that, as more HDR content becomes available (assuming you have a supporting TV), a software update will be downloaded to support it.

    ^^^i’ll wait for the update before i consider one of these then^^^

    1. Gordon says:

      its about 9 inches wide and 2 inches high, hardly massive when compared to other companies TV boxes. A Sky Q box is about 1.5 inches high and 12 inches wide so the VM box is 3 inches smaller in width and half an inch bigger in height.

      Even if you personally think that to be large the remote is RF not IR based so you can hide it away if you wish.

      As to HDR good luck waiting for that feature as your quote points out it will do you any good if you already have a TV capable of HDR contrast and colour gamut. Many 4K TVs do not even have BOTH those features. I doubt yours does as obviously you do not look into the ins and outs of tech before commenting on it.

  2. adslmax Real says:

    Sky will blocked Virgin Media owner right of Sky Sports Ultra HD 4K and Sky Movies Ultra HD 4K.

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