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Virgin Media O2 UK Set to Launch New IPTV Product Soon

Thursday, September 16th, 2021 (12:29 pm) - Score 18,168
virgin tv 360 possible uk set-top-box

The CEO of UK broadband ISP, mobile and TV giant Virgin Media (VMO2), Lutz Schueler, has confirmed that the operator “will be launching soon our first IPTV offer” (Internet Protocol Television), which is probably a reference to the new streaming entertainment service (here) that they began to trial earlier this year.

According to Reuters, Schueler – speaking on the sidelines of the Royal Television Society Convention in Cambridge – said the new service would be targeted at younger consumers. Such a service is likely to follow a similar mould to that of the NOW TV platform, which provides both access to some of Sky’s popular TV content/channels and the ability to install popular streaming apps (e.g. Netflix, YouTube, iPlayer etc.).

NOTE: By “soon” he means by the end of 2021.

Some other details that we’ve seen this year appeared to suggest that the streaming service could make use of the same Mini Box (STB), albeit with a different software approach, to the one that is already being shipped alongside their Virgin TV 360 service. This would make sense, since that hardware can already do most or all of what such a device would need to deliver.

At the same event VMO2’s CEO also confirmed that they were still developing a wholesale solution for rival ISPs to access their fixed line broadband network, but he said they were “in no hurry” to strike any deals (translation – they haven’t yet managed to strike a mutually agreeable deal, such as with Sky Broadband). Wholesale is a key part of VMO2’s future plan, but it needs support from a major player (other than Virgin Media itself) in order to make it truly effective.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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19 Responses
  1. Charles Bean says:

    Does this suggest new FTTP rollout will be real GPON rather than RFOG?

    1. joshe says:

      It already has been confirmed

    2. A says:

      RFoG is still a PON and is very similar to GPON apart from the ONU (RFoG Node) and OLT which are a little different. RFoG and GPON can coexist on the same network, they both use the same splitters and they use different frequencies.

      RFoG isn’t real GPON but it is real PON with similar capabilities to GPON, it van push gigabit (usually over) just over coax instead of ethernet for the final couple metres.

  2. Meadmodj says:

    As with the Sky announcement much will depend not on the technology but on what commercial agreements have been made with the content providers.
    Ability to carry Free To Air channels over IP
    The streaming Apps licenced
    Whether any of the content can be cloud recorded by the individual (as opposed to Catch-Up)

    Those requiring the full experience will still need a 360 Box (VM) or a Sky Q Receiver (Sky) although IP offerings allow market access to those restricted from having an aerial/dish and more tailored offerings (like Now) whilst maintaining the security they need. More likely to have an affect on BT TV and the future of Now.

  3. Ricky says:

    not much of a TV fan myself, more of a streaming household here. But IPTV would be welcome, I wonder if you could take it with you anywhere or if you’d have to be on the VM network, and if a VPN would suffice.

    The reason being is that we have a camper van (glorified converted panel van) and it’s nice to be able to take our FireTV stick with us and continue to watch things on the move.

    1. Meadmodj says:

      VM and Sky already provide their respective Go Apps to access (subject to subscription) while on the go on a phone/tablet but you cannot cast to a TV. I understand both however can run on a Firestick/FireTV.

    2. Ben says:

      They could do with improving the quality on the Go apps. It works fine and is leaps and bounds ahead of their old TV Anywhere service as it just runs with HTML5 and no Silverlight/Flash BS and the DRM’s not as painful as it was before but the picture quality is pretty awful. Standard definition on even the ‘HD’ channels. And the on-demand content of which the collection is actually pretty good is also heavily compressed and low quality too.

    3. AQX says:

      @Ricky – need to be on VM network and with the same account it has the box MAC tied to, similar to their current TV platform.

  4. Dark Jaguar says:

    I applied for this trial by the way, it is currently not compatible with the hub 4, only compatible with the hub 3, it is terrible that this is a problem that is beyond words.

    1. Mcdaddy says:

      Well I’m using it with a hub 4 so that’s incorrect.

  5. Roger_Gooner says:

    I can see the mini boxes made by Humax being utilised for this IPTV service, would still need a connection to the Virgin Media hub by Ethernet cable or WiFi but wouldn’t need the coaxial cable.

    1. joshe says:

      They’re probably going to use the pre-existing Horizon Mini Box for IPTV not the standard Coax 360 Mini box

      https://www.libertyglobal.com/about/products/mini-tv-box/

  6. R. Mark Clayton says:

    But can you rely on BT? Two years ago I renewed my BT broadband deal, with a twelve month fixed price extension on BT Sport. Sixteen days later BT hiked the price 150%.

    I cancelled immediately of course, but they appear to be serial renegers.

  7. Scott says:

    The user interface for this service looks like a reworked version of YouView to be honest.

  8. David says:

    VM . Get your broadband speed up 1st because its so slow 15Mbps when promised 100 Mbps. Do that 1st and your on a winner

  9. Petter says:

    …any possibility of being a Netgem TV type box?!

    https://www.netgem.co.uk/devices/

  10. MAry Belle says:

    Netgem, a leader in connected hometechnologies and solutions, announced in June 23 2011 that it has signed an agreement with Virgin Mobile France, the French Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), for the launch of its Virgin Box TV offering. (1)

    Is it the same now in the UK?!

    (1) https://www.netgem.com/medias/document/other/42/1314801322_PR-2011-Virgin-Mobile-062311-VUS.pdf

  11. dark jaguar says:

    This device is only compatible with hub 3, not hub 4 supposedly according to virgin media.

  12. Richard Deakin says:

    will this work for people who can’t get virgin media broadband?

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