Struggling with lockdown? Virgin Media is hoping to lift everyone's spirits with its new TV platform. Virgin TV 360 features all the top TV channels as well as Netflix and Prime Video in 4K HDR, plus voice search and the ability to restart any live TV programme.
Virgin TV 360 is bundled with a new Mini box that promises 4K streaming around the home, as well as a new remote that allows subscribers to open apps, pause, skip forward or back, and search using their voice.
Virgin Media is also touting Startover, a function that lets you restart live TV shows (provided they're on one of the major channels that supports it). There's also personalised user profiles, so individual viewers can dive straight back in to their last paused programme, without too much of a faff.
If you're an existing Virgin Media customer, you might have noticed that the platform currently lacks Disney+. No Mandalorian for you, then. There was talk of Virgin Media announcing the streaming app's arrival today but that didn't happen. Instead, a representative for Virgin Media told TechRadar: “As of next year I'm very confident we will have [Disney Plus] on the platform”.
Virgin Media also hinted that Alexa integration may be on the way, allowing users to connect their Virgin TV 360 box to Alexa smart speakers. The company is also said to be considering integrating Netflix's voice search.
Fancy upgrading your entertainment offering? Virgin TV 360 will be available to all new customers as well as existing customers who already have or are willing to upgrade to the ‘Ultimate Oomph’ tier.
The top-of-the-range package gets you 250 channels – including Sky Cinema, Sky Sports and BT Sport channels – plus two mini boxes, ultrafast M500 Fibre broadband (up to 600Mbps thanks to the recent speed boost), landline and an unlimited mobile SIM. Cost? £79.99 per month.
It's also worth noting that many of the apps and similar features can be found in media streamers such as the excellent Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Apple TV 4K.
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I am on a bundle , virgin box , internet and phone which I never use.
Hardly use the Virgin box as there never seems to be much on TV.
I prefer streaming on the TV, Netflix etc. The picture quality is far better than the Virgin box.
If it was not for the wife recording and watching the two American dudes doing up houses , I would never turn the virgin box on!
As someone who has been using Sky Q for 2 years, I would caution anyone against jumping on to that platform now.
Two years ago, it used to be very good - but this year they've been intent on pushing out a series of updates that have made the product worse every single time.
First of all they cut the mini player for an "expanded view" that is unnecessary everywhere it is implemented - yet they didn't expand the TV guide which was the one place that does need it. The "show centre" and "smart buttons" barely function (anything that tries to intelligently second guess the EPG data and what you are trying to do is doomed to failure). Then they reorganised the recordings menu so you can no longer see what recordings you haven't watched, and made it difficult to navigate by shrinking a lot of the whitespace that made it possible to see where the selection cursor is. And now they've removed the ability to stop Netflix content mixing with Sky Q content in the menus, so it's that much more difficult to find/navigate Sky Q content (I don't care about navigating / discovering Netflix content as I do that separately on the web and using Netflix watchlists).
Honestly, they've taken Sky Q from being a really good product that just needed a few more features implemented, and turned into a painfully difficult product to use, that is still lacking the features that they needed to implement.