Virgin Media today confirmed a revamp of its TV service which will sit alongside its hideously ugly new set top box, the V6, which was first unveiled earlier this year.
The box, which resembles a large, 1980s blocky games console, offers WiFi connectivity and support for 4K TV. It’s also promised to be faster than the slow, buggy and consistently under performing TiVo which the firm has been foisting on its largely static and moribund TV base for the past few years.
In addition to being 10x faster than the TiVo – not much an achievement – the V6 allows customers to record up to 6 programmes at a time. Just in case they have an aversion to using catch-up apps.
Recordings, on demand programmes and live TV can be watched in one room, paused and continued in another room seamlessly on an additional box or accessed on a mobile device with Virgin Media’s TV Anywhere app.
At launch the only 4K content available will be through the Netflix and YouTube apps.
Virgin is also keen we tell you that the remote control can be made to beep, helping those who regularly lose their controllers to discover who is sitting on it without getting up. It also includes a search button as already offered on remotes from BT and TalkTalk. The innovation is breathtaking.
As well as the V6 – if the name refers to the design version number we’d love to see what the discarded designs were like – Virgin Media says it will offer a new ‘HD TellyTablet’ – a 14” tablet running Android, a revamped Virgin TV Anywhere app and a new ad-free kids app.
Years after TalkTalk, BT and Sky, Virgin Media launched buy to keep digital download stores, the cable firm has also announced the launch of the Virgin Media Store.
As with Sky Store, apps for iOS and Android will allow non Virgin Media customers to buy from the store if some unfathomable reason they don’t want to purchase the same content from iTunes or Google Play.
David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, 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.”