Virgin Media TV - what can I watch?
Virgin Media offers a wide range of viewing to its customers and its cable television service is recognised as one of the best in the country. First let's check out the three main channel packs that Virgin Media offers before looking at the premium channels you can add on top of your standard choices.
What is the cheapest pack?
The size M+ Virgin Media TV pack is the most basic, but it still includes a good choice of channels. On top of the standard Freeview channels which don't require subscription, you receive several premium channels. These include Sky 1, showing major US drama and comedy series including brand new House and FX together with animation and sitcoms from across the pond, as well as many other award-winning shows.
Sports lovers will enjoy the three Eurosport channels which come as part of the M+ package and there's also access to the Living channel, filled with lifestyle shows and reality programming.
What if I want more choice?
The size L Virgin Media TV pack comes with 135+ channels, significantly more than with the M+ pack. Kids will love having the Cartoon Network and the grown ups will enjoy stand-up and adult humour on Comedy Central. The size L pack adds in documentary channels, with Discovery Science and Discovery Knowledge.
The Extreme Sports channel will satisfy people who prefer their sports with a bit of an edge and a pumping punk rock soundtrack. MTV One is on hand for music fans to hear the latest tunes and check out the hottest videos from stars ranging from Lady Gaga to Kings of Leon.
How can I get the most channels that Virgin Media offers?
The size XL Virgin Media TV pack is the most comprehensive and, needless to say, most expensive pack. It offers much more than its two siblings, with over 200+ channels on offer. You get the full complement of MTV channels, covering a variety of music genres. You can also watch live Premier League matches on ESPN and keep the kids entertained with the likes of Jetix and Cartoon Network Too.
What about HD channels?
These three basic packs all include a number of high definition channels, although only the XL gives you access to the full line up of HD content provided by Virgin Media. There is no extra monthly fee for accessing the HD channels, you just require an HD ready TV and the V+HD set top box.
HD channels from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are all on offer, as is HD sport on ESPN HD. The HD channels offered by Virgin Media are going to be joined by new arrivals as time goes on, so you might find that your chosen channel pack is updated with new viewing options without costing you any extra each month.
Are there any other channels in Virgin Media's arsenal?
Virgin Media has a deal with Sky that will allow you to watch a number of the premium sports and movie channels that are usually reserved for satellite TV customers. There are four Sky Sports channels and over 13 Sky Movies channels to add, with different packs giving you access to various choices. The Sky Sports channels have live sport from around the world and cover the Premier League games which are not on ESPN's books.
The movies channels show new releases and there are also channels dedicated to specific genres, such as comedy and sci-fi. You'll need to pay an additional charge on top of your standard package fee to get any of the Sky Sports or Sky Movies bundles and as always, the more channels you choose, the better the deal.
Virgin Media has channels which you can add to cater for niche interests. For example, you can add the Asian channel pack to get an extra 11 channels that broadcast everything from movies to current affairs, all with an Asian angle. You can also get Manchester United TV (MUTV) added on if you are a die hard supporter of the Red Devils and the Racing UK channel is ideal if you want to get the most comprehensive coverage of horse racing.
What if I'm not around when my favourite show is on?
You can catch up on shows you've missed over the past seven days. Virgin Media gives you access to the on-demand services from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Virgin 1. These allow you to start programs whenever you're ready and you can also pause and rewind the shows in real time. The broadcasters pick out the best shows to suit all tastes, so there's a good chance you can catch up with your favourites, even if you missed them and forgot to record them first time around.
Other Virgin Media TV services that are available to subscribers include the PictureBox on-demand film service. For a small monthly fee you can access 28 films and watch them whenever you like. The library is refreshed with new titles weekly, which means you should always find something new to keep you entertained.
As well as the usual selection of block-busting titles, the PictureBox team does its best to find some relatively unknown cinematic gems, so it's always interesting to see what new films have been added at the end of each week.
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