How to compare and buy Virgin TV packages
Virgin Media offers a wealth of TV options. You can take a standalone Virgin TV package, double up with phone or broadband, or sign up to all three services in one of Virgin’s Big Bundles. The main options are outlined in the table above to help you compare Virgin Media packages, and we’ll guide you through the need-to-know details to help you decide between them.
Check what’s available in your area
Virgin Media TV is not available to every address in the UK so it’s worth checking to see if you can get it in your area before you continue. By entering your postcode into the checker at the top of the table, you can also compare TV packages available to you.
Understand the terms and conditions
Virgin Media TV contract lengths range from 12 to 18 months so it’s worth scanning the small print of any deals you’re interested in before you sign up. There will be fees if you want to cancel early for example, and you’ll need to return all equipment including any TV set-top boxes, broadband kit, remote controls and power leads or adapters you may have. Also look at installation costs and extra set-top box charges to ensure it’s all within your budget.
Why choose a Virgin Media TV package?
Lots of channel choice
Whether you choose to take Virgin TV and broadband, or just TV, or go for the three-in-one bundle with a phone line too, there are lots of flexible options and channel choice to suit most tastes. Virgin is one of only two subscription TV providers to offer standalone TV (Sky is the other), as BT, EE and TalkTalk require you to take broadband and line rental too.
Selection of optional extras
If you fancy extra specialist channels, there are several options to bump up your TV plan for an extra monthly fee or opt for a package that includes them as standard. We’re talking BT Sport, Sky Sports and Sky Movies, plus a collection of Asian channels, kids' channels, individual sports channels like MUTV and adult channels.
Multiple viewing options
If you choose to take a TiVo box with your subscription, you’ll be able to pause, rewind and record live TV, and recover anything you accidentally delete. You’ll also get access to TV on demand and catch up programming to watch shows and films whenever you want, and lots of search options to find what you’re after. You can buy extra set-top boxes to access your content in different rooms, or use the Virgin TV Anywhere app to watch your favourite shows on computers and mobile devices, wherever you’ve got a wi-fi connection.
Pros & cons
- Take TV alone or with broadband
- Add BT Sports and Sky Sports
- Options with TiVo and Virgin TV Anywhere
- No Sky Atlantic
- Less channels than Sky
- Heavyweight packages are expensive
Which package is right for me?
Virgin Media offers four different TV options, which are available standalone, with phone or broadband, or in a bundle of all three services with one of Virgin’s four ready-made Big Bundles.
TV M includes 70+ channels including 9 HD
This is Virgin’s entry-level TV package, which unlike the other three, is only available as part of a package with the Big Easy Bundle. There’s not a huge amount of choice but you’ll get the basic Freeview channels, plus 10 in HD too, including popular stations like Dave, E4, Film4, CBeebies and Sky News.
TV M+ includes 150+ channels including 10 HD
The next step up almost doubles your channel choice for less than double the price. TV M+ is included in the Big Bang bundle and features Discovery, Sky Living, Gold and Cartoon Network plus Sky On Demand and pay-per-view movies.
TV L includes 190+ channels including 10 HD
If you’re looking for more variety, TV L might be a better fit. It brings more choice across entertainment, news, lifestyle, documentary, music and kids' TV, so it’s likely to keep the whole family happy. TV L is not included in any of the Big Bundles but you can add to any broadband and phone plan to create your own package.
TV XL includes 245+ channels including 50+ HD
This is the daddy of TV packages and includes loads of HD channels plus BT Sport and ESPN. It is featured in the Big Kahuna and Big Daddy bundle or as a standalone service. TV XL is one of the most complete TV packages on the market in the UK, with its only real competition coming from Sky. Its depth of content comes with a high price tag, but if you're looking for the best variety of programming on Virgin Media, this is where you'll find it.
What will I need?
An engineer visit to install your line
When you sign up to a Virgin TV package an engineer visit will be arranged within a couple of weeks to install the new TV cable at your property. This is free with some plans if you buy online but subject to a £49.95 fee with others, so be sure to check.
A set-top box of your choice
You’ll need to select a set-top box to receive the channels in your subscription and there are three to choose from. The V HD box is offered free of charge but has no recording capacity, whereas the 500GB and 1TB TiVo boxes can record up to 250 hours and 500 hours of TV respectively, but come with extra fees.
No need for broadband
Unlike its rivals, you don’t need a broadband connection to access TV on demand and catch up content at Virgin. And since Virgin TV uses its own cable, if you do have a broadband service (with Virgin or any other provider) your usage limit and online performance will be unaffected by your TV activities. Equally if you are looking for a broadband and TV deal, you will find plenty of choice.
How do I switch?
Check availability and cancel your old services
Once you’ve checked that you can get the Virgin TV services you want in your area, you can click on your chosen deal above to take you through the sign-up process. Then just contact your old provider to cancel (30 days’ notice is normally required) and wait for your new services to be installed.
Watch out for fees
It’s best to wait until the end of any existing contract to avoid early cancellation fees from your current provider. Also get confirmation from Virgin whether your chosen package includes installation or if you have to pay for it on top.
Now you’re armed with the knowledge of all that Virgin TV has to offer, it’s time to make your decision. Draw up a list of your requirements, like your family’s favourite channels, your broadband and phone needs, and your monthly budget, then pick a package that fits the bill.