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Virgin Media TV channels

By Dan Howdle
Sunday, February 18th 2018

Virgin Media TV is a great alternative to Sky, especially if you either don’t want or can’t have a Sky dish bolted to your home. Chances are that whatever you want to watch, you can either watch on Virgin TV, or get added to your core package, with one or two exceptions.

If you've been struggling to find out exactly which channels you get in each of Virgin's TV packages, fear not, you have absolutely come to the right place.

Virgin Media TV channels list by package

Virgin Media offers four TV packages: Player, Mix, Full House and VIP, all of which are available alone or as part of a bundle along with Virgin Broadband and phone (apart from Player which is only available with Vivid 100) .

Knowing which channels are available in each of these four Virgin TV packages will help you to make your choice.

Ultimately, the bigger the package you opt for, the more channels you get, but that’s not always a good thing. If sheer variety and choice is your ultimate aim, the bigger the better, certainly. But if your true intention is to bolt on Sky Sports, say, and spend most of your time watching that, you may find you can actually save some money by opting for something with a little less fluff.

Best Virgin TV bundle deals in March 2018

What’s included in Virgin Media’s Player bundle?

Player TV is bare bones, offering nearly 90 free-to-air channels (such as BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 etc.). However, this figure includes radio channels as well as TV, making that number somewhat less impressive than it may first appear.

This package is really aimed at people looking for a basic TV service to go with their superfast broadband. For that reason, Player TV is not available to purchase on its own.

Best deals on Virgin Media Player TV

  • Virgin Media The Player TV Bundle

    Virgin Media
    • Freeview channels
    • Up to 50Mb download speed
    • Unlimited monthly usage
    • Free weekend calls
    £20 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal

Player TV is good for…

People who don’t really care about telly and are only getting TV from Virgin because as part of a bundle it works out cheaper than getting everything separately and adding a Freeview box or Smart TV to your living room.

It’s also good if all you truly care about is adding Sky Sports, Sky Cinema and/or BT Sport, since you can save a little on the rest of the package by selecting this barebones Player TV option.

Player TV is not good for…

People who could list even two or three of the biggest TV shows to hit screens in the last couple of years. If that’s you, you’re almost certainly someone who wants more than what Player TV can deliver.

What’s included in Virgin Media’s Mix TV?

Virgin’s Mix bundle is the point at which Virgin Media will start including some of the more common subscription channels. It includes the likes of Sky 1 and 2, Syfy, Sky Living and Universal. In the lifestyle category there are various food channels, along with Sky Arts 1 and 2.

There are even a few movie channels in there, though not the kind that’ll usually dish up anything particularly current – Movies 24, Film 4, TCM and TCM+1.

In terms of sport, you are of course still missing anything that might be remotely considered ‘premium’ – so, no Sky Sports or BT Sport (both of which you can add on at extra cost). In addition to Sky’s ‘At The Races’ horse-racing channel, you’ll be able to watch Sky Sports Mix and Sky Sports News.

Cartoon Network, Boomerang and Cartoonito form Mix TV’s kids TV offering, while comedy channels Gold and Comedy Central are also included.

Best deals on Virgin Media Mix TV

  • Virgin Media Mix TV

    Virgin Media
    • 150+ TV channels + TiVo 500GB
    • 10 crystal clear HD channels
    • No phone line required
    £20 set-up cost See Deal
  • Virgin Media The Mix TV Bundle

    Virgin Media
    • Freeview + premium channels
    • Up to 100Mb download speed
    • Unlimited monthly usage
    • Free weekend calls
    £20 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal

Mix TV is good for…

People or families whose viewing tastes are diverse, but are less than fussy when it comes to watching the latest and greatest shows. Its basic kids TV offering will keep children entertained.

Mix TV is not good for…

People who care about watching the latest, greatest TV shows as they screen. Those who would rather be overwhelmed by choice than frustrated by a lack of it.

What’s included in Virgin Media’s Full House package?

Everything apart from Sky Sports and Sky Cinema. You do get BT Sport for free with the Full House, which is a fantastic bonus. Plus you'll get a lot of other stuff in HD.

You won’t get Sky Atlantic, nor in any Virgin Media TV package or bundle for that matter – and that means no Game Of Thrones, among other things. It’s just too precious for Sky to share with everyone.

That said, things step up yet another gear here. Virgin Full House TV offers even more entertainment channels, along with their HD versions (if such a thing exists). For example, where Virgin Mix TV offers Comedy Central, Virgin Full House adds Comedy Central HD. Then there’s Dave HD, E4 HD, Fox HD, ITV 2 HD, Syfy HD and more. Do you see a theme emerging?

On the kids TV front, Virgin Full House TV throws in three more Nickelodeon channels and Nickelodeon HD.

Best deals on Virgin Media Full House TV

  • Virgin Media Full House TV

    Virgin Media
    • 245+ digital TV channels + TiVo
    • 50+ HD channels inc BT Sport & ESPN
    • No phone line required
    £20 set-up cost See Deal
  • Virgin Media The Full House TV Movies Bundle

    Virgin Media
    • Freeview + premium + movies + BT Sport
    • Up to 200Mb download speed
    • Unlimited monthly usage
    • Free weekend calls
    £20 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal

Full House TV is good for…

Those who want pretty much everything. Full House TV just isn’t very much more money than the other packages, and it’s for that reason that we primarily say that Full House TV is for those who want to receive the best possible value for money.

Full House TV is not good for…

Anyone signing up to Virgin TV purely to bolt on Sky Sports, Sky Cinema or BT Sport. If that’s all you’re going to watch, Virgin Full House TV offers you the most wastage.

What’s included in Virgin Media’s VIP package?

Everything. Absolutely everything. Even Sky Sports and Sky Cinema are included. Every possible channel, everything in HD. Everything. Except Sky Atlantic.

Much like its distant cousin, Player TV, you cannot get the VIP package without broadband. It is not available as a standalone TV package. You have to take the 300Mb broadband with it. And really, why wouldn't you also want some of the fastest widely available broadband speed in the country?

So, if you want the best, and you want everything possible, in the knowledge that you won't need to pay anything else for any extras further down the road, VIP is the package for you. Just be prepared to pay for it.

Best deals on Virgin Media VIP TV

  • Virgin Media The VIP TV Bundle

    Virgin Media
    • Freeview + premium + sports (inc BT) + movies
    • Up to 300Mb download speed
    • Unlimited monthly usage
    • Free weekend calls
    £20 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal

VIP TV is good for…

Anyone who isn't satisfied with the Full House bundle. If you're worried that you might be missing something, or regret not signing up for the lot upfront, then the VIP is your only option. No need to add anything else on at a later date, because there is nothing else to add on.

VIP TV is not good for…

Anyone who wants Sky Atlantic. As with any Virgin TV bundle, you won't get this coveted channel, because Sky won't let Virgin have it. If you want Sky Atlantic, you'll just have to join Sky (or be prepared to pay extra for Now TV).

Five reasons you should consider Virgin TV over Sky TV

1) You want Virgin Broadband

If you’ve got Virgin Broadband running by your home, temptation is right there. Virgin Media does, after all, offer the fastest widely-available broadband speeds in the UK. And, ultimately, though it’s not unheard of, if you want the fastest broadband available, you’re not going to want to get your TV from someone else.

Because, you know, it’s a huge faff.

2) You want 200+ channels, but don’t want a satellite dish

One of the biggest advantages that Virgin TV has over Sky TV is that you won’t have to bolt an ugly dish to the side of your home. Granted, even if you plump for the Full House TV package, you still won’t be getting as much telly as Sky offers in its Box Sets Bundle, but if those additional channels are ones you can live without, Virgin Media offers the cosmetically superior option.

3) Virgin Media’s new V6 box competes comfortably with the Sky Q box

Virgin’s new V6 set-top box – now standard with all new Virgin TV packages offers pretty much the same experience as Sky Q, with the options to stream TV in one room and pick it up in another, and to record several channels at once as well as coming with copious amounts of storage for recording your favourite shows.

4) You can bundle in a Virgin Mobile SIM or two

Virgin Mobile now runs on 4G and there is a good selection of well-priced options to choose from, which offer better value than the Sky Mobile offerings.

5) You can watch Netflix, listen to Spotify, and more on Virgin TV

Sky has decided it wants to create a bit of a walled garden with its TV offering. That is to say it doesn’t want competitor services getting in, and it doesn’t want its exclusive content getting out. That’s why you cannot watch Netflix, nor any competing subscription-fee-based streaming service for that matter, on a Sky box.

Virgin take a more inclusive approach, allowing its customers access to Netflix via the Apps and Games menu or channel 204. From time to time (though not always, so do check) Virgin Media even offers a free Netflix subscription for the first six months of your contract.

Compare Virgin TV deals

Virgin Media’s V6 box – what are its best features?

Virgin’s new V6 box replaces the previous TiVo box

Virgin Media’s V6 box is an impressive bit of kit. It allows you to record six channels, all at the same time, while watching content you recorded at some point previously.

Virgin rents you the V6 box – you won’t have to buy it

Although that means you’ll have to give it back once your contract is up, it makes sense. Why would you want to keep it if you don't want the service any more?

Plus, the fact you don’t own it means you get free servicing for its lifetime, you can get it replaced if it breaks beyond repair at no charge, and you’re free to switch to another provider further down the line without a weighty investment that causes you to feel like doing so is tantamount to throwing money down the drain.

You can tell Virgin’s V6 box what you like and don’t like, and it will listen

Much like the TiVo, Virgin’s V6 box will make recommendations to you based on your viewing habits. It will even explain why it’s been recommended for you. You can flick through these and let it know how it’s done by selecting those you want recorded and those you don’t want to be recommended again.

It will even record stuff for you without asking, once it feels it’s got to know you a little better. Be warned, though, the things it’ll record for you can sometimes feel a little like it doesn’t know you at all.

You can watch Netflix on Virgin’s TiVo and V6 boxes

Unlike the Sky Q box, which does not allow you to watch any third-party streaming services, Virgin enables you to watch Netflix through its box. You can do this either through the app or through the specially designated channel 204.

Watching Sky Sports, Sky Cinema and BT Sport on Virgin TV

Adding Sky channels to a Virgin Media TV package

If you’re worried you won’t be able to watch all the movies and sport your heart desires on Virgin TV, worry not. You can add all the Sky Sports channels, all in HD, along with the same from BT Sport, and you can add Sky Cinema. The only service you can’t add to your Virgin TV subscription is, in fact, BT Sport’s forthcoming UHD 4K channel. And remember, if you plump for Virgin's TV XL, you get BT Sport for free.

Sky Sports

You can add the whole cadre of Sky Sports channels to any of Virgin Media’s TV packages. So, that includes Sky Sports 1 to 5 and Sky F1. If you’re thinking of plumping for any package above Virgin’s TV M, Sky TV News is included whether you take out Sky Sports or not.

Sky Sports on VirginMedia.com

Sky Cinema

Even plumping for Virgin’s biggest TV package (TV XL) you’re not exactly going to be inundated with a choice of movies. Virgin offers a few movie channels, sure, but they are of your Film 4 and TCM ilk, so you won’t be watching many recent releases or summer blockbusters.

If you’re an avid movie watcher, Sky Cinema is a wise addition to whichever TV package you ultimately choose from Virgin Media.

Best deals for Sky Sports and Sky Cinema

  • Virgin Media The Player TV Bundle + Sky Sports + Sky Cinema

    Virgin Media
    • Freeview + Sky Sports + Sky Cinema
    • Pay nothing upfront
    • Weekend calls included
    • Free TV V6 box & WiFi router
    £68 .25
    £20 set-up cost includes line rental See Deal

Adding BT Sport to Virgin TV

Similarly to Sky, you can add all BT Sport channels to your Virgin TV package, either when you sign up or later on. That will give you access to BT Sport 1 HD, BT Sport 2 HD, BT Sport ESPN HD and BT Sport Europe HD, but won’t give you access to the 4K UHD version of the latter.

That’s because BT Sport Ultra HD, as it’s formally titled, needs BT TV’s most advanced set-top box to run it. And, don't forget, if you plump for the TV XL package, you won't need to add BT Sport, as it's included free.

Watching kids channels on Virgin TV

There’s a good selection of kids TV channels available on Virgin TV, but you’ll need to aim for the top-end package if you want to get the greatest possible choice.

Even if you opt for the most basic TV M package, you’ll still get access to the free-to-air kids stuff like CBBC and CBeebies. However, the better the package you buy, the more kids TV you get, with Virgin TV XL providing both the most kids channels and the largest proportion of it in HD.

Compare Virgin TV deals

Watching movies on Virgin TV

Virgin TV loses some ground to Sky here. It’s just not a great place to catch the latest releases and summer blockbusters thanks to it being home only to some of your more ‘artsy’ (shall we say) movie channels.

That’s fine for anyone uninterested in Marvel Avengers and the like. For everyone else, though, film fans taking up Virgin TV should consider either adding Netflix or Sky Cinema.

Watching free-to-air channels on Virgin TV

Free-to-air content used to consist of just a few channels that you could watch for nothing through a standard roof-mounted TV aerial – BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and so on.

There are now nearly a hundred free-to-air channels available in the UK and you get pretty much all of them on Virgin TV. It’s not all TV, however, so beware. Around half of these ‘channels’ are actually radio stations.

Watching documentaries and factual programming on Virgin TV

Virgin TV absolutely spoils rotten anyone interested in widening the length and breadth of their knowledge of the world.

With Full House and VIP, Virgin offers some of the best factual channels in the world. Animal Planet, Discovery, Discovery Real Time, Eden, PBS, TLC, the list goes on. And, if you plump for the top package – Full House – you’ll get most of those in HD too.

Watching Virgin TV in high definition (HD)

Virgin takes a similar tack to Sky when it comes to delivering programming in HD. That is to say, there’s a terrific amount of it, but if you want to watch it, you’ll have to take the top package (the Full House).

Watching 3D TV and movies on Virgin TV

Unlike Sky, Virgin Media does not offer any exclusively 3D channels (Sky has one). However, Virgin does offer some movies in 3D via its pay-per-view movie rental service. Just be aware that they're not cheap.

Watching Asian and Indian TV on Virgin TV

If you purchase anything from Mix TV or up, you’ll be getting close to a dozen free-to-air Indian TV channels, including Lamhe (for classic Zee TV serials), Colors TV (known for reality TV), and UMP Movies.

In addition, you can add The Star Bundle, Zee Bundle and/or the Sony Entertainment Bundle should you so choose (at extra cost). Or you can add all three – collectively called the Asian Mela Bundle – which will also provide you with access to three bonus channels you wouldn’t otherwise get.

Visit Virgin Media

Watching Virgin TV on mobile or tablet or computer using Virgin TV Anywhere

No matter which package you pick, you’ll be able to download the Virgin TV Anywhere app to your mobile, tablet, laptop or computer and watch Virgin TV anywhere there is a wi-fi connection.

The app can also turn your mobile or tablet into a remote control for your TiVo or V6 box, provided you’re connected to the same network as the box. Virgin TV Anywhere delivers live TV, catch up and on demand to almost any capable device.

Frequently asked questions about Virgin TV

Do I need a TV Licence to watch Virgin TV?

Yes. The BBC TV Licence is a given with any Virgin TV package. The law says you don’t have to pay for a TV Licence if you only watch pre-recorded, catch up TV, or if you only use your television to play games or watch DVDs or Blu-rays.

However, the very nature of Virgin TV – it’s a live-TV delivery system – means you won’t be able to make that claim.

Does Virgin TV require an aerial?

No. Virgin TV comes through the same cable that delivers your Virgin Broadband. You do not need a separate TV aerial on your roof and neither will you need that coaxial hole in the wall you normally plug your TV into to receive terrestrial television.

Does Virgin TV Anywhere cost extra?

No, the Virgin TV anywhere app is free to all Virgin TV customers, though if you watch on demand content you’ll have to pay for it just the same as you do on your main Virgin TV TiVo box.

Does Virgin TV have Sky Atlantic?

Sadly, no, and it probably never will. That means no Game Of Thrones, True Detective and other top drama shows Sky doesn’t want its competitors getting its hands on.

The only way to get Sky Atlantic without subscribing to Sky itself is to watch it through Now TV, which is, as yet, not available through Virgin.

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