Virgin Media V.VIP Bundle review
By Emma Lunn | Wednesday, February 6th 2019
Virgin Media has four all-in-one broadband, TV and phone (and mobile if you want to add it on) bundles available right now. The V.VIP Bundle is the top tier offering and, as you might guess, also the most expensive.
If you want it all, then the Virgin V.VIP bundle is for you. With hundreds of TV channels, Sky Cinema and Sky Sports in HD, an extra V6 box and Talk More Anytime – plus Vivid 500 fibre broadband – this is the ultimate package. But the V.VIP bundle doesn’t come cheap – is it worth it? Read on and decide.
The V.VIP Bundle offers Virgin Media's fastest broadband speed. And its “slower” speeds aren’t exactly slow – Virgin’s slowest offering is faster than the entry-level fibre offerings of almost all other UK providers – so just imagine how fast the very fastest is (clue: it’s very fast).
Fibre with average speeds of 516Mbps is ridiculously quick and also comes with unlimited downloads. Even if you’ve got enough kids to field a football team, the UK’s fastest domestic broadband speed is quick enough to cater for you all to be doing different things on the internet at the same time. You could all be streaming high-definition movies in different rooms, on different TVs, and you'd still have bandwidth left over to influence your Instagram followers.
You're more likely to get the speed you're paying for with Virgin Media too. Ofcom's 2017 figures show that those taking out a standard broadband package (previously advertised as offering up to 17Mbps) with another provider receive on average only 8.4Mbps at peak times. Whereas Virgin Media 50Mbps customers receive on average more than the speed promised – around 53Mbps.
However, it’s not a given that you’ll be able to get Virgin Media in your area – you can enter your postcode on Virgin Media’s website to check availability. Best to do that before you set your heart on the V.VIP bundle.
We’ve found that the way Virgin Media represents its channels on its own site can be a bit confusing. You can check out a much easier to manage, up-to-date list of Virgin channels here on Cable.co.uk that also allows you to see what you’re getting in each bundle side-by-side.
Anyway, here’s what you get with the V.VIP bundle. The V.VIP Bundle is the most comprehensive TV package Virgin Media offers – you get everything. This means you get all the Freeview channels – channels you could be watching for nothing either via your TV’s own tuner or through a bargain basement Freeview box. But you also get BT Sport in HD, Sky Sports in HD, Sky Cinema in HD, Sky One, Two and Living, Discovery and a load of kids’ channels.
In fact, there’s more than 260 channels in total – far too many to list here. If you can’t find anything to watch on the 260+ channels, there’s also players including BBC iPlayer, All 4, YouTube, Vevo and Sky On Demand, TV box sets, and Catch-up TV. There’s Netflix too but you’ll need a subscription.
All those channels could lead to squabbling about what to watch with your family or housemates, so it’s lucky there’s an extra V6 set-top box too. The V6 box, as we discuss later, is pretty awesome.
The Virgin Hub router
In our opinion Virgin Media’s router and set-top box, as a free hardware proposition, are second to none. The Virgin Hub in its latest form is light, easy to tuck away somewhere unseen, and is one of the rangier routers of all those supplied by UK providers.
It’s also universal across all Virgin Media’s bundles, no matter which one you go for. This means that if – heaven forbid – you choose to downgrade further down the line you’ll be able to do so instantly.
Sky and BT, on the other hand, offer a lower-end router for their entry-level bundles, meaning if you want to upgrade or downgrade, you might need a different bit of kit
Virgin’s V6 set-top box
Then there’s the V6 set-top box. It’s Virgin Media’s smallest, smartest, fastest box yet and it’s the best free ones out there.
It comes with a whopping 1TB of storage – that’s 500 hours of TV in SD or 100 in HD. With two boxes, you can record six shows while you watch a seventh. The search button allows you to find the telly you love, whether it’s on Virgin TV, live TV, catch-up or box sets. It can also output in 4K (ultra-high definition or UHD), which is something you’ll see only in the top-end packages from the likes of Sky and BT.
Admittedly, Sky offers the Sky Q 2TB box, which arguably out-specs the V6 in a couple of areas, but that’ll cost you an extra £200.
Plus, with V.VIP and the Virgin TV Go app, you can watch 70+ live channels on your mobile or tablet, anywhere there’s WiFi, 3G or 4G.
You’ll get a landline thrown in, if you need it
By default, Virgin Media will throw in a landline with the ‘Talk More Anytime’ add-on. This gives you inclusive anytime calls to UK landlines and mobiles, plus 0845/0870 numbers.
You can opt out of having a landline but this won’t, unfortunately, bring the price down. A physical line will need to be installed at your house and ‘line rental’ is for that, irrespective of whether you use it for broadband, phone or both.
What’s not to like? The V.VIP bundle has it all, you’ll be the talk of the town if you sign up. However, you only really need it if you’ve got a busy household obsessed with watching telly and doing various things on the internet. The high-spec V6 box will appeal to gadget nerds but, to be fair, you get the same box with all Virgin’s packages (although just one, not two, on the cheaper deals).
500Mbps fibre broadband is the fastest broadband in town. No one else gets close and, with unlimited downloads, you’re free to stream your socks off.
All in all, Virgin Media’s V.VIP Bundle is an awesome deal if you can truly afford it. The only downside is it’s pretty pricey and there’s a substantial jump in the monthly price after the first year.
If you change your mind, remember you’re tied in for a year but Virgin’s decision to offer only one type of router and set-top box across its whole range means downgrading to cheaper services should be easy. Highly recommended.