Dan Howdle | September 6th, 2023

Virgin Media TV review: Features, pricing and box

In 2023, Virgin TV rivals Sky's TV service both in terms of quality and quantity of content, with the added bonus that you won't need a satellite dish. But is Virgin TV actually any good? Let's take a look.

Virgin Media TV

Is Virgin Media TV any good?

Reasons to buy

  • As good as Sky in most respects
  • Best free set-top box
  • Amazing broadband bundles

Reasons to avoid

  • No Sky Atlantic
  • Expensive movies and sport
  • TNT Sports or Indian/Asian channels not available in bundles

Key features

Here’s a quick look at what you can expect to find in a Virgin Media TV package.

Number of channels Up to 230+
Technology Cable
Can bundle with broadband? Yes
Set-top box Virgin TV 360
Prices from £32.99 per month
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Channels

Depending on how much you're willing to spend, you can access up to 1,000 channels when you include premium add-ons, such as Sky Cinema and Sky Sports. To see exactly which channels are available, you can visit our Virgin Media TV channels guide.

Set-top box

Virgin 360

Virgin's latest TV 360 box is, in short, unmatched. We're not going to say unrivaled, because Sky's 2TB Sky Q box can match it blow-for-blow, and both come with voice-activated remote controls, but the TV 360 box comes free with every Virgin Media TV and broadband bundle deal, whereas you have to pay extra for the 2TB box with Sky as it only offers its 1TB box as standard. Because of that, there's really no contest. Virgin Media TV 360 wins.

The 1TB storage space on Virgin’s TV 360 box is enough to store up to 500 hours of shows in standard definition or 100 hours in high definition.

. Virgin Media 360 Box

The TV 360, like its predecessor the V6, has a slightly stumpier profile than the Sky Q – it wants you to know it's there. It allows you to record six channels while you watch a seventh (seriously, who's ever going to do this?). And it's even 4K ready, so you can watch 4K content on your 4K TV – if you have one. It also allows you to install apps on it like Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime, but unsurprisingly not NOW TV, as Sky is Virgin’s main competitor.

Most popular deals

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Add-ons

Sky Sports

Just because Virgin isn't Sky doesn't mean you can't pinch some of Sky's best features – for an additional cost, of course. You can add Sky Sports to any of Virgin's TV packages or broadband and TV bundles. Chose to add both to the Bigger Bundle or get the whole lot thrown in as standard with the Ultimate Volt Bundle.

Sky Cinema

Same goes for Sky's movie service: Sky Cinema. Not as expensive as Sky Sports (nothing is as expensive as Sky Sports), Sky Cinema gives you access to over 1,000 films at any given time, spread over 11 channels, with most available to watch any time you like on-demand. It's a hell of a lot of movies, and well worth the money, but if you already subscribe to Netflix and/or Amazon Prime, perhaps somewhat less so.

TNT Sports

TNT Sports, previously known as BT Sport, has the rights to quite a lot of essential sporting events, including – but by no means limited to – Premier League, UEFA Champions League, UFC, and WWE. You can add it onto any Virgin TV bundle, but unfortunately it's no longer included by default in any package. As of September 2023 it can only he addedd as an extra, which of course comes at an additional cost.

Premium channels

Just like Sky there are a host of premium channels you can subscribe to individually for those with special interests. They include MUTV (Manchester United's own channel), Racing UK (horse racing), Zee TV (Indian movies), and a host of specialist international and foreign language channels.

BritBox

The most recent addition to Virgin TV is BritBox, the local video subscription service. For £5.99 a month, you'll be able to watch popular shows such as Doctor Who, Death in Paradise, Rome, and Why Didn't They Ask Evans.

Multiroom TV

It'll cost you more, but you're free to add on multiroom functionality to any Virgin TV package if you want to watch on a second TV somewhere else in your home. Just sign up and request a 360 Mini box at the checkout. Alternatively, you can sign up to the capacious (and expensive) Ultimate Volt Bundle, which comes with one free 360 Mini box as standard.

Packages and bundles

Bundles with broadband

'Bundle' should really apply more to how much you save than it does how much is in it. Opting for a Virgin bundle is far and away the most sensible decision you're likely to make when it comes to your home services. Virgin’s bundles offer excellent value for money, with lightning-fast broadband and fantastic TV. One thing to note though – Virgin Media often change the broadband speeds they offer with each bundle, so be sure to bear that in mind. The speed could increase (or decrease) the very next day, so be sure you're comfortable with what you're signing up to as you'll have that maximum speed for the duration of your contract.

There are currently eleven separate bundles to choose from, but here's a quick run down of a few of the most popular.

  • The Big Bundle – It offers over 100 channels, most of which are Freeview, along with a good selection of drama channels including Film 4, Great! Movies, and Channel 4.. It will be enough for households that just want decent TV delivered via a high-quality set-top box/recorder. Depending on when you take up the bundle, it's likely to come with anything from 132Mbps to 264Mbps broadband, either of which is plenty for most homes
  • The Bigger Combo Bundle – Here you get everything in the Big Bundle, except broadband speed included can be as high as 350Mbps, and there are 196 channels to choose from. Unfortunately, BT Sport is no longer thrown
  • The Biggest Combo TV Bundle – The Bigger Bundle +Sports & Movies contains everything in all the previous bundles, over 210 channels, including Sky Sports and Sky Cinema HD, along with Virgin Media broadband. As with other Virgin Bundles, that speed will vary but at time of writing they're only offering 132Mbps
  • The Mega Volt Bundle – If you just want everything – all the TV – Sky Sports HD, Sky Cinema Ultra HD, kids TV and so on, everything (except TNT Sport, which will cost extra), coupled with really fast broadband (usually either 516Mbps or an insane 1130Mbps), this is the one to go for. You even get Anytime Chatter with your landline if you choose to have one, and a free O2 SIM with unlimited data. Although the Mega Volt Bundle looks expensive, it's actually a bargain compared to the cost of having all that separately.

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