Why choose Virgin TV?
Virgin Media has made huge strides over the last few years to improve its TV subscription packages. Whether as a standalone TV-only package or as part of a TV bundle deal, it is now seen as the main contender to Sky's crown as the premier TV subscription provider. Let's take a closer look at some of the unique features that set Virgin's TV offering apart from its competitors.
- Choice of two distinct TV packages
- Access to the fastest broadband with four bundle options
- 12-month discount on all TV and broadband bundles
- Virgin V6 box is the best in the business
- Watch 4K content on V6 via the Netflix and YouTube apps
- TV-only packages available
- You can add Sky Sports, BT Sport and Sky Cinema
Choice of two distinct TV packages
There are only two TV packages, which keeps things simple, right? Not exactly. In fact, for such a tiny number of possible options, Virgin Media seems intent on making things as confusing as possible.
The two 'levels' of TV are called 'Mix' and 'Full House'. As the names suggest, Mix is a blend of Freeview essentials with a few premium bits and bobs thrown in, whereas Full House offers you practically everything apart from premium add-ons such as Sky Sports, Sky Cinema and BT Sport.
Access to the fastest broadband with three bundle options
You really would have to be a bit of a wally not to sign up to Virgin Media broadband if you're getting its TV service. Virgin Media offers by far the fastest, most reliable broadband in the UK with top speeds more than four times quicker than its closest rival. In fact, it's so good we wrote an entire guide about why it's the best there is.
Slightly confusingly, there are two TV packages, and three bundles. The Player Bundle incorporates Mix TV, whereas both the Full House and VIP bundles incorporate Full House TV. The VIP bundle also offers Full House TV but also throws Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, BT Sport and an extra V6 set-top box so you can watch in more than one room.
The combinations don't end there, of course. You can pretty much create your own bundle. You could have Virgin's slowest broadband with its most inclusive TV, for example. It's just that the bundles tend to offer better value and often come with introductory discounts, gifts or cashback.
12-month discount on all TV and broadband bundles
Virgin Media tends to offer a first-year discount period rather than gifts for new customers, although when it does, the gift will often be in addition to the first-year discount, not instead of it, so it's worth keeping an eye out.
Virgin V6 Box is the best in the business
Virgin's V6 TV box is unrivalled within the industry and, justifiably, has received rave reviews since it was launched in December 2016. So, what's so special about it? Well, it's free for a start for all Virgin Media TV bundle customers. It's far better than the free version of the Sky Q box and just about on a par with the Sky Q 2TB, which Sky will charge you £200 for. It has a huge 1TB of storage capacity, which caters for up to 500 hours of recordings for SD programmes and 100 hours for HD.
You can record up to six programmes at once and the V6 box still gives you room to watch a seventh you recorded earlier. Whilst it's unclear exactly which households would actually ever need to do that, it's great to know you can. The V6 comes with all Virgin TV packages and broadband, TV and phone bundles.
Watch 4K content on V6 via the Netflix and YouTube apps
Unlike the free version of the Sky Q box, Virgin's V6 set-top box is 4K-ready. You can watch 4K content on it right from the get-go provided you have one of those fancy new 4K TVs. However, at this point don't expect any channels in 4K because there aren't any right now. BT Sport has one in the form of BT Sport Ultra HD, but you can't watch that on the V6 even if you add on BT Sport. What you can do, however, is watch 4K content via the Netflix and YouTube apps which you can install on the V6.
Watch on mobile and tablet with Virgin TV Go App
The Virgin TV Go app comes with every TV package or broadband, TV and phone bundle. You can use it on iOS or Android phones and tablets as well as on any laptop or computer. It offers complete access to all your TV channels, both live or on catch-up, and even allows you to download programmes to your device while you're at home or on wi-fi so you can watch them when you're out and about.
TV-only packages available
Whereas Sky only offers Sky Entertainment as a standalone TV deal, Virgin offers two. So, if you're happy with your broadband and landline provider but want to change your TV package, Virgin offers you the flexibility to do so.
The basic Mix TV deal offers all the Freeview channels plus a selection of premium channels including Sky One, Sky Living and Sky Sports News. The Full House TV deal offers lots more channels, in addition to those available on the Mix TV deal, including all the Disney channels and all the BT Sports channels in HD plus Nat Geo Wild HD. No phone line is required for either deal and both come with a 500GB TiVo box, not the V6 box, which should still be plenty storage for any programme recording you wish to make.
You can add Sky Sports, BT Sport and Sky Cinema
UK competition laws mean that if Sky and BT are going to exclusive get all the premium sport they have to make it available to competitors. That means you can add on both Sky Sports and BT Sport to your Virgin TV package or bundle with enormous ease.
The option to also add on Sky Cinema seems to us like one of those 'in for a penny, in for a pound' decisions. Sky must offer Sky Sports to Virgin Media customers so why not offer it's premium movie channels too?
Virgin Movies on demand
Virgin TV doesn't have its own dedicated premium movie channels. It does have Film 4 and TCM and that one that shows made-for-TV melodramas all day, but if you want full-time movie channels showing newer films you'll need to subscribe to add Sky Cinema to your package.
If, on the other hand, you just want to watch the odd thing here and there, Virgin Movies on demand allows you to rent new releases for 48 hours for similar money to what you'd pay on Amazon Prime, or used to pay at Blockbuster.
Range of international channel collections
Virgin TV offers a large range of global entertainment collections you can add on to your TV bundles for a little extra each month. These international channel packages include, amongst others:
- Asian Mela: Top Asian news, Indian serials and Bollywood classics. Comes with eleven channels including Zee TV, Zee Cinema and StarPlus
- Polish Impreza: Four top channels including TVP Polonia and ITVN
- French Bouquet: The very best French TV with four premium channels including France 2, 3 and 5
- Spanish Viva: Four top Spanish channels including TVE International and Antena 3
Quickstart self-install available
So, you've got all the details you need, decided on which package is right for you, and you're ready to make that purchase. Once that's done, all you need to do is make an appointment for an engineer to come out and hook up your new box. Well, perhaps not. There is, possibly, a way you can install your new hardware yourself.
First of all, if you're moving away from Sky, don't worry about the dish because you won't need that whilst you're a customer with Virgin Media. Second, if your home's been connected to the Virgin network at any time over the previous three years you can set everything up without the need for an engineer with Virgin's Quickstart self install pack.
Everything you need can be ordered through 'click and collect' from your local Virgin Media store or it can be sent directly to your home, for a small delivery fee, along with a simple step-by-step guide for you to follow and you can set it all up yourself with no engineer required.