Virgin Media has officially launched the Virgin TV V6 box, one of the worst-kept non-mobile secrets of the year.
What Is It?
It's new, therefore it's the company's smallest and fastest box to date, though it looks a little like a VHS player. Unusual. Fortunately (or unfortunately), it isn't.
What it is is Virgin Media's answer to Sky Q, a 4K telly box -- HDR support will come via a software update "which will be automatically downloaded" when more HDR content becomes available -- with 1TB of storage that lets you pause, rewind and record up to 500 hours of SD TV or up to 100 hours of HD stuff.
Features and Connections
Powered by TiVo, the 230mm x 153mm x 55mm TV V6 is apparently "built for apps" and features something called Series Link+, which lets you watch your favourite shows, bookmark them for later, or get TiVo to record the entire series for you. It’ll also hunt down other episodes hiding in Box Sets, Catch Up and Netflix, and group them together in one folder.
Virgin Media says the TV V6 packs 10 times the power of the previous TiVo box, and allows you to record six shows while watching a seventh recording or stream from a service like iPlayer or Netflix. With two boxes, that six becomes 12. Very logical.
You can access and stream recordings in other rooms around your house through additional TiVo boxes new or old, though this requires a Powerline adapter or Ethernet connection. There's a guide on how to get it done here. You can also access recordings and live TV on the move through the Virgin Media TV Anywhere app.
The box itself carries:
- 1x IEC connector
- 1x USB 2.0
- 1x HDMI v2.0a output with HDCP 2.2 copy protection
- 1x Optical S/PIDF for digital audio
- 1x 3.5mm mini-jack for analogue audio
- 1x Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port
The remote's also a bit fancy, beeping whenever you've lost it -- just press and hold the Channel Up button on the front of the box -- through a feature called Find My Remote. Its own search button means you should be able to track down the shows you want to watch in fewer clicks too.
Pricing and Release
The Virgin TV V6 box will be available to existing customers on a Mix bundle or higher before the end of the year, and will be available for new customers in January.
It'll set you back £99.95, though new and existing customers who opt for a top-tier Full House or VIP Virgin Media package can take advantage of a £49.95 promotional pricetag.