Advanced Television

Virgin TV 360 for connected entertainment era

November 10, 2020

By Colin Mann

UK multiplay operator Virgin Media has launched a new TV platform, Virgin TV 360, which it says offers a 360, seamless connected entertainment experience.

The advanced TV line-up includes a new Mini box, new TV remote with voice control and smart new features which offer a fully-integrated, voice-activated and personalised service.

According to Virgin, the platform is designed with the ultimate user experience in mind so customers can enjoy simple modern menus, quick navigation and all of their favourite apps and channels in one place. Virgin TV 360 features all major TV channels and streaming apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer, all with 4k Ultra-High Definition and HDR viewing capabilities.

Customers can continue to record six programmes while watching a seventh, watch on demand programmes and live TV in one room, pause and continue in another room seamlessly through a Virgin TV 360 box or a Mini box.

New Virgin TV 360 features include:

  • Voice Search & Control – a new remote allows customers to use their voice to find the telly they love, open apps, pause, skip forward or back and breeze around content quickly.
  • Profiles – families can now create their own profiles so that they can control their own pause points, select their favourite channels and receive personalised recommendations.
  • Startover – lets customers skip back to the beginning of live programmes, even if they’ve already started.
  • New Mini box – recordings only need to be made once and can be shared across multiple set top boxes which allows for seamless Ultra-HD multi-room viewing throughout the home.
  • Upgraded Virgin TV Go app – offers a boosted on the go experience that allows customers to pause a programme on one set top box and carry on watching it on their tablet in another room or on the move.

“Virgin TV 360 is our most impressive TV service to date, providing one of the most complete and comprehensive viewing experiences available in the UK,” declared David Bouchier, Chief TV & Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media. “Backed up by our ultrafast broadband, our new service allows TV lovers to watch all of their favourite channels, apps and on-demand content in one place or on the move. This really is game-changing TV and we are know our customers will love it.”

“Our customers can already enjoy ultrafast connectivity at their fingertips and now, with the introduction of Virgin TV360, we’re completing the package with seamless entertainment that matches the power and speed of our broadband,” added Annie Brooks, Executive Director of Product at Virgin Media.

From launch, all new customers taking one of Virgin Media’s TV and broadband bundles will receive Virgin TV 360 as standard. Existing customers who take the Ultimate Oomph bundle, or existing customers who upgrade to Ultimate Oomph, will also be able to get Virgin TV 360 later this year – at no additional cost.

The Ultimate Oomph Bundle offers Virgin Media’s premium TV package, including 250 channels such as all Sky Cinema, Sky Sports and BT Sport channels, two TV set top boxes, ultrafast M500 Fibre broadband, landline and an unlimited mobile SIM currently available for £79.99 per month. Virgin Media has also just announced a speed boost to 600Mbps for existing Ultimate Oomph customers.

According to Paolo Pescatore, TMT analyst at PP Foresight, Virgin Media has been playing catch-up in TV for some time, suggesting that the offering is designed for the new streaming revolution. “It will give Sky and other rivals a run for their money,” he predicts.

“All of the pieces are starting to fall into place, with faster speeds, improved services and attractive bundles,” he notes, adding that there’s “no excuse, the company must deliver ahead of the joint venture with O2 being approved, and that more work needs to be done to be a true national champion and rival BT. This latest move will be key for its convergent future”.

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