After the major hubbub which greeted Virgin’s take over of NTL last November it appears the revamped service – newly christened ‘Virgin Media’ – is about to be unveiled.
The entertainment hub – which amalgamates NTL Telewest and Virgin Mobile – will go head to head with services such as Sky+/Sky HD and BT Vision. Exact details of the service have yet to be announced but web rumour suggests the company will look to make a splash by supplying a 20Mbps service and then challenging ADSL2+ by offering a remarkable 50Mbps product.
A new set-top box is also set to be unveiled which will go head to head with the Sky HD box. It is said to be based on Telewest’s ‘TVDrive’ and provide time shifting functionality as well as high definition pictures.
Whatever the facts however it looks like Sky is finally going to get some real competition. A £20m advertising budget has been set aside by Virgin Media to publicise the arrival of the new service(s) which will be fronted by Uma Thurman. A further £5m meanwhile has already been invested to improve NTL’s (notoriously bad) customer call centres.
With Sky recently launching See Speak Surf – an all-in-one broadband, telephone and satellite TV package for £26 – it is clear Rupert Murdock knows a challenge is on the way. Hopefully for all our sakes, it is.
Update: Turns out Virgin Media is available NOW! Check out the new live site here. Stupid tipsters!