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Virgin takes on Sky Q with new 4K-ready V6 TiVO box

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Virgin V6

Virgin Media has launched a new TiVo box, which offers 4K and multi-platform streaming

The Virgin V6 is one of the worst-kept secrets ever, since it first appeared on Twitter in August, but now it’s official. It is Virgin’s answer to the mighty Sky Q, and a significant upgrade over Virgin’s aging TiVo box – 10 times the power and half the size.

You can still pause, rewind and record live TV, only now there’s 1TB of storage, which means up to 500 hours of SD footage (or 100 hours in HD). It also lets you record six programmes at the same time. Get another V6 box and this doubles up to 12 simultaneous recordings.

The box is 4K-compatlble, which means you can make the most of UHD footage on Netflix and YouTube. There’s no word yet on Amazon Video, but you do get BBC iPlayer. You already get 4K Netflix and YouTube on new premium TVs, but Virgin says the V6 is the fastest way to use these services. It's also HDR-compatible.

Other new tricks include multi-platform support for viewing around the home. You can stream between V6 and existing TiVo boxes on the same household. The V6 also lets you stream recordings to laptops, or download to iOS and Android devices through the TV Anywhere app.

For our first impressions, read our Virgin V6 hands-on review.

Virgin TellyTablet

In a surprise move, Virgin has also unveiled a dedicated viewing tablet. The Virgin TellyTablet is an Android tablet with Wi-Fi, a 14-inch HD screen, four speakers, an integrated kick stand and a claimed battery life of eight hours. It can stream and download programmes from the V6; there is 32GB of storage and this can be expanded with a Micro SD card.

The software element has been upgraded too, although this is not exclusive to the V6 and will be available to existing TiVo box owners. The highlight is the intelligent search, which works across recordings and on-demand services. The new Virgin Media store lets you buy and keep films for streaming and download – and you get a DVD in the post too.

How much? The Virgin V6 box alone will cost £99.95 as a standalone purchase, with no subscription fees. It will also be available in Virgin TV bundles from January 2017. New and existing customers with a top-tier Full House or VIP bundle will get it at a lower (promotional) price of £49.95.

The TellyTablet will available as part of the Virgin Freestyle mobile bundle, which spreads payments over 24 months – you can pay £299 upfront.

Related: Virgin TellyTablet hands-on review

Watch: Amazon Echo review

What do you think of the new Virgin box? Let us know in the comments.

david charles

November 30, 2016, 1:55 pm

well, must have spent all of 2minutes designing the box.

MontyMole

November 30, 2016, 7:43 pm

Hideous.

vectorious

November 30, 2016, 8:41 pm

that's two minutes of their life they are not going to get back

Dave

December 1, 2016, 1:04 pm

I can't say I really care about the design of the box (who does really ?),99% of the time its hidden away in a cupboard and operated by a remote, I don't think my other half has ever seen the box..only the remote. I have waited for months for the release of this box and am on the top tier tv/broadband so likely to benefit from the cheaper cost. However it wont be happening for me for the simple reason it is not (and not likely to be for a few years if you take VM speed of progress in the past) going to be able to broadcast Sky sports in 4K or any other live content for that matter. Only Netflix and You Tube which I get now like anybody else with a smart 4k tv so no need for a new V6 box for that. Perhaps its me but who on earth records 6 channels at the same time, do this 4/5 times and you will be backed up for a year with things waiting to watch. The boss of VM (don't know his name as its not important) bangs on about what people really want is recording 6 channels and not live 4K tv. Does this guy live on Planet Zod or what, he is so out of touch with what the consumer wants. I shall await the 'official' release of this box which is meant to be before Xmas... they didn't say which Xmas though and if its only Netflix/You tube in 4k I shall be moving to Sky Q promptly.

Flapjack Snafflington

December 1, 2016, 7:46 pm

It does look a little bit like a cheap android box. Mine is getting installed on the 19th, so will be able to decide then. But as mentioned it's getting shoved out the way.

I am getting one as the general speed of the TiVo is quite poor, which given its age and the usual funky Virgin coding, is not surprising.

Bugblatter

December 1, 2016, 8:21 pm

It's always amusing when companies try to tell their customers that they want what the company's providing, rather than trying to provide what their customers want. Sony and Apple are probably the main contenders but it looks as though VM is making a late bid for the 2016 award.

Bugblatter

December 1, 2016, 8:23 pm

I can't remember the last time I watched cable TV. I've still got it hooked up, with the package I'm on it only costs me £1 more than not having it (for the most basic TV channels) but I just never watch it.

These days I'm mostly Netflix and Amazon Video.

I think for me broadcast TV is pretty much over.

Fidel.

December 2, 2016, 1:16 am

God what a bunch of whingers.

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