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

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.

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