September 05, 2019

NowTV price hikes

(Not a Virgin Media story, but I know a lot of you also use NowTV services)
Sky is raising the price of its Now TV service.
For October 9th the Entertainment Pass will be going up by £1 to £8.99 a month. It’s the first increase in two years and, if you hunt around, you can normally find some decent discounts if you sign up for six or twelve months’ viewing. (I only use the service to access Sky Atlantic programmes and I have it at £3.99 a month until February thanks to a half price promotion I took up earlier in the year.)
NowTV is also increasing the price of the Sky Sports Day Pass by a further pound - the second increase since February this year. Last year the Sky Sports Day Pass the cost £7.99. Now it’s £9.99.

August 29, 2019

The short life of Smart TV apps

According to this What Hi-Fi story, a number of Sony AV devices will lose access to Amazon Prime next month.
‘In an email sent yesterday to subscribers of the video service who own an affected device, Amazon said it “will no longer be supporting the Prime Video app on [your] Sony Blu-ray Disc Player / Sony Network Media Player / Sony Blu-ray Disc Home Theatre System / Sony AV Receiver (model year 2010-2013) as of 26 September 2019”. These six-to-nine-year-old devices are supposedly losing the feature due to a Prime Video upgrade that means it can no longer be supported by certain models.’
Now that Virgin’s V6 box supports Amazon Prime Video that’s not the end of the world for VM customers, but it does make me wonder how long Smart TV (and player) apps are going to be around for before they no longer work. My Sony blu-ray player is likely to be one of those affected, and my 2013 Sony TV (pre-Android OS) is also likely to lose the app. I don’t want an Amazon stick - it’s messy enough having to use a Now TV one for Sky Atlantic shows.
Having just renewed my contract with VM (after some negotiation with Retentions on my monthly bill) I’m sitting comfortably for now, but nothing lasts forever and I do wonder what the landscape will look like in twelve months time. Disney+ launches in the US soon and who know, maybe the long-promised Sky Q without a dish or the HD version of Now TV may appear at last. Will I be a Virgin Media customer this time next year? Will you?
Interesting times.

August 02, 2019

July 22, 2019

Amazon Prime app live

As anticipated, the new Amazon Prime app went live on Virgin Media V6 boxes this morning. It can be accessed through Apps or via the red button on channel 228. It's also promoted on the top banner on the Home and My Shows screens.
It works as you'd expect. If you already have an Amazon Prime or Prime Video account you enter your email and password. You then have to register the set-top box by entering the code given onto amazon.co.uk/mytv (the same palaver you have when logging onto YouTube for the first time) and you're in.
It's faster than the Panasonic and Sony Smart TV versions I have, both of which are little slow to load. Picture quality is excellent.
Personally, I've always found Amazon Prime's content a little weak. Films tend to compliment those on Netflix or Sky Cinema, although the rentals are better PQ than Virgin Media's own and some times cheaper, too. Amazon's own TV shows have disappointed me - a strong first season followed by a disappointing second seems to be the order of the day. Sneaky Pete, Goliath, and American Gods all start well but disappoint the longer you watch. Good Omens is good - hopefully they won't be tempted to go beyond the book.
But I can't complain. It's a good addition to the V6 apps and the integration with the V6 Search, Bookmarking and Series Link tools is most welcome.

July 18, 2019

Sky and Virgin Media agree new deal

Still no word on Sky Atlantic on Virgin, but the Sky Cinema and Sky Sports 4K channels are coming to the V6 boxes in 2020. Full story on this and additional Sky on demand and on-the-go services at https://www.whathifi.com/news/virgin-tv-customers-to-get-sky-4k-content-in-2020

July 17, 2019

Amazon Prime Video arriving on July 22nd


Virgin Media has quietly amended an earlier post about the arrival of the Amazon Prime app on its V6 boxes to include the launch date of Monday, July 22nd.
More details: https://www.virginmedia.com/virgin-tv-edit/tips-and-tricks/how-to-watch-amazon-prime-on-virgin-tv

June 28, 2019

Wimbledon in 4k Ultra HD and HDR

Us Virgin Media TV subscribers will be able to watch Wimbledon in 4K Ultra HD and HDR when it starts on Monday July 1. BBC viewers can enjoy Wimbledon in 4K on most 4K TVs via iPlayer or red button, but with the Virgin V6 it will be both UHD and HDR.
The Sky Q subscribers still don’t have the ability view HDR content anywhere although it’s been promised for a while now, much like Sky Q over the internet. Don’t hold your breath.

June 27, 2019

Amazon Prime on Virgin TV launching "soon"


And here's an interesting line on the Press Release: 
And because Prime Video will be fully integrated into TiVo®, you can search without even going into the app. Just select Search & Discover from the Home menu and type in the name of the show or movie you’re after.
More information (but no actual date) can be found here

May 26, 2019

Virgin to show French Open in UHD with HDR

Virgin Media is to become the first UK TV platform to broadcast an event in 4K Ultra HD (UHD) with High Dynamic Range (HDR) with Eurosport’s coverage of the French Open from Roland Garros.
Virgin Media will utilise Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) technology to broadcast all matches that feature on the renovated Phillipe Chatrier court in 4K UHD with HDR on its V6 set top box.
Viewers need to press the red button on their remote control while viewing Eurosport 1 HD or Eurosport 2 HD.

April 24, 2019

Amazon Prime coming to Virgin Media - OFFICIAL

Amazon Prime is coming to Virgin Media’s V6 boxes this summer. Here’s the press release from parent company Liberty Global:
Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband provider, today announced a multi-year deal with Amazon to make the best content and viewing experience available to 4 million Virgin Media TV customers in the UK.
Virgin Media will be the first of Liberty Global’s European operations to integrate the Amazon Prime Video app within its Ultra HD V6 set-top box.
The launch adds award-winning and critically-acclaimed Amazon Originals The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Grand Tour and the highly-anticipated Good Omens starring Michael Sheen and David Tennant, as well as Premier League coverage offered by Prime Video to Virgin Media’s extensive offering of broadcast and on demand programming across its multi-device TV service. Virgin Media customers will also have access to a range of Ultra High Definition (UHD) and HDR TV shows and movies.