March 04, 2009

New Samsung V+ "launched"

[split screen picture top: the current SA V+. bottom: the new Samsung V+ in the same position]
According to the always-informative Cable Forum and this thread, the new V+ from Samsung is launched on a trial basis this week. A number of reliable Virgin contacts have posted comments:
  • "As with any new STB there will be a limited number of installs across the network to cover all senarios - it cannot be asked for, it will purely be if the installer has been given on."
  • "Best part is the much much sharper picture and also the menu looks great even at 1080i and quicker channel changing."
  • "It has the same amount of tuners as the current V+ box. So you can record 2 and watch a third channel"
  • "You can still archive recordings while watching something else"


Adam said...

Looks very smart.
Am i right in thinking that once the trial is over, they'll still only be used for new installations? no mass replacement of the old boxes (one can live in hope...again!)

David said...

what's the point of a new box when there's hardly any HD to broadcast on it???

Anonymous said...

"what's the point of a new box when there's hardly any HD to broadcast on it???"

Remember they sell the V+ service mainly for its recording functionality. The name even sounds suspiciously similar to Sky+.

And it has "quicker channel changing" so I'd certainly like to get one. And the "much much sharper picture" sounds interesting (not that I had any complaints with the picture quality of the SA upscaling or downscaling to 720p).

And it has extra capabilities like MPEG4, so if they ever want to save bandwidth and/or improve picture quality (especially on HD) then they'll want to give everyone a new box. So if VM unexpectedly become very serious about HD there would be another point for the new box, but there's still a few reasons for the new box until then.

demented said...

The bit that interested me was the potential code drop to get the v+ boxes the rest of us have running quicker.

At the moment there's little in the new boxes favour. If it is cheaper for the company then that is excellent.

Anonymous said...

"The bit that interested me was the potential code drop to get the v+ boxes the rest of us have running quicker."

I'd assumed it was a faster CPU or something like that in the new box.

Maestromarv said...

They are electronically faster machines but the new EPG promised this year will hit some Yorkhire Telewest customers first on SA V+'s as a trial. Once tested it should roll out to other areas and the new Samsung boxes.

The way I read the leaked document it looks like me and the rest of Barnsley will be prevented receiving the new box until this trial is complete. I've mentioned this before hoping someone will refute the idea. :(

Anonymous said...

Here's a clearer photo comparison (just cropped from the existing one, but not seeing all the extra 360 HD-DVDs and shelving makes it a bit clearer)

images don't work here so you'll have to click this link

Nialli said...

thanks - I've posted your edit into the original post

the_gaffer said...

From yesterday's business section of the times:

"Virgin said that an announcement about the future management of Virgin Media Television and Virgin Media’s subscription TV services would be made in due course."

The Times

Anonymous said...

But is it Quiter !!!!!

Anonymous said...

What I found interesting in that Times article were figures showing:-

"Last month Virgin Media published fourth-quarter figures showing that customers signing up to its services declined by almost 40 per cent."

This puts a completely different perspective to the spin that Virgin was putting to its recent shareholders meeting. Also interesting was the paragraph:-

"The group reported losses of £50 million and said that it had gained 14,800 new customers in the last three months of 2008, against 24,000 a year earlier. The number of broadband, TV and telephone packages sold by it fell to 185,000, from 272,100 in the final quarter of 2007."

As they are already £6 billion in debt and it rising by large amounts each year, you really have to start wondering just how long it can keep going like this.

Nialli said...

Depends on how well that debt is serviced - from what I've read (and understand!) it's manageable.
The Times will always offer an uncharitable view of VM which counter's Virgin's own spin.
Q4 results were inline with market expectation and hardly spectacular, but not disastrous either. Growth may have slowed year on year, but it's still growth - everyone compares them with Sky, but BT or Tiscali is probably a more apt benchmark. And revenues are still over £1b pa - hardly insignificant, hence the market interest when a possible sale was rumoured a while back.
I'm no Financial expert, but I don't think UK cable is in financial distress just yet.