December 01, 2016

Reaction to the "game changing" Virgin TV announcement

Well, that was pretty predictable: no sooner had Virgin Media finally let the cat out of the bag then the usual anonymous cynics were all over the cable forums berating the company for its lack of 4k content. Even the BBC put the boot in with some inaccurate reporting (later corrected). No HDR? What is Branson (sic) thinking??!! (Let’s not forget that HDR is not on BT or Sky Q yet either...)
I’m not saying the V6 is perfect in its promise, but it has to be a step up from the tired TiVos we all endure, surely? I doubt I’ll ever need to record six things simultaneously and I have no plans to buy a 4k TV anytime soon but a faster box is most welcome and the ability to stream my recordings to our second TiVo or to a device using the improving TV Anywhere App is most welcome.
And we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the box won’t incur a monthly charge. In fact the V6 is considerably cheaper for existing customers than originally rumoured. £49.99 sounds like a good deal to me, especially if they’re available to existing customers before the end of the year. I may even get an upgrade to a Superhub 3 from the dodgy wifi of my SH2, which would be neat.
The lack of a 2Tb disc is a little disappointing but it may come later - the TiVo “Cloud DVR” is not far away now, surely.
And let’s not slam the company for not having done any expensive deals with Sky or BT for their 4k sports channels. VM will most likely do what they did before with 3D and measure demand by making 4k movies available on demand for those desperate for the best. But don’t expect them to be cheap - they’ll be cinema ticket price expensive. A better bet may be if the rumoured Amazon App finally makes an appearance, but the announcement of the Virgin Store makes me think that this is perhaps less likely than we’d like.
So I take some heart from the announcement yesterday, even if it did fall short of being “game changing”. The Telly Tablet, for £299, may be useful in the kitchen or spare bedroom. The Store sounds promising. And I’ll take a V6 for my 1Tb TiVo for fifty quid - sounds like a good deal to me.
Where do I sign?


NoFun said...

No Sky Atlantic - the reason I left VM, still not resolved. I know it's probably sky's fault, but come on!

Jezler said...

Good write up I must say I agree with you. I might ring up tomorrow and see if I can get one. I got a cracking deal from virgin to stay with them, totally unimpressed with the sky Q offering and their pricing

Unknown said...

Remember that ditching TiVo also saves you the TiVo subscription fee of a fiver a month I think.

Richard said...

I had the origional tivo series one back in 2000 before virgin got their hands on it. They had 1 analogue tuner and 1 aux channel which was fed from the tivo box.
To record programs which conflicted it just managed the schedule and recorded programs on the repeat cycle. It was a great feature which I actually miss... but the V6 box will be a huge improvement in performance which is a good thing.
I use a receiver and have an amazon tv (4k) connected so I flip between tivo, amazon and other devices so I am not actually worried about the app too much. All the tellys are smart devices and have the app installed anyway.
Re sky Q, I did consider but it works out more expensive when you do like for like and I need a dish installed etc. which had to be factored into the cost.
I think tivo v6 is going to be ok, but my biggest concern is what happens when Liberty drop the VM brand and then migrate to the Liberty platform.

re superhubs... who cares! I switch the hub to modem mode and use Ubiquiti products... edgerouter sits by the modem and is tiny (I have edgerouterX) and then have a Unifi wifi ACLR in the loft and I have superb performance and no black spots.
Seriously... for the extra money the performance is great.

Charbax said...

Hello Virgin fanboys (and Virgin, I am sure you read here..)

Here's what Virgin should do as soon as possible:

- 500mbit/500mbit at 30GBP/month 1gbit/1gbit at 40GBP/month symmetric Internet speed using DOCSIS3.1 over the exact same coaxial cables, completely destroy BT/Sky or force them try to speed theirs up too.

- +5GBP/month for Play, +10GBP/month for Fun and +20GBP/month Full House TV.

- Allow people connect up any 4TB/5TB external hard drive to the Tivo box's USB port, and that is a very simple way to expand storage capacity of the Tivo box recordings, do the recordings need to be DRM encrypted? if so then fine, let the recordings be DRM and only playable when connected to a Tivo box, that's fine.

- Start to provide Cloud DVR service, record every channel all day all night, and let your customers watch and "save to their Tivo" any recording from any channel going back unlimited amount of time if possible. If time must be limited for Cloud DVR, then limit it but leave enough time for customers to "save from Cloud DVR to local Tivo DVR".

- Virgin Media must force all 4K content providers to provide on Virgin Media. Now. We need to get access to over a thousand movies in 4K on-demand streaming now. This is no issue whatsoever, all Movies are either stored as 35mm which is "easily" transferable to 4K video files, or if they were shot digitally, then even since 10 years ago, those are probably also mostly easy to store and distribute in 4K. We must have a way to access all 4K content on-demand for a flat 10GBP/month fee, even include much 4K content and 4K on-demand in the Full House TV package.

- Provide a cheap 4K video-conferencing camera that snaps on top of any 4K TV, and connect to USB port of your box. Done deal, then all your customers can upgrade from phone calls to 4K TV video-conferencing. Unlimited 4K video conferencing included, it's simply just an Android app.

- Tivo must re-design their UI to make it fully based on the Google TV Android TV platform. For sure Android 7.1 TV is compatible with the Broadcom ARM CPU in the newest V6 box. You can "easily" simply demand from Tivo they use Android TV as the platform. That would 10000x the number of apps and games to be compatible with your box. And that would must improve your UI. You simply need to connect with Google Android TV search API for all the voice searching, all the easy searching for content. Don't be afraid of Android TV, embrace it, it will bring you 100x more money and make your customers 10x more happy.

Charbax, video-blogger at (38M views!)

rowland2008 said...

I'm a virgin phone,broadband,customer and am very interested in the V6 box,i did have tivo but as you have said above their are drawbacks namely sky atlantic and the brilliant Westworld,Game of thrones ETC,i used to have to have a Now tv entertainment subscription to cover this but since Sept have moved to a brilliant deal with Sky HD,okay only tiny drive and 2 tuners but their upgraded channel guide is brilliant and the ability to download anything from the last 7 days and box sets to your recordings is great,i would love to do a package deal with Virgin in the new year but until they come to a arrangement with Sky i don't think i will be going anywhere,also i have heard Sky are planning on doing away with Sky HD box and just having Sky Q as basic,and Sky Q silver for 4K.

Steve said...

Just wish they'd come up with a simple way to transfer your recordings and season passes to a new box. Not looking forward to yet again having to ditch 40% of a HDD worth of recordings. Bring on Cloud-Tivo!

Unknown said...

Phoned today. No idea when but at the end of the month. Also no idea if sports channels will have additional charges. It sounds as if it will be a good product but staff have little information which to me is odd as it's a big deal for Virgin.

Unknown said...

Virgin phoned. Installation on Thursday,free of charge.

Unknown said...

Cloud based Tivo could still come :)
It would go some way to explain why only a 1Tb HDD and not 2Tb that everyone hoped for.
Cloud based would also get around the issue of upload speeds when it comes to watching recordings away from the house.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

How are people getting free of charge installations? I've called virgin to enquire about the V6. The first person i spoke to offered a discount of 50 on the box, but with a 54.99 installation and activation charge. The second person quoted a 64.99 installation and activation charge, but no cost for the box. In both cases the cost of my existing tariff (what was the Big Kahuna i believe) increases a couple pounds with a token half price discount on sky sports and movies for 6 months assuming a new 12 month commitment.

Unknown said...

I think the biggest problem about watching recordings away from home is the channels virgin will allow

Unknown said...

Well when asked virgin don't know when virgin will get sky content on the anywhere or downloads from v6 with sky