Virgin Media launches all-new TV 360 platform, debuts 4K UHD mini boxes

Virgin Media has announced TV 360, an all-new premium TV platform with a raft of features currently unmatched by rivals Sky or BT TV.

The new service, which runs on its V6 set-top box, is a completely fresh platform powered by Horizon and developed by Virgin media owner Liberty Global. All vestiges of the old TiVo interface have gone, replaced by a slick new interface driven by a new voice-enabled remote control.

TV 360 also introduces mini boxes to the Virgin TV ecosystem (pictured below). Sky Q was the first to launch partnering down-sized boxes, able to view live and recorded content from the mother STB, but the the satcaster's mini hardware is restricted to HD. The new Virgin TV 360 minis – of which two can be supported – are 4K enabled.

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As seen on the current V6 Virgin Media box, key streaming apps are onboard, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer, all supporting 4K UHD and HDR. Although not available at launch, the company suggests that Disney+ will follow next year.

With TV 360, you can record six programmes while watching a seventh, and watch on-demand programmes and live TV in one room, pause and continue in another room seamlessly through another box.

Virgin Media has also refreshed its remote control, which now allows viewers to use their voice to search for content, open apps, pause, skip forward or back and navigate around content quickly.

The adoption of Profiles looks like a big plus for usability. We’re used to them on Netflix, and more recently, Prime Video, but this is a first for premium pay TV. Up to six user profiles can be created, each with their own Watchlist and channel selection.

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Startover is another new feature that allows viewers to skip back to the beginning of live programmes, once they’ve started.

Virgin's TV Go app is being remodelled to blend with the TV 360 experience, with downloading of content to devices supported.

TV 360 will begin its roll-out toward the end of this year, available first to new customers and subscribers to its Ultimate Oomph bundle. The platform will then become available to other subscribers at no additional cost during 2021.

We can’t wait to give the new service an audition. Stay tuned for our review.

Virgin Media