Yesterday, UK-based Virgin Media launched two new devices to showcase their revamped television services, the V6 box and the TellyTablet. The devices are currently available in the United Kingdom.
The Virgin TV V6 box is a 4K- and HDR-ready device that can record television shows, stream content, and run native apps for media services like Netflix and Vevo. According to Virgin, the V6 box “allows people to record six programmes while watching a seventh recording or stream from services such as iPlayer or Netflix. This increases to 12 simultaneous recordings with two Virgin TV V6 boxes.” Live and recorded TV shows can also be streamed to other connected TVs in the home. Using Virgin’s TV Anywhere app, users can even watch live or recorded content on their Android and iOS devices.
The TellyTablet is a 14-inch Android tablet geared for watching television and comes preloaded with Virgin’s TV Anywhere App. However, the tablet runs Android 6.0 Marshmallow and has full access to the Google Play Store, allowing it to download apps and function much like a standard Android device. The device features:
- 1920 x 1080 IPS display
- Four speakers (two front-facing, two rear-facing)
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Built-in stand
- Mediatek octa-core processor
- 3 GB of RAM
- 32 GB of internal storage
- Expandable storage via microSD
The tablet has an impressive amount of connectivity options, including two USB Type-A ports, a microUSB port for charging and data transfer, 802.11 ac WiFi, and Bluetooth 4.0. Powering everything is a 12,060 mAh battery; Virgin quotes the battery life to be 7-8 hours.
The V6 box is currently available for UK £99.95, while the TellyTab retails for a one-time payment of UK £299 or 24 monthly payments (Prices vary depending on the purchased package). Virgin has not announced if the devices will be made available outside of the United Kindom.
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Game-changing Virgin TV Launch
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- New Virgin TV V6 box is Virgin Media’s smallest, smartest and fastest box yet
- Revamped Virgin TV Anywhere app to watch telly, recordings & on demand on smartphones and tablets
- 14” HD Virgin TV TellyTablet for TV fans to watch what they want, where they want
- Virgin TV kids app for great TV, games and books – without the tantrums
- Launch of Virgin Media Store to give viewers a new way to own the entertainment they love
Virgin Media today lifted the cover off of its new connected entertainment line-up delivering the UK’s best and most advanced TV service. The combination of smarter, faster products and services with top-notch programmes bringing people closer to the TV they love, wherever it is.
Underpinned by Virgin Media’s ultrafast connectivity, Virgin TV includes the new 4K-ready V6 box, which is powered by TiVo software and built for apps, and a new HD TellyTablet created by Virgin Media and designed specifically as a personal smart TV to watch television in HD quality. Virgin TV also includes a revamped Virgin TV Anywhere app, a new ad-free kids app and the unveiling of Virgin Media Store.
Commenting on the launch of Virgin TV, David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, said: “Our new Virgin TV line-up raises the bar in home entertainment, marrying the latest and smartest technology with the very best TV programmes, all underpinned by our ultrafast cable network. This is game-changing TV.”
Virgin TV V6 box, powered by TiVo
The new Virgin TV V6 box is Virgin Media’s smallest, smartest and fastest box yet. It is half the size of the previous TiVo box with 10x the power and packed with a load of extra features
Record six shows
The Virgin TV V6 box allows people to record six programmes while watching a seventh recording or stream from services such as iPlayer or Netflix. This increases to 12 simultaneous recordings with two Virgin TV V6 boxes.
Watching live TV, on demand programmes or recordings doesn’t stop in the living room. The Virgin TV V6 box is designed so that recordings can be accessed and streamed on other TiVo boxes around the home. The new set-top box is completely compatible with Virgin Media’s original TiVo box meaning that existing Virgin Media customers can keep recordings and transfer settings while updating their home entertainment.
Recordings, on demand programmes and live TV can be watched in one room, paused and continued in another room seamlessly through a Virgin TV V6 or TiVo box. Recordings and live TV can also be continued on a mobile device with Virgin Media’s TV Anywhere app.
Future proof TV:
4K All Virgin TV V6 boxes, including additional boxes around the home, support 4K Ultra-High Definition (UHD) TV with Netflix and YouTube available in 4K from launch and more programming coming soon. The Virgin TV V6 box is also High Dynamic Range (HDR) compatible so that, as more HDR content becomes available, a software update will be downloaded and Virgin TV customers can enjoy the very best 4K picture quality on compatible HDR TVs.
A smart, quick and slick menu that’s reassuringly familiar
The Virgin TV V6 box menu will be familiar to existing Virgin Media customers. It’s powered by the very latest, intelligent TiVo software and has been built for apps which, in combination with the powerful technology inside the Virgin TV V6 box, mean that its image-based menus are superfast to navigate and apps such as iPlayer, Netflix and Vevo will open with lightning speed. It also includes smart search and SeriesLink+, which pulls TV programmes together into one place, allowing Virgin Media customers to easily access the great range of programmes on Virgin TV wherever they are hiding.
Find my remote
The Virgin TV V6 remote is smaller than the existing remote but will be instantly recognisable to Virgin Media customers so there won’t be any barriers to getting straight to the best TV. A new search button on the remote instantly fires up the TiVo brain meaning there are fewer clicks to the TV users want.
The RF remote now works even when the new set-top box is tucked away in a cupboard. Plus, if it’s ever lost, there’s a button on new set-top box which will make the remote beep so it can be rescued from the depths of the sofa.
Pricing & Storage
Pricing for the Virgin TV V6 box is simple, transparent and will not incur additional monthly subscription fees.
The new state of the art box will be available to existing customers on a Mix bundle or higher, before the end of the year. Existing customers will not need to change package to benefit.
New customers joining Virgin Media will be able to order the Virgin TV V6 box when choosing their TV bundle from January 2017.
The standard price of the Virgin TV V6 box is a simple £99.95 one-off upfront cost.
New and existing customers with a top-tier Full House or VIP bundle will benefit from a promotional price of £49.95.
The Virgin TV V6 box comes with 1TB of storage allowing 500 hours of SD recordings or 100 hours of HD recordings. Every additional Virgin TV V6 box installed will add another 1TB to the overall storage in the home and the ability to record six more programmes simultaneously.
David Bouchier said: “Our new Virgin TV V6 box is small in size but big on brains giving our customers a simple, smart and speedy way to find the telly they want whether that’s on a channel or on demand.”
The new state of the art box has been developed for use by Liberty Global companies across Europe and in Latin America. The UK is the first market to launch the new box, with plans to launch elsewhere in Europe from next year.
This is the first time a single box will be deployed so widely across Liberty Global’s footprint, bringing market-leading technology and benefits of scale to millions of customers. In total, Liberty Global operates in more than 30 countries around the world, serving more than 29 million customers.
Virgin TV Anywhere app
The Virgin TV Anywhere app works hand in hand with the new Virgin TV V6 box so customers can watch the TV they love across their screens at home and on the go.
Take your TV programmes with you
The award-winning app – available to all Virgin TV customers on iOS and Android – has been revamped to work seamlessly with the new V6 box. Customers can watch live TV, thousands of hours of on demand box sets and selected Virgin TV V6 box recordings anywhere at home over WiFi. A range of box sets, as well as live TV, will also be available out-of-home over a WiFi connection, alongside the unique ability to remotely set, cancel and delete recordings on the Virgin TV V6 box.
With so much choice, a new ‘What to Watch’ tab will help to narrow things down to show the most popular live and on demand programmes at a particular time with customisable tabs to put viewers in control of what they see first.
Virgin TV Anywhere will also include the ability to sync some recordings from the Virgin TV V6 box to watch offline.
Mobile devices are remotes too
To add even more functionality to the Virgin TV V6 box, the Virgin TV Anywhere app can be used as an advanced remote control. Users can change channels and search through the on demand library using a full keyboard and then ‘flick’ programmes to their TV as well as being able to pause, rewind or fast forward programmes using gesture controls on a smartphone or tablet.
David Bouchier said: “The way we are all watching TV is changing. That’s why our Virgin TV Anywhere app binds everything together to give our customers the freedom and flexibility to watch the very best TV and manage recordings wherever they are.”
Virgin Media has today unveiled its own Virgin TV TellyTablet, a personal smart TV designed and built to watch television in HD quality around the home. It brings customers the flexibility to watch the shows they love with the same up close viewing experience as a 50” television – whether that’s in the kitchen, the bedroom or side-by-side with the big screen in their living room.
The device, which runs on Android OS (Marshmallow), is designed specifically with telly fans in mind. It has an epic 14” HD screen; four built-in speakers (front and rear); 7-8 hour use time battery life for those box set binges; 32GB of memory that can be upgraded with a Micro SD card; two USB ports; optimised WiFi connectivity for use with routers such as Virgin Media’s Hub 3.0 and an in-built stand for easy use anywhere in the home.
The TellyTablet has been designed for viewing Virgin TV’s range of apps – from the new kids app to the Virgin Media Store app. The Virgin TV Anywhere app is pre-loaded so that customers can easily watch the TV they love wherever it is over WiFi – including selected recordings, on demand shows or live TV. On top of that, users will have full access to the Google Play store so they can enjoy Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, Netflix, and Hayu all in one place with the relevant Virgin Media bundle or individual accounts.
Virgin Media customers can get their hands on the TellyTablet in December by either choosing a great value Freestyle mobile bundle to spread the cost over 24 months or pay £299 upfront.
David Bouchier commented: “For too long viewing TV on wireless devices has been secondary to other uses. With the Virgin TV TellyTablet no matter where you are in the home you can watch your favourite TV wirelessly in the quality it deserves – be that Kingdom in the kitchen or Bake Off in the bedroom.”
The UK’s most comprehensive kids app
The new Virgin TV kids app, launching in February, provides a fun, easy-to-use and safe environment for some of Virgin TV’s youngest users with no ads and no in-app purchases. The app lets kids enjoy the widest range of cartoons and TV shows alongside fun games and picture books all in one place wherever they are. Virgin TV customers on a Fun bundle or above will be able to download the app for free.
Thousands of hours of the best cartoons and TV shows
Designed for pre and early primary school children (3-6 year olds) the mobile app brings together more than 1,500 hours of kids on demand programmes into one place. This includes shows like SpongeBob SquarePants, Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol from Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, Milkshake and TinyPop and also directly licensed programmes such as Sesame Street and a selection of the best shows from CBeebies.
Kids love to watch the same programmes on repeat so to make this easy the app has a button which, when pressed, will play the same show five times over. Parents: don’t say we haven’t warned you.
Interactive games and picture books
A range of interactive games and award-winning picture books will also be available through the app giving kids a fantastic mix of digital content to play with, learn from and enjoy.
Peace of mind
The app is designed with a child-friendly menu making it very easy to use for both kids and parents. A “safe mode” can be activated where a question needs to be answered to exit the app. This gives parents the peace of mind to let their kids explore and use the app freely without the worry that they might access other apps or content. The TV you love, brilliantly brought together To help personalise the experience, kids can create their own profile with an avatar and nickname and also reskin the app in different colours so they can always find the programmes they love the most from the moment they enter the app.
Keeping the kids appy
The Virgin TV kids app allows kids to watch shows over WiFi or on 3G/4G in the UK, and even download shows to watch offline, in the car or on the plane. The application will be available on iOS, Android, Kindle Fire as well as the new Virgin TV TellyTablet.
David Bouchier said: “Virgin TV is not just for adults. Our new kids app is the best bundled app out there. It brings together ad-free TV, games and books all in one place so that kids have a universe of exciting goodies to play with, learn from and be entertained by. It’s a safe digital nanny.”
While new exciting hardware and technology is a major part of Virgin TV this has all been designed to bring together the very best TV into one place.
Virgin Media Store
To give Virgin TV customers a new way to own the entertainment they love, Virgin Media is launching Virgin Media Store to bring viewers some of the biggest movies first out of cinema before they are available to buy on DVD alongside a huge range of box sets to download.
Through the Virgin TV V6 and TiVo boxes, desktop and a Virgin Media Store app for iOS and Android, viewers can simply browse the store, buy what they want and then watch it straight away on a TV or mobile device such as Virgin Media’s TellyTablet. For films, a DVD copy will be automatically put in the post for keeps. The Virgin Media Store will launch in February and will be available for non-Virgin Media customers on desktop and mobile.
Virgin Media Exclusives – Billy and Billie airs tomorrow
Virgin Media Exclusives give Virgin TV Full House subscribers access to programmes that nobody else can get. The next member of this Exclusives family will be the critically acclaimed TV rom-com, Billy and Billie, which centres around two step-siblings who enter into a romance. Written by Neil LaBute (In The Company Of Men), starring Adam Brody (The O.C.) and produced for DirecTV, series one will appear on Virgin Media Exclusives from tomorrow. This follows a range of successful partnerships to bring comedy horror series, Ash vs Evil Dead, gritty MMA drama, Kingdom, and Starz’s Magic City to Virgin TV.
This comes alongside the integration of Netflix and iPlayer into the Virgin TV platform enabling viewers to watch sensational programmes such as The Crown. Virgin Media is also the only UK TV provider to offer all of the televised Premier League action on Sky Sports and BT Sport in one package.
David Bouchier said: “At the core of Virgin TV is immersive, gripping and entertaining programming. Our Exclusives have quickly become the most watched on demand programmes on Virgin TV proving that partnering with the very best is what our customers love. With Billy and Billie airing tomorrow there’s no slowing down so Virgin TV customers get top-notch telly wherever it is.”
Notes for editors
Detailed factsheets on all the products plus images and multimedia are available here:
HDR capability will require a software download which will be automatically downloaded in due course.
The Virgin TV V6 box to TiVo box streaming will require a Powerline adapter or Ethernet connection which can be purchased during the Virgin TV V6 install from Virgin Media
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