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4,415Virgin has just announced a new Ultra HD capable set-top-box named the TV V6 in answer to the likes of Sky Q and BT’s UHD YouView box.
Details are just emerging but it appears that, to begin with, the device will only offer ‘4K’ via YouTube and Netflix apps rather than broadcast or IPTV avenues but it will offer HDR (High Dynamic Range) capability from the information we’ve seen so far.
It also trumps the Sky Q for the number of simultaneous recordings possible, with six while being able to view a seventh at the same time, although if you do partake in such lavish practises, the 1TB hard drive is going to get full pretty quickly.
Update: A Spokesperson for Sky Q tells us that at least the 2TB of their device will match the 'Record Six' feature after an update sometime in the new year.
The base PVR (Personal Video Recorder) side of things will still run from TiVO software and maintains compatibility with the Virgin TV Anywhere app, allowing customers to view Live TV and boxsets wherever they are. Plus selected channels – although we don’t yet know which – will allow recordings to be viewed on devices on your home network or downloaded to be watched offline.
The interface has thankfully been given a long overdue makeover with a new capability that will allow users to group TV into one place, including live channels, on-demand content and online services.
From the looks of things, existing TiVO customers should easily be able to migrate to the new box with settings and recordings compatible, and transferable although we await official confirmation on those points.
The supplied remote control looks to have undergone a minor cosmetic upgrade but, more interestingly, will now feature a locate when lost feature by pressing the Channel Up button on the front of the TV V6 – obviously it will still either been down the sofa or armchair but it will be good to know which of those it is.
Virgin has also announced a revamp to its Media Store with apps available for iOS, Android, desktop and on the device, itself (as well as the existing TiVO), with digital purchasers getting a DVD copy in the post, a la the Sky Store. The Virgin store will be open to all, not just subscribing customers.
Virgin also announced a new Kids app which will be free to customers on the ‘Fun’ bundle, or above, which will contain over 1,500 hours of on-demand children’s programming, a safe mode and an easy to use interface. Reassuringly, the kids app won’t feature any advertising or in-app purchases.
Finally, in a more surprising move, Virgin also announced a new ‘TV Telly Tablet’ with a (relatively) massive 14-inch screen, which will be HD capable and featuring a stand and four built-in speakers. The device will run from Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and has the TV Anywhere app pre-installed, while there’s 32GB of built-in storage, for watching downloaded shows (or whatever you like), with the ability to upgrade storage using a Micro SD card. It also features two USB ports if you want to add a keyboard or USB storage, 7-8 hours advertised battery life, up to 5Ghz 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) resolution.
Update: The TV V6 will be available to existing customers before the end of 2016 and new customers early in 2017. It is priced at £99.95, or £49.95 if you take the Full House or VIP Virgin Media package .
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