Virgin Media is updating its TV platform, integrating UK audiences with Liberty Global’s Horizon.
Virgin TV 360 will be available to all new customers as well as existing customers who have or upgrade to the ‘Ultimate Oomph’ tier. It features mini-boxes capable of delivering Ultra HD content around the house, a new image-based user interface and profiles to create a more intuitive and personalised experience.
The premise is to offer customers the UK’s top TV channels and streaming apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer, all with 4K Ultra-High Definition and HDR viewing capability.
“This challenging year has shown the importance of our services like never before,” said David Bouchier, Chief TV & Entertainment Officer, Virgin Media. “Our TV service is about giving all of their content in one place. And at a time when people are relying on TV more than ever, there’s never been a better time to introduce our brand new TV platform.”
Among the features Voice Search & Control allows subscribers to open apps, pause, skip forward or back and find new content; Startover – available on all the major channels – lets customers return to the start of a show, Profiles, including a shared family profile, and a revamped Virgin TV Go app allows viewing to be continued the go via mobile phones and tablets.
There were broad hints at features that might be added in the future, such as a launch for Disney+ on the platform, integration with Amazon’s Alexa and the integration of Netflix into voice search.
Unlike the rest of the Liberty Global footprint, which since 2012 has run various versions of the in-house Horizon, Virgin Media has offered its customers TiVo. “We have a large base of TiVo customers and we’re going to continue to look after that base, but we’re moving onto a whole new software created by Liberty Global.”
The Ultimate Oomph Bundle offers Virgin Media’s premium TV package, including 250 channels such as all Sky Cinema, Sky Sports and BT Sport channels, two TV set top boxes, ultrafast M500 Fibre broadband, landline and an unlimited mobile SIM currently available for £79.99 per month. Virgin Media has also just announced a speed boost to 600Mbps for existing Ultimate Oomph customers.