Virgin Media has unveiled a new streaming product combining SVOD services with catch-up from the linear channels.
Describing Stream as an “All IP entertainment product”, Media O2’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Dodds said the product combined “Convenience, Flexibility and Value for Money”.
Stream has been in design for two years; its nearest competitor might be Sky Glass and its associated Puck, but Stream also comes with a 10% discount to streaming services that customers can add or remove on a monthly basis.
Other than a £35 activation fee there are no other charges associated with the box itself, which is small enough to sit in the palm of a hand and connects to the TV through an HDMI port. A power supply is required when the Stream cannot be powered through the HDMI.
Virgin has its eye on the light TV viewers who may not otherwise go for its traditional TV 360 product. 17 million UK households currently subscribe to an average 2.4 streaming services.
On launch, viewers are presented with a home screen based on Liberty Global’s Horizon 4, where streaming services and channels sit on rails, ordered according to which have been chosen by subscribers, and their recommendations and favourites pushed to the top.
David Bouchier, Chief TV & Entertainment Officer said this was designed to “cut out the noise”.
Apps come from Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, YouTube, YouTube Kids, Vimeo, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, STV Player, Britbox and My5. There are additional broadcast apps from Al Jazeera, CNN and France24, along with Vevo, BBC Sounds, BaebleMusic, Dance TV and RadioLine.
All but Prime Video and Britbox can be ordered through Virgin, while the only noticeable absentees are Apple TV+ and Discovery+. Virgin says more apps will be added.
For the traditionalists, there is still an EPG, a few button pushes or a voice command away, where a full selection of channels are available.
Virgin Stream is available from Wednesday.
- 1x HDMI v2.0b with HDCP 2.2 copy protection
- 1x Micro-USB connector (supporting power and wired network pass-through)
- 1 multi-colour LED
- 1 button (on/standby and RCU pairing)
- Switchable Dual-band 802.11ac (WiFi 5) 2×2
- Bluetooth LE 4.2 remote control
- RDK software
- Horizon 4 User Interface
- 4K/60 fps with HDR (HDR10 & HLG)
- HEVC and VP9
- Support for Dolby Digital (inc. Dolby Atmos passthrough)
Power consumption/Power saving features
- Low power usage (<5W)
- Size: 80mm x 80mm x 16 mm
- Casing made with up to 85% post-consumer recycled plastics