Review: Virgin Media V+HD
The first thing that strikes you is how good the Virgin Media TV picture quality is, whether it’s live or catch-up TV. While the platform has fewer HD channels overall, there’s a fair amount of free and pay-per-view HD on demand, including the main catch-up services that are missing from Sky.
Its on-demand playback is genuinely instant, while for off-air recording there are three tuners in all of the DVRs – two for recording and one reserved for live channel hopping, unlike Sky+, which is hobbled awkwardly when doing dual recordings.
Great picture with TiVo hardware available for premium subscribers
The V+HD user interface is less slick than Sky+, though it makes it harder to inadvertently delete recordings. Setting series recordings on the V+HD is particularly inconsistent and the TV guide has multiple submenus. It smacks of a system that’s been put together from disparate parts on the fly, rather than designed from the ground up.
This is something TiVo was brought in to resolve; however, it will be a premium priced option at the outset. Watch this space for Reg Hardware’s forthcoming review of this TiVo unit.
At the time of writing there were some notable channel absences, such as Sky News in HD and any version of Sky Atlantic, but the lack of key channels has improved in recent months with Sky One HD and Sky premium channels arriving in HD.
Reg Rating 80%
Initial Price £49.95
Monthly subscriptions From £6.50 (normal price, Virgin phone line required)
More Info Virgin Media
Next page: Verdict
About as close as you can get..
would most likely be the PS3.
Freeview Inc PVR (PlayTV)
PSN Video Store
Not bad for 1 box that's £180.
"unfrorgiveably unusably awful crap boxes from Virgin"??
Think you're a bit out of date - the Samsung V+HD box I've got is works fine and I personally think is better than Sky's offering.. I am considering upgrading to the Tivo though as it has more storage space and more than a weeks tv guide (the only 2 things I find a pain sometimes)..
For an answer to your question
I used to have Virgin...
But then I had 4 outages, lasting 5-8 days each, in the space of one month, I was left without television from 20th December until 6th January, no refund, even after a letter to the boss, so I cancelled my subscription, and have been telly-less for two years, and I love it. Okay, I have reasonable broadband, so there is iPlayer and other services, but I
Like everything else with Virgin, when it works it's very very good, but when it's bad, it's horrid.
"The UI is maybe a bit slow ( but not as much as you say)"
Yes, yes it is as slow as I say. I know because I spent a frustrating time trying to set up recording for WSB by searching for "motorsport" under the "TV Channels"
"You can't watch LiveTV while searching OnDemand (Probably a marketing decision rather than a technical one)"
Yes, I know this and I really don't care why it is that way; it's a PITA and affects my experience as a user.
"You can't hide Unsubscribed channels - So what? If you're on the V+ package you probably have XL anyway."
I can't view them and I don't want to have them cluttering up the guide, that's why.
"Why would you need to use Ethernet and USB? The software has no function for that - the recordings are encrypted for a reason."
You assumed I want to lift media off the V+ box and you assume wrong. I want to view media I already have on my network. The V+ box is running on a Linux distro, including "smbfs" would have been a snap.
"Have you heard of a Wireless Router? Never trust bundled routers."
I'll agree on that, I'm using the bundled one at the moment but considering buying another one and chucking DD-WRT on it.
Most of the above will be moot once I get around to setting up Myth with Freesat. The V+ box will either be returned or can just gather dust.