After ntl and Telewst merged in 2006, and with ntl purchasing Virgin Mobile, re branded to Virgin Media
Set Top Box (Liberate based)
All ntl and Telewest set top boxes from their respective areas were carried over to Virgin media, following a software update. New viewing cards were issued in 2009 to update the conditional access to Nagravision 3. Boxes that have been refurbished have the Virgin Media logo
|Samsung||SMT-H3110||64Mb||32Mb||N/a||Sti7109KWD ST40 266MHz|
|Scientific Atlanta||8300DVB||64Mb||160Gb||ST ATLAS 250MHz|
The 4585DVB has no hard drive and is classed as a V box instead of the V+, but unlike regular V Boxes is capable of receiving HD channels and was intended to be used as a multi-room box for a HD TV.
All V+ boxes have three tuners and a 160Gb hard drive.
Set Top Box – Tivo
All models use the chipset Broadcom BCM7019, and contains three tuners and either a 500Gb or 1Tb hard disk, depending on the model
The Tivo box was introduced in 2011, and was to replace the previous V+ STB which was built on the Liberate TV navigator platform. Like the V6 the Tivo has 3 tuners, but benefits with a larger hard disk, and comes with the Tivo guide software that replaces the Liberate middle-ware. The Tivo also includes dedicated apps like Netflix and Spotify.
The Tivo software had a major update in 2015, with a new colour scheme and the replacement of Adobe Flash with Haxe to improve system performance.
Tivo boxes have Ethernet ports that allow them to connect to the network, this allows the use of network remote controls, where the Tivo box can be controlled via a smartphone app. Unlike American Tivo’s you cannot use the Tivo desktop application to control the Tivo.
|Cisco||CT8620||500Gb||Two revisions (8.1 & 9.1)|
|Arris||DCX960||1Tb||V6, Six tuners, no internal cable modem, built in Wi-Fi + Bluetooth|
Virgin Media introduced the V6 PVR as a replacement to the previous Tivo models. The V6 includes a 1TB hard disk as standard, supports 4K and HEVC decoding and contains 6 tuners for recording compared to the previous 3. The V6 also comes with an updated remote control with Bluetooth support, allowing the V6 to be hidden in a cabinet whilst retaining remote control functionality since a direct line of sight is no longer needed, however an infra red received is still included on the V6 itself for backwards compatibility with older Tivo and V6 remotes.
The V6 contains a faster dual core Broadcom processor, that is more responsive than the previous Tivo and increases it’s RAM footprint. Theoretically the V6 can function as a PVR server, since it can stream to client boxes or the Telly Tab, which is an Android tablet with the Virgin TV app preloaded onto it or on other mobile devices such as Android and iOS devices. However you cannot connect smart TV’s or game console through the network to the V6, which limits its purposefulness. Mini client boxes also do not exist which limits it compared to rival Sky Q. This means if you want to view your V6 programmes in another room, you will need to lease another V6 or Tivo box, along with a dedicated coax connection since the V6 cannot function without one. This make the multi-room streaming feature completely useless, since who wants to watch TV on a 6 inch smartphone screen?
A good solution would be to release an app for all popular smart TV platforms (Android TV for Sony, Tizen for Samsung, Roku for Toshiba and Firefox for Panasonic) , and an app for consoles (PS3/4, 360 and One) allowing for proper multi-room at a reduced monthly fee since an extra STB is not being rented. This would be an advantage to customer who would like to watch their shows in a different room but do not want coax cables throughout their home.
Unlike the previous Tivo models, the V6 does not feature an internal cable modem, and relies on the users Superhub modem for internet connectivity. Whilst this allows the V6 to enjoy more bandwidth for 4K streaming, the customer loses the dedicated 10mb connection that the previous Tivo box had built in, and puts more strain on the users internet connection. Also if the network connection is interrupted, the V6 will be unable to update its TV listings and EPG data until the network connection is restored. On the upside, Wifi is now built into the V6 which can be used to connect to the super-hub, although for box to box streaming Virgin recommend the user of a power-line adaptor.
|Application Ver||Software Ver||Date Deployed|
|15.30.1p145||6.1 build 2||Unknown – Scientific Atlanta|
|Application Ver||Software Ver||Date||Notes|
|11.1.8_ukcable||22.214.171.124||Feb 2007||Telewest areas only|
|11.1.8_ukcable||126.96.36.199||Feb 2007||Ntl areas only|
|15.2.RC2-VMC-2-C00||Oct 2011||Introduction of Youtube app, backwards EPG guide for catch up|