Virgin Media

Channel Line Up

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

ManufacturerModelRAMFlashHDDChipset
SamsungSMT-H311064Mb32MbN/aSti7109KWD ST40 266MHz
Scientific Atlanta8300DVB64Mb
160GbST ATLAS 250MHz
Cisco4585DVB512Mb16MbNoneBCM7206DPKFEBA01G, 400MHz
Full STB Lineup

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.

Virgin TV EPG Screenshots

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.

ManufacturerModelHDD sizeComments
SamsungSMT-C7000500Gb
SamsungSMT-C71011Tb
CiscoCT8620500GbTwo revisions (8.1 & 9.1)
CiscoCT86851Tb
ArrisDCX9601TbV6, Six tuners, no internal cable modem, built in Wi-Fi + Bluetooth

Further STB Info

Virgin Tivo EPG Screenshots

V6

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.

Software History

V Box

Application VerSoftware VerDate Deployed
11.1.8_ukcablep3.3_5_09_KNOW_PO4Jan 2008
3_7V_01_P12AN_S_S2110
15.30.1p1456.1 build 2Unknown – Scientific Atlanta

V+ HD

Application VerSoftware VerDateNotes
24.120.4p1424.0.14.1_UK4_P12AFeb 2010
11.2.2.2_ukcable1.5.14.107Jan 2008
11.3.2_ukcable3.1.7.1Late 2007
11.1.8_ukcable1.5.9.107Feb 2007Telewest areas only
11.1.8_ukcable2.1.8.1Feb 2007Ntl areas only

Tivo

VersionReleaseDescription
20.8.1.RC11-VMB-11-C68Dec 2018
20.5.8.1.RC6-VMB-11-C682017
20.5.7.1.RC3July 2017
20.5.7.RC23-VMC-2-C00Aug 2016
20.4.3.RC4-VMC-2-000Aug 2015
20.3.5.RC6-VMS-2-C8AOct 2013
15.3.RC5-VMC-2-COOOct 2012
15.2.RC2-VMC-2-C00Oct 2011Introduction of Youtube app, backwards EPG guide for catch up
15.1-01-3-COOMay 2011

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