Virgin TV relaunches UI and connects its own TV

Virgin Media has relaunched its Virgin TV offer upgrading its UI and launching an online store and even its own TV tablet

The device, which runs on Android OS (Marshmallow), has a 14-inch HD screen, four built-in speakers, seven to eight hours use time of battery life, 32GB of memory that can be upgraded with a Micro SD card, two USB ports, optimized WiFi connectivity for use with routers such as Virgin Media's Hub 3.0 and an in-built stand.

Virgin has also redesgined its remote to make it smaller, and give it extra functionality.

The box is powered by TiVo software and reportedly built for apps.

You can access and stream recordings in other rooms around your house through additional TiVo boxes new or old, though this requires a Powerline adapter or Ethernet connection.

The Virgin Media Store allows users to download films and get the DVD delivered in the post - much like the service offered by Virgin's big rivals Sky.

We believe that Virgin has identified a gap in the market for ultimate home TV viewing and its new TV TellyTablet will also dominate the headlines.

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Perhaps the most significant feature of the box isn't its design, but the fact that it supports 4K resolution, allowing users to watch Ultra HD content, including 4K streaming via the Netflix and YouTube apps. It also includes 1TB of storage, which is capable of storing up to 500 hours of standard definition programming (100 hours in HD). The UK is the first market to launch the new box, with plans to launch elsewhere in Europe from next year.

The V6, as you would expect, supports 4K out-the-box and will be further enhanced with HDR compatibility via a firmware update next year as more content becomes available. The image-based menus are easy to navigate and apps such as iPlayer, Netflix and Vevo able to open quickly.

There have also been improvements made to the RF remote, so it will connect to the box if it is in a cupboard or concealed storage. The app will be available on iOS, Android and the new TellyTablet. There is a one-off fee of £99.95 and it's available for customers on Mix bundles or higher. New customers can order the V6 when choosing their TV bundle from January 2017, according to Virgin Media. The app will also function as an advanced remote control.

The kids app will be available to download for free from February for Virgin customers on the Fun bundle or above.

Virgin claims the TV V6 box is half the size of its previous TiVo set and provides ten times the processing power, meaning a much faster response to when channel surfing and flicking through the EPG. The TellyTablet is set to release sometime in December of this year, and while the upfront cost is set at £299, you'll also have the option of purchasing it for £10/month over the course of 24 months if you get it along with a smartphone through Virgin as well. The new service will be available to United Kingdom customers from next year, with other markets to follow.

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