Virgin TV V6 box release date, news and features

Virgin plays catch-up

Virgin media has finally announced its long-awaited 2016 set-top box

The new box sports 4K/HDR playback across Netflix and YouTube, but there's no word yet on whether the box will support live 4K broadcast. 

Virgin is also promising that the new box will feature enhanced search capabilities, allowing you to search across television, Catch Up and On Demand services, Netflix and "more".

The new box features what Virgin is calling "Series Link+", which will allow users to record an entire series, as well as showing other episodes that are available via catch up and streaming services. 

The new box features 1TB of storage, which Virgin Media claims will allow you to record up to 500 hours of SDTV, or 100 hours of HD recordings, as well as a 'find my remote feature' like that featured on the Sky Q box. 

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Virgin Media's new 4K set-top box
  • When is it out? Before the end of 2016 for existing customers, January 2017 for new customers.
  • What will it cost? £99.95 for 'Mix Bundle' or higher customers, £49.95 for 'Full House' or 'VIP' bundles.

Virgin TV V6 box release date

The new box will be available to existing customers "before the end of the year" according to Virgin.

New customers meanwhile will be able to order the box starting from January 2017. 

We first got word of Virgin's plans to launch a new box earlier this year, when it confirmed its intention to release a 4K-capable set-top box later in 2016. 

In early October the official Virgin Media twitter account announced that it has something special coming, but didn't give any exact confirmation of when this would happen.

For now, all we know is that the box is coming at some point in 2016, but that could change any day now.

Virgin TV V6 box features

The box's headline feature is 4K output. So far Virgin has confirmed that Netflix and YouTube will be accessible in 4K, and HDR is supported. 

The box also features what Virgin is calling 'Series Link+', which will allow users to easily set an entire series to record. Interestingly the feature will also surface episodes from catch up and streaming services which can be accessed from the same folder. 

Virgin said that simplicity was a key priority of the new box, which would be provided by placing features such as the EPG front and centre rather than hiding it behind complicated menu trees. The guide will also be available from a dedicated button on the RF remote. 

The user interface has also been refreshed, and has also been made available on the company's existing deployment of TiVo boxes. 

The box has been build for apps, according to Virgin. The company promises that this box features the fastest Netflix app due to an exclusive codec provided by the streaming service, and also features other common streaming services such as YouTube and Vevo. 

Virgin's V6 box will also feature the ability to record six shows at once, and the box is equipped with 1TB of storage. 

Search has been another key area of focus, with the ability for the box's 'Intelligent Search' able to search across multiple streaming, on-demand, and broadcast services, and search results are now given as tiles rather than lists. 

The box can also stream content to other devices around the home via the 'TV Anywhere' app, with the ability to then download recordings and take them on-the-go. 

The TV Anywhere app can also be used as a remote control, allowing users to browse content which can then be watched on the main television. 

In addition to streaming to devices, Virgin has also announced its own TellyTablet, to allow users to watch television throughout the home on a Virgin Media-made tablet. 

Virgin has also announced its own download store, the Virgin Store. This will allow users to download shows such as 'Game of Thrones' and 'Billions' to own. Virgin is also promising to deliver physical discs by post. 

Family viewing has also seen improvements, with a dedicated kids app that will allow access to 500 hours of ad-free age-appropriate children's programming as well as additional access to story books. The new app will be available for free in early 2017 for iOS and Android. 

Our first glimpse of the box came in August when the company revealed that the V6 box would once again be powered by TiVo.

Virgin TV V6 box price

Virgin Media TiVo

The new Virgin TV V6 box will be available for £99.95 to any Virgin Media customers on a 'Mix' bundle or higher. 

New and existing 'Full house' or 'VIP' customers will be able to get the box for a promotional price of £49.95.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jon Porter is Techradar's UK Home Technology Writer covering everything from TVs to Hi-Fi, gaming and home automation. He's also super into keyboards, and I think we can all agree that the obsession has gone a little too far at this point.