Virgin TV 360 guide: how to buy, upgrade from V6, and more

Virgin Media TV 360
(Image credit: Virgin Media)

2020 has definitely been the year where staying in is the new going out. We’ve been watching more TV and internet streaming services than ever before, which makes it perfect timing for Virgin Media to launch their new Virgin TV 360 service. 

What is Virgin TV 360? It's a new platform that will help you to easily find and view content across all of your paid subscription services right alongside your usual cable channels. This new service is designed not only rival the Sky Q box but also to revolutionise the whole entertainment experience.

Virgin TV 360 will introduce a whole host of new services for both new and existing customers. These include 'Mini' boxes for multi-room use, a revamped Virgin TV Go app, an image-based user interface that will allow you to set up individual profiles, and all your favourite streaming apps in one place. 

If you thought that the V6 set-top box with its Ultra HD and HDR capabilities were good, get ready to be amazed by TV 360. This article will run through what’s new with TV 360 and, more importantly, how you can get your hands on one. 

What is TV 360?

Virgin TV 360 is a new TV platform that no longer requires you to be confined to one room, but provides you with seamless connected entertainment wherever you are. 

You will still have one main set-top box which you can place wherever works for you. This box will support up to 4K resolution and HDR. You'll be able to record up to six programs whilst watching a seventh and recordings only need to be done on this one box. 

What's new, though, is that this updated entertainment hub comes with Mini boxes for 4K Ultra HD streaming around your home. You can have up to two Mini boxes on your package, allowing you to watch live TV, on-demand shows and all of your recordings across your home. These Mini boxes do, however, require a coaxial connection in each room.

virgin media tv 360

The new Virgin TV 360 set-top box and Mini box.  (Image credit: Virgin Media)

Virgin TV 360 also comes with a new voice-activated remote control which you can use to access apps, find tv shows and movies as well as letting you pause, rewind and fast-forward with ease. 

Another feature that is exclusive to TV 360 is 'Startover'. If you’re prone to flicking through channels in the hope of finding something to watch, Startover allows you to skip back to the beginning of any live show, even if it has already started, so you never miss out or have to wait until it hits on-demand services. 

TV 360 will also have the ability to create profiles. This means that each member that registers will be able to control their own pause points and select their own favourite channels. Plus, if you’re fed up of seeing programs aimed at your other half or the kids pop up in your recommended viewing suggestions, then you will enjoy the profile setting which will provide personalised recommendations for each individual profile.  

Fans of the Virgin TV Go app will also enjoy extra new features. Users will be able to seamlessly move between watching a program on their set-top box to viewing it on their mobile device.

Do you need Virgin Media broadband for TV 360?

Yes. Virgin TV 360 is backed up by their ultrafast broadband. But new customers will automatically receive the new TV 360 service by taking out one of Virgin Media’s TV and broadband packages. If you’re an existing customer without Virgin Media broadband then I’m afraid if you want TV 360, you’ll need to switch your provider. 

The main reason that you’re going to need to have Virgin Media broadband is down to the updates. Each TV 360 box will have regular overnight updates so that new features are available the next time the box is powered up. This is of course done over the Virgin Media network and will mean a smoother and bug-free service for all customers. 

Virgin media TV 360

(Image credit: Virgin Media)

Who can get Virgin TV 360 and how much does it cost?

Virgin TV 360 will be available to all new customers, and existing customers who already take or choose to upgrade to the Ultimate Oomph bundle

For new customers, Virgin TV 360 will be included in all bundles from launch. Existing customers who already take the Ultimate Oomph bundle will be able to request (online or via telephone) Virgin TV 360 at no additional cost, and existing customers who upgrade to Ultimate Oomph will also be able to request Virgin TV 360 as part of the upgrade. Virgin TV 360 will be available to the rest of Virgin Media customers from early next year.

The Ultimate Oomph package is Virgin Media’s premium package and includes over 250 channels as well as Sky Cinema, Sky Sports and BT Sport channels. It comes with two TV set-top boxes, ultrafast M500 Fibre broadband, landline and an unlimited mobile SIM all for £79.99 per month.

Will the V6 box still work?

Yes. The Virgin Media V6 box will still be available for those who don’t want to take out such a large package. It will still be updated, and you’ll receive full support for it. The V6 box is 4K ready for Ultra HD TV and has access to apps such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and ITV Hub.  However, Virgin Media have commented that in early 2021, existing customers will have the option to upgrade their package to TV 360 without having to have the Ultimate Oomph package. At the moment, there is no indication on whether this will mean an upfront charge, but we will update this article as soon as the news is released. 

How does Virgin TV 360 compare to Sky Q?

Sky Q was the first to bring out features such as voice search and wireless boxes. But unlike Sky Q, where you can only access 4K content from your main box, Virgin TV 360 customers will be able to watch 4K content in every room. Sky Q also don’t offer their customers the ability to create personalised profiles. On the Virgin TV 360 service, profiles will sync across the main and each additional box as well as offering a “shared” setting for when more than one person is watching. 

What is similar is the inclusion of voice-activated remotes. Both Sky Q and Virgin TV 360 will allow users to ask the remote to find specific TV shows, films, actors, and genres without relying on external smart speakers such as Google or Alexa. 

The two things that Sky Q does have over Virgin TV 360 at the moment is the inclusion of the Disney Plus and Discovery+ apps. However, Virgin Media have stated that they hope to be able to provide their customers with the Disney Plus app later this year. As for Discovery+, when and if this will come to TV 360 is still unknown.