On Virgin Media? Now you can upgrade to the new 4K V6 box free of charge

Virgin Media's V6 set-top box is a great upgrade for anyone who's sick and tired of the sluggish interface of their old TiVo box, but until now you've been forced to pay a £20 activation fee to get the new hardware. 

Today, the company has announced it's scrapping this fee, meaning there's now no reason not to upgrade your set-top box. Virgin says that the vast majority of its customers will be able to self-install, and that you won't have to re-contract as part of the process. 

The new box offers access to 4K content via Netflix and YouTube, and also has seven tuners, allowing you to record up to six channels while watching a seventh. Virgin claims around 25% of its customers have already made the upgrade. 

Should you upgrade?

We gave the V6 the full TechRadar review experience back in October and we found it to be a bit of a mixed bag. 

It's definitely a big step up from the company's previous set top box, which was hampered by a sluggish interface that made navigation a chore, but it isn't quite the step forward that Sky's competing Sky Q service is. 

While Sky has been building out its live Ultra HD sports coverage with football, F1 and cricket now offered in the new resolution, Virgin Media's is restricted to pre-recorded content from third-party services like Netflix and YouTube. 

As a result, you shouldn't expect the new V6 box to deliver the ultimate 4K revolution to your living room, but it's definitely a worthwhile upgrade for anyone still using the old box thanks to the interface improvements. 

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.