Virgin Media has wiped the £20 activation fee for its latest V6 TV box, meaning 2.8 million customers with a broadband and TV bundle can upgrade to this new technology for free.
What’s the deal exactly?
If you’ve got both Virgin Media fibre (not copper) broadband and TV, you’ll be offered a free upgrade from your existing TiVo box to Virgin Media’s latest V6 box without the need to re-contract your existing deal or pay for activation.
Eligible customers will be contacted in the “coming weeks” with details of how they can request their V6 box. But if you want one sooner, you can order it via your online ‘My Virgin Media’ account.
Virgin Media says it believes “our finest kit shouldn’t just be for new customers”.
Why should I care?
The V6 box is half the size of the TiVo box, which launched in 2010, and comes with 10 times the power meaning users should be able to navigate the interface much more quickly, with integrated apps, such as iPlayer and Netflix, loading faster.
It also enables users to record up to six programmes at one time while watching a seventh recording or streaming. In comparison, with TiVo you can only record two shows at a time while streaming a third, or record three shows simultaneously while watching an existing recording.
In addition, the V6’s remote control is linked to the box – so if you misplace it down the back of the sofa, you can touch a button on the box which causes the remote will beep so it can be easily found.
You’re also saving £20 by upgrading now. Virgin Media says there is no planned end date for the offer, but adds that it will review the deal on an ongoing basis meaning it could be withdrawn at any time.
What’s the catch?
You don’t need a HD-ready TV to get the V6 box, but your TV will need to have a HDMI port.
If you opt for the V6 box – and it isn’t compulsory – your existing TiVo box will automatically stop working up to five days after the new box is delivered, and none of your recorded programmes will be transferred over. You don’t however, have to return the TiVo box.
If you want to continue using the TiVo box in addition to the V6 box – for example, in another room in the house, you’ll have to pay £7.50 a month to reactivate and use it.
You don’t need to pay to have the V6 box installed and you should be able to install it yourself. However, if you don’t feel comfortable installing it yourself, Virgin Media says engineers can come round to do this – although you will be charged £40.
What other options do I have?
If you’re out of contract with Virgin Media, compare prices at fellow telecommunications providers BT, TalkTalk, and Sky, which all offer similar subscription television services.
To save even more money, consider trading your monthly TV subscription in for Freesat, which charges a one-off £179 fee for its box, or for Freeview, which is built into all new TVs although you will need to a pay a one-off fee starting at £150 for catch up and recording services.
Where can I find out more?
Existing customers can find out more information about the upgrade on Virgin Media’s dedicated help page.