Virgin Media debuts 4k Stream TV player to counter Sky Puck

posted on Wednesday, 27th April 2022 by Steve May

home cinema  Streaming  VoIP 

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Virgin Media has launched a new, non-contract IP TV streaming service, appropriately named Stream, for users of its high-speed broadband service. The compact box supports 4k HDR10 and HLG, and offers TV channels, video apps and streaming subscriptions. It's available from today.

Designed primarily for voice control, it allows users to chop and change their subscriptions on a monthly basis; all billing is handled by Virgin on a rolling 30 day contract, so there’s no need to juggle various payments and direct debits. There’s also the incentive of saving 10 per cent, a so-called Stream Credit, when subscriptions are taken out through the platform.

Stream users can manage their entertainment choices via the My Virgin Media app.

User features include Voice Search and Control, Profiles and Watchlists. There’s also the promise of personalised content curation. Streaming service support includes Disney+, Netflix, Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Starzplay, BritBox and YouTube, as well as live TV channel subscriptions.

Stream is available to both new and existing customers who take a Virgin Media broadband only or broadband and home phone package. A plug and play device, there’s a one-off activation fee of £35, with no ongoing cost beyond the streaming services they choose to subscribe to.

Connections include a single HDMI output and Ethernet to support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Research carried out by MTM reveals that while video-on-demand is commonly the first type of TV that consumers turn to when looking for something to watch, live TV is almost on a par, with 36 per cent of UK consumers claiming to turn to linear first, vs 37 per cent for VOD.

When consumers were asked what TV services they “could not live without” the top three answers were Netflix, BBC and ITV, indicating that viewing habits are now a blend of subscription, on-demand and linear terrestrial TV.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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