Virgin Media is preparing to launch a new TV service for customers that will bring a serious profit to Sky’s popular NOW streaming platform. Virgin Media has confirmed plans to test its new service, which brings all popular streaming services together in a single location.
Unfortunately, Virgin is a bit vague about exactly which services will be included, but Netflix, Disney +, NOW, and BT Sport seem the most likely. Should this prove to be the case, Virgin Media’s new all-in-one streaming platform will significantly outperform what Sky currently offers with NOW. That’s because NOW only gives customers access to Sky’s channels and on-demand catalog, as well as HayU. Other streaming platforms are not supported.
What makes the latter particularly bizarre is that NOW uses optimized hardware and software from Roku, which has one of the most comprehensive libraries of streaming apps on its set-top boxes. So there are Netflix, Prime Video and Apple TV + streaming apps that are immediately compatible with all NOW boxes.
Details on Virgin Media’s new competitor are still quite rare, although the company has set up a website for the new streaming option that encourages customers to try it out.
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“We are preparing to launch a new entertainment service and we thought you might want to be one of the first to try it out and give us your thoughts,” said Virgin. “There are so many great streaming services out there that we decided to bring them all in one place and put you in charge of our new entertainment service.”
If you want to learn more, you can register here. All you need is broadband service with Virgin Media (no TV or home phone).
You need to make sure you have one of the latest Virgin Media routers – either a 3 or 4 hub – and an average broadband speed of 50 Mbps or more.
We’ll have to wait and see what Virgin reveals, but it seems this new service could provide an easy way for customers without a TV package or set-top box to access some of the UK’s most popular content.
Virgin says there isn’t a confirmed date for the trial, but more news will be announced soon. Those lucky enough to be accepted don’t have to pay anything when Virgin is giving this service away for free during the trial period.
In addition to testing this new TV service, Virgin recently announced that it is testing much faster broadband speeds with its existing infrastructure, which could mean customers will soon see speeds in excess of 2 Gbps.
Virgin says it ran these real-world tests in households in Southampton and Manchester using the proof-of-concept test to reveal the future speeds that can be delivered over the same network that already connects millions of customers across the country. This could mean a significant broadband boost for Virgin users without the need for additional infrastructure or civil engineering.