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piphil
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A dual V6 box review - and the SuperHub 3

A couple of weeks ago, I had a pair of V6 boxes installed, along with a SuperHub 3.

First, the boxes. I've been really impressed with them. 

The interface is very similar to my old TiVo500 - and it may be the same if the TiVo500 has had a firmware update - but it's just so much snappier. No more pressing the Select button multiple times, only to find it registered the first time and you've now gone accidentally several levels through a menu. They seem to boot a lot quicker from standby as well.

The new Bluetooth remotes are really nice, although my muscle memory from the TiVo remotes sometimes means I press the wrong button. I also find myself straining to point the remotes at the box, despite it no longer being infrared. I also like the "Find Your Remote" feature - hold the left arrow (I think, it may be the right arrow) down on the front of the box for 8 seconds, and the remote will beep until you find it.

We previously had a TiVo500 in front of the living room TV, and an old plain HD box upstairs, which we barely ever used. We now have two V6 boxes, each connected to our wired gigabit network. It's easy to view the recordings on the other box - the box appears as a separate entry on the My Shows menu, and you then browse it in the same way you would the local box.

It's pretty much seamless. My only complaint is you seem to have to sit in front of each box to manage the series links for that particular box, where it would have been nice to be able to "load balance" the planned recordings to the boxes across the network. Maybe I'm missing something?

On the downside, I had a "black screen on startup" bug with one of my TVs - starting the TV up first, before switching on the V6 box, seems to act as a workaround - but otherwise it's been hard to fault them. It's not a problem of a particular box - I swapped them and got the same problem - so it's likely it's an incompatibility with that particular model of TV.

I have played a bit with Virgin TV anywhere, on my aging Nexus 10 tablet, and it seems to work as described. I had used the app before to watch live TV, but the ability to stream recording from a V6 is new and works well. You just need to make sure you select the correct box to pair your device with - this can be changed later - to find the recordings you want. The app even managed to cope with me walking around the house, presumably with the tablet switching between hotspots.

What I haven't been able to do is save any content to my tablet for offline viewing. This is a rights issue apparently, but it seems none of the stuff we record is available for offline viewing. Not a major issue for me, but I could understand if someone had bought the V6 box to watch their recordings on their commute they'd be disappointed.

In any case, the boxes get a big thumbs up from me - I understand people are having problems with them, and that's not great obviously, but I thought I would post some positive experiences before everyone is put off!

But - and this is a reasonably big but - I've been pretty close to requesting my old SuperHub 2 back. I didn't have a lot of experience with the SuperHub 2, as I tended to run it in modem mode and use a third-party router. However, I seem to remember the interface being reasonably snappy, and all the features I needed being present - the main reason I moved to a third party router was I wanted the central hub of my network to be in the middle of the house, rather than right at the front.

The SuperHub 3 is, frankly, a bit of a mess. For a start, it's slow. In a way that makes even the old TiVo500 boxes seem speedy. The interface can take an age to load certain pages of the web interface, such as the DHCP connected clients list. The GUI itself is OK, I've seen worse, and quite a lot of the security features seem to be configurable, even if it takes a while for each menu page to load, but it's all just weirdly slow.

My main headache has been with port forwarding. I have a couple of servers that I want accessible from the internet - and in particular, access via remote desktop. But I was unable to recreate the forwarding profile I had set up on my old router, with multiple random ranges of ports, including the standard RDP port, being listed as "Already set up as a virtual server" for my internal IPs.

I've been able to get around this by changing the default ports for RDP and a few other services, and everything is now working, but this is very odd. It's the only advanced feature I really needed the router to perform, and it failed. Of course, perhaps I shouldn't be using default ports for forwarding, so maybe there's a lesson there. But I'm not particularly impressed with the SuperHub 3. I hope Virgin patch its interface soon to speed it up!

Overall I'm happy with our new setup. Does anyone else have any positive stories to tell of their new V6 boxes? I know not many people hang around on support forums when everything is working, but there may be some odd people like me around...!

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Superuser
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Re: A dual V6 box review - and the SuperHub 3


piphil wrote:

Overall I'm happy with our new setup. Does anyone else have any positive stories to tell of their new V6 boxes? I know not many people hang around on support forums when everything is working, but there may be some odd people like me around...!


Count me in the odd category.

I would agree with the above pretty much. The speed of V6 is great, and I actually USE Iplayer and Youtube apps on it. Before V6 I always switched round to fire TV for them as they were so slow on TiVo. Its genuinely been a pleasure to use.

I think your being a bit generous to HUB3. At this point with the state of the firmware and the latency spiking as well as the slowness of the GUI, the only description I would give it is "not fit for purpose"

The ONLY saving grace is mine has worked with everything straight out of the box so Ive only ever had to access the GUI to add static IP's at first set up (apart from testing) so its the first "set and forget" device Ive had off VM.

 

 


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Dereklad
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Re: A dual V6 box review - and the SuperHub 3

Ive only had my v6 a couple of days but im allready seeing the benefit of having a fast youtube app..i watched a documentary on youtube earlier then flicked back to virgin tv..theres so much great stuff in youtube its an asset to have..







Cable customer from its inception in 80's in Birmingham .have never missed a bill payment.my package is big kahuna xl tv..200mb internet..and free sky movies for 6 months..+tivo box.
Ps4 & Amazon firestick.
+size 9 feet..iphone 7 plus..
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piphil
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Message 4 of 7
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Re: A dual V6 box review - and the SuperHub 3

Yeah, good point about the V6 box apps - they're vastly improved. I use Netflix, YouTube and iPlayer, and they've all been flawless. They were unusable on the TiVo 500.

I particularly like that the Search function includes these services. I searched for How to Train Your Dragon 2 over the holidays, which it found on iPlayer - where I would have never thought to look.

I don't know a lot about Sky Q, but I think Virgin may be pushing ahead with this sort of thing. Soon there will be multiple online steaming and on-demand services. Any seems to want to force you on to their services - with the exception of iPlayer - which I guess is fair enough. But Virgin's boxes could be a one-stop shop for streaming services which complement Virgin's own. In 10 or 20 years time, broadcast TV for anything but live events will seem quaint, and Virgin seem best placed with their current offering to take advantage.
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deans6571
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Re: A dual V6 box review - and the SuperHub 3


Kippies wrote:

piphil wrote:

Overall I'm happy with our new setup. Does anyone else have any positive stories to tell of their new V6 boxes? I know not many people hang around on support forums when everything is working, but there may be some odd people like me around...!


Count me in the odd category.

I would agree with the above pretty much. The speed of V6 is great, and I actually USE Iplayer and Youtube apps on it. Before V6 I always switched round to fire TV for them as they were so slow on TiVo. Its genuinely been a pleasure to use.

I think your being a bit generous to HUB3. At this point with the state of the firmware and the latency spiking as well as the slowness of the GUI, the only description I would give it is "not fit for purpose"

The ONLY saving grace is mine has worked with everything straight out of the box so Ive only ever had to access the GUI to add static IP's at first set up (apart from testing) so its the first "set and forget" device Ive had off VM.

 

 


Weirdly, I have not had a single problem with my black Hub 3 in its default router mode, but the V6 is an entirely different matter altogether.......

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Twitter : @deans6571 / Xbox Live : Deans F
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piphil
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Re: A dual V6 box review - and the SuperHub 3


deans6571 wrote:
Weirdly, I have not had a single problem with my black Hub 3 in its default router mode, but the V6 is an entirely different matter altogether.......

I think as a fire-and-forget device it's probably fine. The wireless signal does seem quite good now I think about it, for example. But the interface is just very slow for me. It's not an issue now - I'm all set up - but compared to my third party router it was a pain to get going, and a bit opaque with which ports I was allowed to forward. It's not exactly an unusual thing to want to do either!

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Constable21
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Re: A dual V6 box review - and the SuperHub 3

I'm another very happy V6 user. Apart from a couple of Netflix crashes, it's all going perfectly.

I got the Hub 3 as part of the user trial, replacing the 2ac (also user trial). It's always been a worse contraption, speed and stability of Wi-Fi were far better through the 2ac. We only kept the 3 to future proof the set up, but it is absolutely no upgrade.
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