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My review of Stream

Not applicable


Just an update on my original post. I’ve had Stream for a few days now, so I’ve had a chance to give it a test drive.

For background, I have an Apple TV 4K box and have been happily streaming with this for a while now. Last year I also had Sky Stream, however I found this buggy and the apps too slow.

Anyway, what do I think of Virgin media Stream? So far, I have been pleasantly surprised by how stable it is. The set-up experience was very good – I chose to go the Ethernet route rather than WiFi. Navigating around the user interface is quite quick and while its performance doesn’t match the Apple TV 4K box, launching apps and content is a reasonably good experience – I will say that compared to Sky Stream, I think the VM Stream box performs better.

The voice search is very good and I am impressed with the picture quality and range of TV channels. I also like how you can use the record button to add items to my watchlist.

Now for some negative points that VM might want to take note of:

  • No ‘Continue Watching’ rail for on demand content that I have watched. Having watched some reviews on YouTube, I did see it feature, but perhaps it has since been removed?
  • Watchlist woes on devices other than the Stream box. As others have reported, I have a spinning circle in the Go app on my iPhone and iPad, so cannot see my Watchlist. Having a watchlist that syncs between devices would have been a great experience.
  • Trying to subscribe to Essential Entertainment on the website is a nightmare. I see others have reported that when clicking on ‘Your package’ > ‘Stream’, I just get a Virgin media logo and nothing else.  
  • Not sure I like the mini live TV experience when switching on the box from standby – I think there should be an option to have this either on or off as a user preference.
  • The watchlist would be better off as a rail on the home screen – I feel it is almost hidden away. Maybe worth providing an option to either have it feature on the home screen, or as a separate menu item.

Anyway, hope others find this useful.


Dialled in

I agree, the puck is good, it's how VM are maintaining the service around it that's pretty shonky at the moment. I first got Stream about a month and a half ago and to begin with the puck and my online account simply weren't seeing each other at all (see this thread). Somebody very helpful from level two tier tech eventually rebuilt my account and everything was fine for a while, but in the last week or so – exactly like you and others – I've lost the ability to manage my subscriptions online and my watchlist isn't appearing in the mobile/desktop app. My guess is that both these issues are caused by VM breaking backend links service-wide and then not understanding when people are patiently explaining what the problem must be. First tier support seems hopelessly undertrained, with most of the advice I've been offered around the second problem consisting of have-you-turned-it-off-and-on-again. Welcome to a world of pain, Fibrejay. 😉

Not applicable

Hi iXNine,

Thanks for your comments. 

As the days have rolled on, I've found myself going back to my Apple 4K box to launch some of the Apps. For example, navigating through the ITVX interface on Stream is just too slow, especially when scrolling down the list to find something to watch. Using ITVX on Apple 4K is like night and day, but then it has a more powerful processor. 

The watchlist issue is very annoying - makes you wonder what testing goes on.

Looks as though the Continue Watching rail is very limited, which I have commented about here. None of the content I have partially watched through the Apps seems to be tracked by the continue watching feature, only on-demand content that I launch outside of the Apps. Maybe this is by design, but something that would make me default back to my Apple 4K box because I don't always finish watching everything.

Tuning in

Hi fibrejay and iXnine

Got my Stream box this morning and have been playing ever since. I have experience of Sky Stream and Tivo V6 boxes, and this looks promising. It's taken over three hours of chatting to various levels of Virgin 'customer support' just to get this far into the installation, with the usual utterly random set of prices being quoted at me, by staff who haven't got a clue about what they're selling, but after 20 years, at least we're used to it by now. Like everybody else, I found the online package management is broken 😩 but I assume that'll be fixed soon – the web page quoted in the printed guide suggests going to but that doesn't even exist!

Despite the inevitable setup saga, Stream could be a good route forward for me. I only really want the service to bring together the big streaming services with Sky Sports, while avoiding Now TV (which I didn't get on with at all). The current contract price for the Sky Sports channels is excellent, which is a great start, but it appears that Sky Sports News isn't included, and to get that, I need to subscribe to a channel bundle called 'Essential Entertainment' for £13.50 a month! That's just absurd.

On our wavelength

Hi there

Considering switching to virgin stream as I really only need sky sports and sky currently make me pay £20 a month for basic pack with netflix in order to be able to watch sports.

How does sky sports picture and functionality compare? Can you 'record' stuff like the sky playlist? And can you watch from start on all the channels? For example I often watch the golf from America so either start watching about 9pm but wind through the first couple of hours of the broadcast, or playlist it to watch the next morning. 

Cheers for your advice

On our wavelength

Can anyone who has a Stream box confirm whether the Virgin Media Store App for the buy to keep service is on the Stream box? VM's own website seems to indicate it is but I haven't seen a single review that mentions it.

Virgin Media Staff
Virgin Media Staff

Virgin Media Store is indeed on Stream

I can’t believe how much the price of sky sports and cinema has increased on stream. The price of both has rocketed from £28.75 to £44 within a month, furthermore, prices are no longer locked in for 18 months, they can increase monthly now. The individual prices are crazy, sky cinema is now over £20 a month and Sky sports is now over £30 a month