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Phyllisglass
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Numerous problems with Virgin Box

We are having numerous problems with our Virgin box - the picture freezes, jumps, is jittery and freezes when watching live TV. Sometimes it just doesn't connect at all. We have tried turning the box off and resetting and this seems to fix the problem for a short while but it seems to be recurring more frequently. 

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japitts
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Re: Numerous problems with Virgin Box

When you say "sometimes it doesn't connect at all" (when watching live TV?) what do you mean?

Pixellated pictures on live TV are often the sign of a signal fault. If you've rebooted your box once, then there's likely a fault somewhere, so call VM and report it. You're likely to need either an engineer visit or a replacement box, depending on what VM's remote diagnostics turn up. They can do these while you're on the phone to them.

First check the automated faults line for any existing issues in your area that could be the cause: 0800 5610061. If nothing's reported, assume VM don't know about your fault and you'll need to call them.

150 from a VM phone, 0345 4541111 from any other phone - choose the options for "I have a fault with my TV service"

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Re: Numerous problems with Virgin Box

Thanks for your reply japitts.  By 'sometimes not connecting at all', I mean we select the Virgin Media option on the TV and just sit there looking at a black screen even though the box lights show it is on.  We are unable to use anything like iPlayer through the Virgin box as it takes ages to connect and then the programs constantly buffer - we are also unable to watch any films on Virgin On Demand as we have the same buffering issues (note there is no problem with the broadband speed that would cause this).  Live TV sometimes jumps almost like a stuck record making it virtually unwatchable.  This has been getting progressively worse for a few months now so assume it is a fault with our box rather than in the local area.

Thanks for your advice to contact Virgin - it's just so annoying given what we pay monthly, to then have to spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone for them to say they need to send an engineer out, which I then need to take a whole day off work for!

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japitts
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Re: Numerous problems with Virgin Box

Which box do you have? If you're not sure, check here 

When you say "the Virgin Media option on your TV", can you explain a bit more about that? Are you talking about an option to select which HDMI input the TV is using, or something else? If it's something else, what TV do you have?

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Re: Numerous problems with Virgin Box

We have a Tivo box, which is about 5 years old I believe. We have a Samsung HDR Smart 4K TV. I'm sorry I'm not very technical with these things, but along the bottom of the TV there are options to select Virgin TV/iPlayer/Netflix/Prime etc. Watching anything when selecting the Virgin TV option has got progressively worse over the last couple of months (with the the various problems as stated above) - we have had the TV for about 18 months and the Virgin TV has worked fine previously.
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japitts
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Re: Numerous problems with Virgin Box

Ok, you've raised a few different issues so I'll try to split them out...


@Phyllisglass wrote:

Thanks for your reply japitts.  By 'sometimes not connecting at all', I mean we select the Virgin Media option on the TV and just sit there looking at a black screen even though the box lights show it is on.


Some TVs have a "Virgin Media app" which can be as little as "select the correct HDMI input", I'm not sure if it's this you're talking about.


@Phyllisglass wrote:

We are unable to use anything like iPlayer through the Virgin box as it takes ages to connect and then the programs constantly buffer - we are also unable to watch any films on Virgin On Demand as we have the same buffering issues (note there is no problem with the broadband speed that would cause this). 


My standard response to TiVo streaming issues is as good as anything here...

OnDemand & Streaming services on the TiVo (NOT the V6) have two issues:

1: The box is quite old and runs old hardware, it can struggle with the streaming apps (iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube) especially and this is one (of a few) reason why the additional apps are only available on the V6. There isn't any way of sugar-coating this, I'm afraid.

2: All OnDemand & streaming apps rely on an internet connection, the TiVo's is in-built (separate from your home broadband) but this often fails without users realising. On the front-left of the box are a series of green lights, the second-from-left has a painted heart symbol next to it and is your "online" light. A static light is good, but a flashing heartbeat lights means the TiVo's internet connection has failed. Anything relying on the internet will fail when this happens.

Scenario 2 is a fault, and you should report it to Virgin Media on the usual number (150 from VM, or 0345 4541111 from any other phone). It may be an external network fault, but is often a box failure & replacement.


@Phyllisglass wrote:

Live TV sometimes jumps almost like a stuck record making it virtually unwatchable.  This has been getting progressively worse for a few months now so assume it is a fault with our box rather than in the local area.


Problems with live TV are often a sign of signal issues - again one reboot is sufficient to disprove the basics. At that point, there's likely a fault somewhere. Check for area issues on 0800 5610061, otherwise it could be a box or cabling issue which you'll need to report.

Engineer slots, if that's the next step - are usually 4hourly ones. Morning, afternoon or evening, for example.

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Re: Numerous problems with Virgin Box

Thanks very much for your help japitts - we knew the flashing lights on the front of the Tivo were indicative of an issue but didn't actually realise the Tivo's internet connection is separate to our home broadband, so that's a really good starting point. I had a feeling that there were issues simply down to the box/hardware being quite outdated - something for me to point out when they try to put my prices up again!

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Re: Numerous problems with Virgin Box

You've mentioned that you have VM broadband. When you next negotiate your package, try to get your TiVo swapped for a V6. It's a much newer box running more capable hardware, but runs the same software as the TiVo.

It has 6 recording tuners rather than the TiVo's 3, runs more streaming apps and is a lot quicker at them - as an example, my V6 will start streaming iPlayer within 7-8 seconds of being asked.

The big difference is that the V6 doesn't have the modem built in, so needs to connect to your homehub to go online. Ethernet is best, but it can use WiFi as long as it's reliable enough.

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