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lsarcher
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Hey Virgin, people still watch and record live TV!

So I contacted Virgin about upgrading my V6s to 360 and got sent new kit...big mistake. You get a full box and a "mini box"....the latter being next to useless for live TV watchers at the moment (more on that later).

Well it seems Virgin seems to run on the assumption that people only watch streaming TV now as it appears the TV basics have been ignored. If you going to introduce a new platform, look at what the previous platform did well and at least incorporate that first, so, if you like Live TV and recordings, bare the following usability issues in mind:

  • No quick access button to recordings, have to use voice control for that
  • No quick delete button, everything requires multiple presses
  • You can't specify new only on recordings
  • Extremely irritating, you can't limit the number of recording so for example if you record a daily topical show so you only need the current or a couple of episodes you'll find yourself deleting a lot (see previous point on no quick delete)

These may seem like minor issues but from daily usability perspective it's really irritating. I'm sure they can be added by software update later but why not be there from the start?

But sadly it gets worse, the mini box, whoever came up with this half baked idea.....well, clearly they were only thinking about reducing costs. The mini boxes are made cheaper by removing the hard drive, the consequence is you can only pause live TV for 4 minutes.....yes 4 minutes. This is really great when you're watching a live event and want to go make a drink, so unless you had set it to record in advance and were watching that......run! I've have tried pressing record whilst watching, it doesn't effect pause functionality unless you physically swap to the recording, all extra unnecessary steps. Further some events don't have a specific entry on the guide for it to record properly.

2 things could have reduced this farce, more flash storage to at least buffer 30 minutes or software that allows the content to be buffered on the main box after all everything has to be networked on this solution. P.S. Virgin, some people have more than one "main box"

Now this is where I get really irritated, as said I had to V6s, I have tried to contact Virgin numerous times by phone, messaging, twitter etc. None of the teams seem to have a clue about the new platform, when you can get through that is, you spend hours on hold whilst you wait to speak to someone or they put you on hold whilst they speak to "the technical team". The customer service has been atrocious. I'll get my manager to ring you they say....yeah, still waiting for that call. I have a simple request, I'd like my 2nd box to have a hard drive so I can have a reasonable TV experience on it. No one seems to be able to answer. Yes or no? If no, why? You are upgrading V6s..that's multiple hard drives. Are you going to fix the mini boxes so they can pause instead? If not I might as well box everything back up and plug my V6s back in.

Next thing to note, they like to broadcast the "If the show has already started you'll get the option to play from the start". Well, what they don't say is, only on certain channels. If you do this on BBC channels it loads iPlayer, you then have to select your profile then it fires up a low quality live stream that the BBC provides until a show is finished and fully published on iPlayer. Hardly seemless.

The Sky Cinema premium channels don't even give you that option, you have to go find it in the on demand.

I may have been more forgiving if the aftercare hadn't be so atrocious.......customer service is everything and Virgin are failing really badly at this at the moment. Don't quote the pandemic either, you have one of the fastest broadband infrastructures around, pretty sure you can sort home working.

There are a few plus notes, channel change is very fast, the box is fast, Sky Cinema HD channels don't look like upscaled SD content like they do on the V6 but everything just takes so many extra button presses. Did Virgin not trial usability before releasing.....oh wait, we're the trial.

If you only watch on demand then this solution will be ok for you but if you are a live TV/recordings person either get ready to re-learn how you watch TV and be prepared for excessive navigation to do simple tasks or stay with Tivo as long as possible.

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Anonymous
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Message 2 of 21
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Re: Hey Virgin, people still watch and record live TV!

more and more people are not watching live tv.
I for one haven't for years. I refuse to pay the BBC to watch things not related to the BBC.

So no live TV for me
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lsarcher
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Message 3 of 21
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Re: Hey Virgin, people still watch and record live TV!

There are still millions that do still, news and current affairs channels require a good live experience, especially at the moment. 

Scenario, oh a briefing is about to start, I'll just pause it a minute, oh wait I've only got 4 minutes. Ok I'll record it, wait it's not in the schedule to record and it's just been announced, ok I'll have to go to the other room and watch it on the main box.

2nd scenario, young kids watching something on the kids channels, you pause it whilst they have their statutory meltdown, oh wait it's only paused for 4 minutes and they've missed something now....another meltdown (yes you can go dig out of on demand but that's not the point). 20 to 30 minutes is a reasonable buffer time, 4 minutes isn't.

No comments needed on whether you would watch a briefing etc, that's not the point.

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nodrogd
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Message 4 of 21
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Re: Hey Virgin, people still watch and record live TV!

I hate to say it, but this is what you get by jumping ship too early.

The new Humax 360 boxes, while more modern, will only work on the Horizon platform. The Arris V6 boxes work on both Horizon & TiVO, & can be converted (albeit with a disk reformat) to give you multiple recording boxes. This conversion is being trialled at the moment, & looks likely to be offered as an option next year.

The next stage (broadcaster agreements permitting) is cloud recording, which removes the hard drives altogether.

VM BB TV Landline PAYG mobile. Freeview/Freesat HD, Tesco Mobile. Customer since 1993

I'm a Very Insightful Person, I'm here to share knowledge, I don't work for Virgin Media. Learn more

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Anonymous
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Message 5 of 21
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Re: Hey Virgin, people still watch and record live TV!

2020, not 1980 🙂
the Live TV model is as dead as buying DVDs and CDs. some people still do it but providers want to get ahead of the curve to be left behind in the next few years when things change
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lsarcher
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Message 6 of 21
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Re: Hey Virgin, people still watch and record live TV!

A lot of people do both

lsarcher
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Message 7 of 21
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Re: Hey Virgin, people still watch and record live TV!

I contacted about upgrading my boxes, they insisted on sending the news ones as part of a package adjustment.

I'm always an adopter of new technology, but on this it feels further behind than Tivo was when it was first released. Probably because Tivo was already more mature.

I can see the potential of the platform, it could be really good, but they have missed some basics to begin with.

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TiffanyGreen97
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Message 8 of 21
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Re: Hey Virgin, people still watch and record live TV!

Currently the only way you can have 2 boxes with hard drives is if you are on the V6 to TV360 Arris box trial. The Humax boxes only support a 1 Hard disk configuration. you could always ask virgin to see if they can upgrade your V6 boxes to TV360 and plug your V6 boxes in upgrade them and send your Humax boxes back. What I would say though is there is currently a software bug affecting some of the V6 boxes which is being looked into. You wouldn't know if your boxes have the bug till they are updated. Virgin are looking in to this at the moment.

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Gary06028
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Message 9 of 21
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Re: Hey Virgin, people still watch and record live TV!

Customer service are clueless and they lie about call backs 

Anonymous
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Message 10 of 21
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Re: Hey Virgin, people still watch and record live TV!

call backs and never happened. Its a way to get people off the phone without a fight
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