I "upgraded" from V6 to 360 today. Oh dear. It's awful. Listen up Virgin, and listen good, because this isn't like your usual lacklustre efforts - I think you've messed up so badly on this one that it'll quickly start kicking you where it hurts - your finances.
One of your geniuses stood at a whiteboard and suggested "hey, you know what our customers want? A voice-controlled remote!" The other losers sitting in the open-plan office agreed, then went to lunch. Now, if this useless feature had been it, I could easily have ignored it. But no. With the downgrade from V6 to 360, you have achieved the following:
- Only one remote will work with the box. With the V6 and previous boxes, you could pair multiple remotes - even pairing some very old Virgin/NTL remotes to use certain functions. I cannot stress to you how fundamental it is that the box accepts multiple remotes. Your advertising stresses the "multi-screen streaming" ability of the 360 box - heck that's why it's called "360". In your atomised society, where people live separate lives, in separate rooms, talking to their remote control, perhaps this concept appeals. Those people are called children. And guess what, Virgin? Children don't watch TV. You know who watches TV? Old people. And old people need multiple remotes. Maybe they're forgetful and like to have multiple remotes at hand (this remote is smaller and more non-descript than ever, after all). Maybe they live with other people and don't want to pass the remote, like a baton relay, to the other person every time they leave the room. Don't even think about replying to this bullet point with "Ah, but you can control it using the smartphone app!"
- To access my recordings on the V6 box, I pressed the "My Shows" button. To access my recordings on the 360 box, I press Home...then I press right...then I press right again...then I press right again...then I press right again...then I press right again...then I press OK on "RECORDINGS"...then I press OK on "View all" (or, alternatively, endlessly press right).
- On V6, the last recording I left the cursor on will be highlighted. On 360, the most recent recording will be highlighted - so potentially yet more annoying clicking. If only there was a "My Shows" button on the 360 remote - unfortunately you've dedicated the central, most prominent, glossiest, easiest-to-access button to...the voice command button.
- The mini-EPG that displays on the bottom-third of the screen when watching something displayed three channels at a time on V6 - very useful to see what's on, and also compare start/end times between three adjacent channels. On 360 it displays...one. Useless.
- On V6 you could skip a day ahead/back on the mini-EPG at the touch of a button - on 360 this functionality is only possible in the main EPG.
- If you think that anyone, anywhere, will ever use the 'Profiles' system then you're seriously deluded - and yet it gets its own button on the remote, whereas accessing your recordings doesn't...
- The main EPG's text is far too small - the V6's was much, much clearer. Too much purple. Again, OLD PEOPLE. Did the V6 also display more channels at once (360 displays seven)?
- The mini-EPG now takes up half the screen, with its annoying purple fade effect...
- On the V6 box, the EPG would grey out programmes that were on in the past...now it's actually present and future shows that appear darker.
- If you press fast-forward too many times it goes back to the slowest option...very annoying when you want to fast-forward something quickly.
So there we have it Virgin, all the deficiencies I've found with your 360 box after having only been with it a few hours... oh, I see I have lots of bugs to look forward to as well! Let the customer exodus begin!