I've just discovered that I seemingly have a misunderstanding about how catch up & on demand work. I assumed that it pulled in and sort of aggregated content from the apps (iPlayer, itvX etc, depending on your package). I recently went through all the apps for Freeview channels on my PC and flagged up series/box sets I was interested in (to avoid the dross on Christmas TV!). Imagine my surprise to find that a significant number were not not available through the Home / Catch Up or On Demand route on Virgin TV - although could be had, albeit not as conveniently, through the apps (iPlayer etc) on Virgin. Worse, On Demand on one occasion offered to sell me episodes from the Virgin store for £2.49 a pop that were available for free on the iPlayer app, without offereing that as an option.
Is this how it's supposed to work? Seems a rather poor show for a service I'm paying handsomely for.
I'm a little unclear on the issue here. Virgin's OnDemand service consists of various elements..
1: CatchUp content - recently broadcast programmes, usually available for 1-3months (dependent on channel) and included if you have a given channel in your package
2: Boxsets - complete and past series, inclusive on Maxit package.
3: Premium content - mainly films, included if Sky Cinema is in your package
4: PPV - all sorts of additionals, but chargeable regardless.
5: Branded third-party streaming apps - iPlayer, ITV-X, More4, My5, Netflix, Prime, Pluto, etc etc. Some are chargeable, some are "free".
There are many programmes that are available via multiple sources, and some of those might be included in your case where others are chargeable. The "view from" option on a TiVo/V6 will list those options in a drop-down, and you can choose which to watch from.
A few examples (I have a V6 by the way):
A Suitable Boy. Whole series available on iPlayer app. Catch up/on demand - Netflix (not in my pacakge), buy from Virgin Store (£2.49), view from iPlayer not listed as an option.
Professor T. Series 1 & 2 available on itvX app. Catch up/on demand - buy from Virgin Store (£2.49 episode / £12.99 series), view from itvX not listed as an option.
Tower. Whole series on itvX. No sign of it at all on catchup/on demand
I could go on ...
There are some vaguaries with how iPlayer content is listed on the EPG - CatchUp usually is, but boxsets have some issues. It's only Prime & Netflix that are otherwise integrated, but that doesn't stop the content being available.
Aside from ITV-X not being integrated into the EPG, which VM have never claimed is the case, I'm not sure what the query is here. Different content is available from different platforms, and if you're checking those - you're in a perfect position to use any available platform rather than going straight for the chargeable one.
My query was whether my understanding - that all the free On Demand / Catchup content available with my package should be available from the Home screen - was wrong. From what you say, it clearly was. Thank you for that. I now know that I may have to hunt around the individual apps to find it. Not terribly convenient, and there are far cheaper ways of acieving that.
I'm now following you.
All BBC CatchUp content should be linked from the EPG but will load the iPlayer app.
Other broadcaster's CatchUp content is linked from the EPG and uses VM's in-house VoD.
Netflix & Prime follows the BBC model.
Other hosted streaming apps have their own content and are not linked from the EPG. This is as much down to the streaming providers wanting you to search via their apps and not go straight to the content.
Naturally, recording any programme you know you'll want to watch is a better solution than relying on any VoD platform.
Many thanks. Of course, I generally do record programmes i know I'll want to watch. But, as I mentioned earlier, the pickings over the Christmas period were so slim that I found myself delving into the archives to find stuff I'd missed when it screened. Most of what I found that interested me was box sets from a considerable time ago.
The itvX app is so terrible that I'd hoped to avoid navigating around that to access content. And, of course, there's no UKTV Play app on my Virgin box (not Virgin's fault, I know) so, on Virgin, I'm reliant on On Demand for that content. I found big gaps there - out of eleven series, all quite old, that interested me only seven were on Virgin On Demand (one of which was PPV only). The remaining four were not to be found on Virgin On Demand.
To be honest, now that I'm (very belatedly I know) upgrading the TV to which my Virgin box is connected to a Smart TV, there's not really anything to be gained by using Virgin, rather than the TV, for content that is dependent on the apps. All just part of my "do I need to stick with Virgin" review.
Thanks again for being so patient!
Virgin's market is certainly the premium pay-TV customer. If you're happy with basic CatchUp from the 5 main terrestrial channels there certainly are far better options than Virgin TV.
VM comes into its own if you're using pay channels a lot, and/or record much. Also having your recordings & popular VoD/streaming services all aggregated in the same place.
As mentioned, many of the streaming platforms are quite happy to allow VM customers use of their app - but want to restrict the listings & searches to in-app, to maintain control. I'm fairly sure Netflix EPG-integration that works well on the V6, isn't available on the TV360 due to NF restrictions.
Just for info. Netflix search isn't integrated into the 360 search.
Instead there is a Netflix text search when selecting the search icon from Home and then select netflix from the "All" dropdown option on the right. It ionly shows netflix items and mmediately launches the Netflix app when selecting a result