Virgin Media provides cable television services across the country, alongside telephony and broadband internet.
Created following the merger of NTL and Telewest in 2006, Virgin Media is now available in most major towns and cities in the UK.
What does Virgin Media offer in terms of TV?
Virgin Media’s cable TV service offers a wide range of basic and premium pay TV channels, second only to Sky in terms of number of channels available. These include all main Freeview channels, plus most Sky channels (not yet Sky Atlantic), as well as third-party channels from BT, Discovery, UKTV (e.g. Gold, W, Alibi) and Viacom (e.g MTV) and many Asian-language services.
In addition to traditional linear TV channels, Virgin Media now offers a growing number of streaming and on-demand services, including all of the main ones such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix. Amazon Prime is reportedly to be added very soon.
There’s no free-to-air channels though – all services on Virgin Media’s TV platform do require some form of subscription – even if all you want to do is watch something on ITV or any other channel that’s free on other platforms. And by nature of the service, users do have to sign-up to a contract in order to receive Virgin Media TV.
Full channel list:
HD and UHD
Due to changes in its TV service in recent times and the introduction of newer receivers, Virgin Media is now fully HD ready, meaning that technically there’s no need to simulcast HD and SD channels – as all receivers are able to handle HD. However, commercial arrangement, which may put the HD version of a channel in a different subscription package, or broadcaster-side issues, such as the HD version of a channel not having the same regionality as SD, are stopping the full phasing out of HD/SD simulcasts at this stage.
As far as UHD goes, Virgin Media now offers UHD content on its platform and operates a 4K UHD channel (more details here).
Its availability varies considerably, even within cabled towns and cities – for example, some estates built after the original roll-out of cable may not have access to Virgin’s network.