Virgin Media provides cable television services across the UK, 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. These include all of the main ones such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix.
There’s no truly free-to-air channels though – you’ll need add TV to your Virgin Media subscription. The most basic TV package includes all main Freeview/Freesat channels. All TV packages are subject to a contractual period.
Full channel list:
HD and UHD
Following changes to its TV service 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 support HD. However, commercial arrangements, 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.
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.