If you’re a Virgin Media customer with a Stream or TV 360 box, there’s good news coming your way.
The company has rolled out a series of free updates, aimed at enhancing user experience, from personalised content suggestions to new skipping features that will delight binge-watchers.
It’s worth noting that these updates are specifically targeted at Stream and TV 360 users. If you’re using one of Virgin Media’s older boxes, these changes won’t affect your service.
TV 360, Virgin Media’s “traditional” TV platform, offers access to 190 channels and up to three mini 360 boxes around the home for the full multi-room experience.
It also provides access to the Virgin TV Go app so customers can stream their favourite content from their phone or tablet, whenever and wherever suits them.
Virgin Media Stream (see our review), available to both new and existing customers who subscribe to Virgin Media’s broadband, is a streaming-based TV platform with apps, Freeview-via-broadband and catch-up libraries.
Although the library of apps on Virgin Media Stream doesn’t quite match those of third-party streaming devices like Amazon’s Fire TV or Roku, it nevertheless includes most of the major streaming services in the UK, including BBC iPlayer, ITVX, Netflix, Amazon’s Prime Video and more.
The Stream offers complete flexibility with a 30-day rolling contract and no ongoing cost beyond the streaming subscriptions users choose to subscribe to (but remember – you must be a Virgin Media broadband customer).
Stream customers can also benefit from Stream credit, which provides a 10% saving on select streaming services added via their Virgin TV bill.
Virgin Media Stream And TV360 October Update: What’s New?
The software updates (versions 5.04 and 5.05) are free, and should have already been rolled out to customers’ devices (Stream and TV360).
Pluto TV: Now On Both Devices
One of the important updates is the integration of Pluto TV, a free, ad-supported streaming service, which is now available on both Virgin Media Stream and the TV 360 box.
Although we already reported about the inclusion of Pluto TV in the summer, it appears there were issues on some devices – and with the new update, The Pluto TV app is now directly accessible on both the 360 and Stream boxes.
Pluto TV offers a wide range of free, ad-supported content, including popular shows like CSI, Judge Judy, and Hell’s Kitchen.
This addition comes as part of a broader multi-year distribution agreement between Paramount and Virgin Media, which also introduced Paramount+ to Virgin Media’s boxes earlier this year.
“Skip Intro” and “Watch Next Episode”: On-Demand Convenience
For those who enjoy binge-watching, the new “Skip Intro” and “Watch Next Episode” options are a welcome addition.
This is a feature we’ve already seen on some streaming services (such as Netflix and Apple TV+),
On Virgin Media’s devices, these features are now available for the native on-demand content (as in – catch-up content you stream directly from Virgin Media), allowing you to skip the intro at the beginning of each episode and automatically move to the next episode once the credits roll.
This makes for a more seamless and enjoyable viewing experience – especially when you’re spending your whole weekend watching an entire series.
What’s On Now: Personalised Recommendations (Stream Only)
For Stream box users who have opted into Personalisation, the home screen will now feature a “What’s on Now” section.
This section replaces the “Now on Your Most Watched Channels” and offers recommendations based on your past viewing history.
So, if you happen to watch a lot of shows on Channel 4, for example, then you will be more likely to see recommendations for more Channel 4 shows in that section.
To opt in or out of Personalisation, simply press Home on your remote and navigate to Settings > Info > Personalisation.
This feature is not yet available for TV 360 users but is expected to be included in a future update.
Improved Text Search
The update also brings improvements to the text search functionality.
Underneath the search bar, you’ll now see your most recent searches if you’ve opted into Personalisation. If not, the most popular searches will be displayed.
As you begin typing, the search bar will update with relevant shows to help you narrow down your search.
From your Personal Home screen, only the titles of the programmes that are in focus will now be displayed. This makes for a cleaner, less cluttered interface.
Software Update Information
Lastly, more specific information about the latest software updates is now available when an update occurs.
To access this, go to Home > Settings > Info.
Previously, the update notes contained a more generic message, but now they provide greater details on what has changed.