Paramount+, the American streaming service that launched in the UK last year, has quietly landed on select Virgin Media TV boxes this week.
But as the excitement builds, not all Virgin Media customers are invited to the party, and unlike some Sky subscribers – free access isn’t on the table for Virgin Media’s customers.
The broadband and TV company announced the upcoming arrival of Paramount+ back in 2022, and this week – the app simply appeared on Virgin Media’s TV boxes without much fanfare – perhaps as part of a “soft” launch (Update: An official announcement arrived this morning).
There’s bad news for some Virgin Media TV customers, however – as the Paramount+ app is only available on TV360 and the streaming-based Virgin Media Stream box.
Customers with the older V6 or Tivo boxes, will not be getting the Paramount+ app.
As for pricing – Paramount+ has been added as a standalone streaming service – which means you will need to pay Paramount+ directly, and won’t be able to add it to your Virgin Media TV bill, or get cashback credit for it, as some services get on the Stream box (See full pricing details below).
What Is Paramount+?
Paramount+ is a global streaming service that offers content from CBS, Showtime and Paramount Pictures, as well as exclusive, original programmes.
It offers some popular originals and library shows, including the fantasy hit Yellowjackets, Yellowstone, 1923, Tulsa King, most Star Trek shows and films (including Strange New Worlds and Picard), and more.
The streaming service is also home to a wide selection of new blockbuster films, including Top Gun: Maverick.
Unlike the US version of Paramount+, the UK version doesn’t support 4K (Ultra HD) or Dolby Atmos audio.
The standalone Paramount+ app is available on most major streaming devices and Smart TVs sold in the UK, and you can sign up either directly via the Paramount+ app/website, or via Amazon Prime Video Channels.
Prime Video Channels require an Amazon Prime subscription, and you then subscribe to Paramount+ on top of that. You will then be able to watch Paramount+ on any device that supports the Prime Video app, not just those with the Paramount+ app.
This is how Virgin Media customers were already able to watch Paramount+, even before the service got its own app on the platform.
How To Get Paramount+ On Virgin Media
Starting this week Paramount+ is now available on Virgin Media’s TV360 and the Virgin Media Stream box.
Customers can find the new Paramount+ app on the app section of their device, or press the mic button on their remote and say, “Paramount+”.
If it’s not there, make sure your box is updated with the latest software version – normally that is done automatically, but a reboot of the device sometimes helps.
Paramount+ normally costs £6.99/month or £69.90/year in the UK, with a free 7-day trial available to everyone.
So, if you’re signing up via your Virgin Media device – and this is your first time signing up for Paramount+ (on any platform) – then you can get the free trial.
However, the Paramount+ subscription will NOT be part of your Virgin Media bill – so you’ll be paying Paramount+ directly.
This also means that once you sign up, you can watch the service on any of its supported apps – and not just on your Virgin Media device.
Take note, however, that the Amazon Prime Video Channel version of Paramount+ is separate from the “direct” one – therefore, if you signed up via Amazon, you WON’T be able to watch Paramount+ on any of its native apps – and vice versa.
Alas, there’s no such deal in place for Virgin Media’s customers – so even if you’re subscribed to Sky Cinema, via your Virgin Media account – you won’t be getting Paramount+ for free, and will have to pay the normal subscription fees.
David Bouchier, Chief TV and Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “Offering our customers access to the latest and greatest programmes in one easy, convenient place has long been a focus for us.
“Whether it’s drama, sport or documentaries, Virgin TV provides something for everyone, and the addition of Paramount+’s huge catalogue of award-winning shows and iconic movies means entertainment just got even better for Virgin TV customers.”