Virgin Media unveiled its ‘Winter Sale’ this week – and among the offers, customers can now get the Stream TV box, which lets you watch streaming services, Freeview channels and premium sports via broadband – at no extra cost, with some of the company’s broadband plans.
Normally, the Stream box carries a one-time activation fee of £35, but Virgin Media is foregoing that fee for the two broadband packages that are part of its winter sale – the M350 and M500.
In addition, customers can add several premium TV add-ons to their Stream box, such as BT Sport, Sky Cinema HD and more – at discounted prices (see full details below).
Further winter discounts are offered on Virgin Media’s “traditional” TV 360 offers, as well as on its Volt packages, that include an O2 mobile sim.
What Is Virgin Media’s Stream Box?
Unlike Virgin Media’s traditional TV boxes (like the TV 360), Stream is based on broadband. Therefore all of its content – from streaming services like Netflix and Freeview channels like BBC, Channel 4 and the rest – are delivered via the internet.
Virgin Media’s Stream box offers a long list of Freeview channels (though not every Freeview channel is available) – and since they’re streamed to you over broadband, there’s no need for an aerial or good reception in your house.
It’s important to remember that the Stream box can’t record – instead, it uses the broadcasters’ streaming apps (like BBC iPlayer and ITVX), as well as Virgin Media’s own catch-up library – to let you stream content on-demand.
Virgin Media’s Stream box is available with no monthly costs or any long-term contracts, except for the one-time activation fee of £35.
But as mentioned, if you take a Virgin Media broadband plan of 350Mbps or 500Mbps – you won’t pay the activation fee.
Once you get the Stream box, you can pick and choose the paid channels and services you want, with rolling 30-day contracts, and a 10% ‘cashback’ on top every month.
The Stream box also supports a variety of streaming apps and services, like Netflix and Disney+, as well as premium paid TV services like BT Sport and Sky’s entertainment channels.
Normally, if you add some of the streaming subscriptions via your Virgin Media bill, you’ll get a 10% credit back – but customers who sign up to BT Sport, Sky Sport or Sky Cinema at the discounted prices that are currently available, will not be eligible to that credit on top.
In any case, if you just stay with the Freeview channels – there are no monthly fees for the Stream box at all (which is also the case with regular Freeview boxes – but, again, in this case you don’t need an aerial, which is a plus for those with bad reception in their home).
The main downside of Virgin Media’s Stream, is that it only works with Virgin Media’s broadband – which does carry with it a long-term contract.
This is different from Sky’s Stream box, which is compatible with broadband from any of the UK providers.
Recently, Virgin Media boosted its broadband speeds at no extra cost on two tiers – M100 jumped up to m150, and M200 became M250 – but those two tiers are not part of the Winter Sale, therefore you won’t get the Stream box without the activation fee.
Virgin Media Winter Sale – What’s On Offer?
The limited-time Virgin Media Winter Sale will be available from now until February 5, 2023.
As is often the case, unfortunately, it’s only available for new customers (though I always encourage existing customers to haggle with Virgin Media – especially if your contract is about to end soon).
New customers can now get the M350 broadband-only package for £27/month, or the M500 broadband package for £33/month, both with an 18-months contract.
In addition, customers will be able to add the Stream box at no extra cost (you can add it to other broadband packages, but then you’ll have to pay the £35 activation fee).
In addition, customers can add several discounted TV subscription add-ons:
- BT Sport for £10/month (instead of £18)
- Sky Cinema HD for £10/month (instead of £14.99)
- Sky Sports HD for £18.75/month (instead of £38.75)
- Sky Sports HD & Sky Cinema HD Bundle for £28.75/month (instead of £46.25)
Keep in mind that since these are promotional prices, they will go back up to their normal rates once your 18-months contract with Virgin Media is up.
There are additional optional content add-ons, like the Essential Entertainment bundle and Kids Pick, but those aren’t currently discounted.
To learn more about Virgin Media’s Stream box, see our in-depth review of it.