Virgin Media has unveiled a significant update for its Virgin Media Stream and TV360 platforms, marking the debut of the Apple TV+ app on both devices and seven new linear channels on the Stream box.
This integration addresses the notable absence of Apple TV+ on Virgin Media’s offerings, aligning them with other UK streaming platforms.
Among the new channels coming to Virgin Media’s broadband-based device, Stream, are HGTV, the real-estate and gardening channel, the Bloomberg financial news channel, the educational PBS channel and more (see the full list below).
These newly added channels were previously exclusive to TV360. Now, Stream users can also access these channels, bridging the content gap between Virgin Media’s two platforms.
TV 360 is Virgin Media’s “traditional” TV platform, offering access to 190 channels and up to three mini 360 boxes around the home for a full multi-room experience.
Virgin Media Stream (see our review), available to both new and existing customers who take a Virgin Media broadband-only or broadband and landline bundle, offers complete flexibility with a 30-day rolling contract and no ongoing costs beyond the streaming subscriptions they choose to subscribe to.
Apple TV+ Joining Virgin Media Stream And TV 360
Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV+, is already available on most of the streaming devices and platforms in the UK, so its absence from Virgin Media’s TV boxes was noticeable.
However, Virgin Media confirmed to us that starting today, the Apple TV+ is finally available on both the Stream and TV360 boxes (but not on Virgin Media’s older TV boxes such as the TiVo).
Apple TV+ is highly regarded thanks to a number of high-quality programmes, such as Ted Lasso, Severance, Foundation and others, even though the selection is still somewhat small when compared to some of the other major streaming services.
The service has seen a price hike last week, moving from a monthly charge of £6.99 to £8.99 for UK customers.
This increase, attributed to Apple’s aim of delivering premium experiences underscored by a continual addition of high-quality content, places the service on the higher end of the spectrum among streaming platforms in the UK.
Virgin Media TV customers who wish to subscribe to Apple TV+, will have to do so directly and pay the £8.99/month, as it’s not included in any of VM’s TV bundles.
New Channels On Virgin Media Stream
Seven new linear channels (that were previously available on TV360) have been integrated into the Virgin Media Stream box this week.
Six of those channels have been added at no additional cost to all Stream subscribers. Those are:
Legend (Channel 149): A Freeview channel dedicated to science fiction, fantasy and horror movies.
PBS (Channel 187): The American channel that’s renowned for its educational, cultural, and informative programming (it’s also available as a Freeview Play app).
HGTV (Channel 191): Home and Garden Television, showcasing home improvement and gardening tips.
TalkTV (Channel 606): The British free-to-air “opinion-orientated” news channel that aims to present a variety of perspectives, and features Piers Morgan.
Bloomberg (Channel 609): A channel known for its financial news and information.
CNBC HD (Channel 613): Provides business news and real-time financial market coverage (the channel has also been upgraded to HD on TV360).
Within the Essential Entertainment package (which costs extra), the following channel has been added:
Crime + Investigation (Channel 133): Offering viewers a deep dive into investigative documentaries and real-life crime stories.
More Additions To Virgin Media TV
As we reported just last week, Virgin Media TV rolled out a series of feature enhancements to its Stream and TV360 platforms.
Among these updates was the integration of Pluto TV to both boxes, providing a broad spectrum of free, ad-supported content.
For binge-watchers, the “Skip Intro” and “Watch Next Episode” options were introduced, aligning with features found on other streaming platforms like Netflix and Apple TV+.
The Stream box users saw a new personalisation feature, displaying a “What’s On Now” section based on the viewer’s past history. Additionally, text search functionality was improved, and programme titles on the Personal Home screen were refined.
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