CNET is available in the following editions:
Read our full review
Add your review
Good: its quite quick
Bad: terrible user interface
Comment: The menu system on this box is practically medieval, proven by the fact that it is set up for a 4:3 screen and isn't even in widescreen. Not a scratch on Sky TV standard HD box.
Good: Lovely design, faster than original box. Lovely choice of channels
Bad: Could have more HD channels
Comment: I got this samsung box quite recently in exchange for the old scientific model
That model i had for approx 4 years. And all it ever did was freeze constantly
Was very very slow with changing channels and was real laggy.
On getting the samsung model i noticed an immediate difference in size and style
The samsung oozes class and general useage is alot faster.
Very pleasd so far.
Good: the amount of channels
Bad: it is constantly breaking!
Comment: it is always breaking, and is really slow. Although it has a lot of channels, when i come to watch my recorded programmes they dont work
Good: Lots of HD content incl. on demand,Iplayer etc,ability to record 2 programmes while watching a 3rd recording(Sky can't match that)
Bad: UI not so pretty or intuitive
Comment: I don't have the money or inclination to add SKy movies/sport to my Virgin XL package so can't comment on that content.However, I find my V+ HD box is always full of programmes to watch as I series link them.
The 15 HD channels suit me - especailly FX + SyFy - as well as themore mainstream channels and Film4 + ESPN + Eurosport.
I never have enough time to watch TV Choice on demand which offers whole series of programmes but I occasionally dip in and watch old episodes of the Sopranos - but now in HD quality !
Picture quality is outstanding and even SD channels look far better as they're upscaled.
My friends favourites feature is the ability to burn recordings to DVD via my DVD recorder.This is a great way to allow Freeiew viewing friends to watch series from FX and other premium channels.
Having the BBC Iplayer ,4OD,ITVplayer,5 etc via the box is a boon too.No having to go and boot up your PC and watch on a smaller screen.
I'd be lost without this little beauty and as I'm about to be made redundant I can't afford to upgrade to the Tivo package yet.
Good: PVR, lots of channels, HD
Bad: UI, laggy at times and +1
Comment: Fantastic service- shows just what a Cable company can achieve
Good: The box looks gorgeous, plenty of on demand
Bad: Not enough HD content yet
Comment: About 3 years ago, I owned the original V+ box and found it to be slow and unreliable (I soon realised why there was a reset button on the front of the box!). Last year I chose to move to Sky for my TV and got an Amstrad Sky+ HD box which was perfectly good for my TV needs but as I kept my broadband with Virgin (I have the 50Mb service and wasn't prepared to give that up), it worked out expensive. In a bid to lower my monthly payments, I decided to phone Virgin and see what deal they could offer me to move my TV back over to them. The kind chap gave me 2 months free XL TV and the V+ HD for free, so this was a no brainier (I also saved around £20 per month by combining TV with phone and broadband).
The new V+ HD box was installed and my initial reaction was just how small and sleek the new box was compared to the old version. It is much smaller than both the old V+ HD and the Sky+ HD and made my Sky+ HD box look bulky and tacky. The new Samsung box is much faster than the old V+ and much nicer in design, fitting in very well with my HD TV and Hifi amp which shares the same stand.
Although Virgins HD offering isn't as large as the Sky offering, there is still enough and all the channels I watched on Sky in HD are now also available on Virgin. There are a lot more channels coming online in the next month or so according to Virgin so this service will just get better and better. The on demand service, including BBC iPlayer, 4OD and ITV Net are fantastic. The BBC HD on demand service is one of the major plus points over Sky.
HD has taken its time to expand in the UK but we are now at a point where it is definitely worth the switch over. My advice to any existing Virgin customers nearing the end of their contract is to give retentions a call, tell them you are thinking of moving over to sky and push for a free V+ HD box, you wont be disappointed.
Good: speed,on demand content,just works
Bad: could have a better interface,remote control is not good,monthly price of the tv package
Comment: I have had both versions of the V+ box,I would Recommend the Samsung V+,but avoid the Scientific Atlanta its not very good and is sluggish avoid that one at all costs.
if you get the box pictured above, then your lucky.
Good: The on demand services are to die for
Bad: Lack of HD lets it down
Comment: First of all, I've had this service for over a year now coupled with a 20 meg broadband connection - compared to my previous Virgin subscriptions I've had no problems whatsoever with it.
You get a wide variety of channels you can subscribe to but the problem is there isn't that many HD channels for you to watch, although I've heard claims that it upscales the picture from SD - you can still see the difference between ITV 1 and ITV 1 HD. To be fair though the picture clarity in SD is quite good. Sound quality is good, I use the system through my home cinema via the optical cable and on HD channels it really does come into it's own.
The user interface though is truly horrible. I've never had Sky but my friends have and I have to say the menu screens are a lot better on Sky. It also feels sluggish to react sometimes, especially when you've just powered up the box - it can take a few minutes for the box to understand you're trying to type in 401 and often gives you random channels.
It's not all bad though, the on demand service is second to none. Within hours of a programme being shown and as said in the main review it definitely beats sitting at a laptop. Music on demand is quite good as well, but I think I could do with a create your own playlist option.
In terms of reliability there only time it went down was when there was a fault in the area and this was fixed within an hour. There is never any interference of any kind which I know people with Sky sometimes experience in poor weather conditions.
Recording a programme is very straight forward and again it does what it says on the box. On my box the hard drive is 80g - however if you are recording a lot of HD content then you'll find this isn't as big as it seems. It is however extremely useful being able to record two programmes whilst watching a third.
Overall I would recommend it, yes it has it's faults and it's not as polished as Sky, but on demand is fantastic and if they can increase their HD output I would seriously question why anyone would choose Sky apart from not having physical access to it.
Log in with your CNET UK or Facebook account to post a user review, or click Join to create an account
Please log in, register or login with Facebook to add a review or comment
Ask your Facebook friends and Twitter followers if you should buy the Virgin Media V+ HD
More Home Cinema in Crave
About CBS Interactive
Copyright © 2014 CBS Interactive Limited. All rights reserved.