Virgin Media have taken over from NTL and now manage Britain’s extensive cable network, which offers users television, broadband and home and mobile telephones in one package.
Virgin is only available to a small percentage of the UK, as there is the need for underground fibre-optic cables to deliver the services to the house, which are only installed in certain areas.
Because of these cables, Virgin can offer unrivalled broadband speeds, with customers able to buy up to 50meg broadband knowing they will receive the speed they pay for.
Virgin’s TV packages also offer the vast majority of channels available from Sky, although Sky have restricted how many they can broadcast in HD. The Sky Sports channels are an example of this, with Sky showing all 5 channels in HD but Virgin only having access to two of them.
Virgin TV packages come in sizes, with a small, medium, large and extra large pack offering progressively more channels.
Like Sky, Virgin also offer a movies and sports premium package on top, which often work out to be cheaper than with Sky.
Virgin also offer their customers a Virgin+ box, which like the famous Sky+ can record television at the same time as watching another channel.
Virgin’s best feature is their On Demand facility, which allows viewers to watch BBC iPlayer, ITV Catch Up and a huge library of old shows at any time for free through their set top box.
As with Sky, if you buy a bundle of television, phone and broadband from Virgin Media, you can save money.
Virgin’s biggest disadvantage is that they cannot provide the same range of service to the UK as Sky can, with Sky’s satellite network covering anyone with direct satellite view but Virgin needing to rely on expensive underground cables.