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Virgin Media Accelerates Rollout of TiVo-Powered V6 Box

Virgin Media, Liberty Global’s U.K.-based MSO, is hitting the gas on the V6, a new 4K-capable flagship video device introduced in November 2016 that is powered by TiVo’s software and services platform and built by Arris.

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Virgin Media said it installed 1 million V6s during its first year of avaialbity and will try to accelerate its reach by offering existing pay TV customers a free upgrade to the box. The catch is that they must also get broadband service from Virgin.

The operator, the U.K.’s largest MSO, said it expects to end 2018 with the majority of its TV subs on the V6 (pictured).

Virgin Media, which had about 4.11 million video subs at the end of Q3 2017, said it will contact eligible customers about how they can request the V6 upgrade, and expects the “vast majority” of them to use a self-install option, a move that will keep truck roll costs in check.

In addition to supporting 4K resolution, the V6 also integrates OTT services from sources such as Netflix and YouTube, which already support a small but growing library of content in the pixel-packed format.

The box also features a remote-finder button that, when pressed, causes the remote to make a trackable beeping sound. It has 1 terabyte of storage, and can record six shows at the same time, or 12 if the customer links two of them together.

In the first year of deployment, Virgin Media noted that compared with customers who use an earlier-generation TiVo device from the MSO, V6 customers spend, on average, two hours more watching TV each week, are twice as likely to watch a “Box Set,” and record twice as many shows.