Virgin Media is bringing Ultra HD quality movies and shows from Sky’s library to some of its customers for free. In total, some 1,300 episodes of televisions and 250 films will be available to view in 4K quality on the recently-launched Virgin TV 360 set-top box, which includes Ultra HD streaming, as well as wireless multi-room support and voice control.
Ultra HD packs four times as many pixels as standard 1080p High Definition and is seen as the natural successor in terms of picture quality. You’ll need an 4K or 8K TV to display the extra clarity, so it’s worth checking whether you’ve got the right kit. Virgin Media has promised a pretty diverse line-up of Ultra HD content, including original movies from Sky, like the newly-released Twist starring Michael Caine and Rita Ora, as well as Hollywood Box Office smashes, such as Birds Of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn.
TV shows staples from Sky, like The Blacklist and Seal Team, will also be included in the free 4K bundle for Virgin Media customers. All Sky Entertainment and Sky Cinema Ultra HD content will be available via a dedicated section in Box Sets and Movies so customers can download and watch whenever suits them, Virgin has revealed.
In order to get the pixel-packed Ultra HD films and movies at no extra cost, you’ll need to be subscribed to Virgin Media’s Ultimate Oomph package. This is the priciest bundle currently on offer from the firm and includes its all-new TV 360 kit at no extra cost, kids, entertainment, and sport channels, as well as Sky Entertainment and Sky Cinema in Ultra HD at no extra cost. However, for those already paying for the Ultimate Oomph package from Virgin Media, this is a brilliant new feature to have thrown-in at no extra cost.
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Customers who aren’t subscribed to the Ultimate Oomph, but already have a subscription to Sky Cinema with their TV 360 set-top box can add the ability to watch in Ultra HD by adding the new Sky Cinema and Sky Entertainment Ultra HD add-on to their monthly bill. This is priced at £6 a month. Without a Sky Cinema subscription, you won’t be able to watch in Ultra HD.
This is similar to how Sky Q handles Ultra HD, which is an optional extra that enables your existing content (whether you’re paying for television shows, movies, or Sky Sports) to be viewed in the pin-sharp 4K format. Unlike Sky, it seems Virgin Media isn’t yet offering sporting fixtures in Ultra HD.
However, Virgin Media’s TV 360 set-top box does allow viewers to stream shows from BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime, YouTube and Netflix in Ultra HD too. Although, for the latter, you’ll need to make sure you’re paying for the correct subscription tier that enables this picture quality (hint: it’s the most expensive one).
Speaking about the launch, David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, said: “Unmissable telly deserves the ultimate in picture quality and Virgin TV customers can now enjoy top TV shows and films from Sky in Ultra HD. Our powerful Virgin TV 360 and V6 set top boxes allow our customers to watch the widest range of Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range content, all in one place, making us the true home of Ultra HD content.”