The battle between Virgin Media and Sky for TV supremacy has taken an interesting turn. Last week, Sky unveiled its new product Sky Glass – a range of 4K TVs specially designed to offer the Sky Q experience broadcast online without the need for a satellite dish.
Sky Glass has Disney +, Prime Video, Netflix and other streaming applications in its 43, 55 or 65 inch screen. Sky offers five different color schemes for the QLED TV, which is only available for pre-registration before its launch on October 18th. So, where does Virgin Media come from?
Also, Virgin Media does not require a satellite dish to be drilled into the side of your home … so in some respects Sky is keeping up with its arch-nemesis. However, Sky Glass includes a number of features you won’t find in Virgin Media’s portfolio – such as hands-free voice control.
Don’t be too jealous because Virgin Media has confirmed plans to launch at least one other exciting product this year. The broadband and telly firm has already confirmed that it will launch an IPTV service sometime before the fireworks ring in 2022.
IPTV stands for television with internet protocol, and as the name suggests it is TV content that is delivered over an internet signal, such as Sky’s NOW service (formerly known as NOW TV) and Sky Glass. And after years of NOW being the only big player in this market in Blighty Virgin Media is set in this field.
Lutz Schueler, the CEO of Virgin Media O2 formed recently after the merger between the two firms earlier this year, confirmed that a new IPTV product from the company is expected to debut in 2021.
At a convention in Cambridge Schueler said: “We are almost flat with our TV customer base. We will soon be launching our first IPTV offering, aimed more at the smaller segment. Maybe it’s the opposite for the a smaller segment. It starts with Netflix, but then it comes to linear content. “
Aside from the confirmation that this new telly box is coming soon, details on how Virgin Media IPTV’s offering will work are pretty sparse.
Will Virgin Media offer a similar experience to NOW, with contract-free passes that can be purchased month-to-month for specific content? Since the company wants to specifically target younger viewers, will this new telly box be a lightweight broadcast HDMI dongle – like the successful Google Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV to drop the price? Or will it take the form of an all-in-one TV as we saw from Sky Glass?
Virgin Media is no stranger to launching hardware to enhance the experience for its telly customers. He previously created a vast tablet that allowed customers to take their recordings and broadcast live TV around the house with them.
Time will tell, but those who are jealous of Sky’s shiny new gadget may want to keep orders until they see what’s next from Virgin Media O2. Express.co.uk will have the latest news as soon as it is announced, so stay tuned to find out what Virgin Media has in hand.