Watching Sky Sports In 4K UHD With Virgin media: What You Need To Know

Virgin Media has upped the ante in the UK’s competitive TV landscape by offering Sky Sports in both HD and Ultra HD formats. Launched on February 1st, this new feature allows existing and new Virgin Media customers to experience a range of live sports in unprecedented clarity. From Premier League football to Formula 1 racing, the service aims to bring you closer to the action than ever before. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of this latest offering: how to subscribe, the cost implications, and what you can expect in terms of picture quality. Whether you’re a sports aficionado looking to elevate your viewing experience or a casual viewer curious about the buzz, this article has got you covered.

The Launch of Sky Sports HD on Virgin Media

On February 1st, Virgin Media rolled out its Sky Sports HD and Ultra HD channels, marking a significant milestone in its partnership with Sky. The channels are available exclusively on Virgin’s V6 and 360 boxes, ensuring that the service is accessible only to those with the latest hardware.

The lineup includes three distinct channels: Sky Sports Main Event UHD on channel 532, and Sky Sports UHD on channels 533 and 534. While the Main Event UHD channel mirrors its standard-definition counterpart, it has the added benefit of broadcasting Premier League games in Ultra HD. Channels 533 and 534, on the other hand, offer a broader range of UHD sports content, such as Formula 1 racing.

David Bouchier, Chief TV and Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media O2, encapsulated the excitement around this launch, stating, “For years Virgin TV has offered access to all of the best live sport in one place and at great value, and now we’re offering it in the best picture quality available.”

This latest development signifies more than just an upgrade in picture quality; it represents Virgin Media’s commitment to delivering a comprehensive and immersive sports-viewing experience. In the following sections, we’ll delve into how you can get on board with this new offering and what it means for your wallet.

The Sky Sports Experience—Better Late Than Never for Virgin Media Customers

For a while, Virgin Media customers might have felt a bit left behind, especially when comparing their options to what Sky directly offers its subscribers. Sky, the British broadcaster, has been a forerunner in delivering Premier League matches in 4K HDR, boasting around 128 matches in this stunning format. Sky customers have been enjoying this feature through various means, be it a Sky Q set-top box, Sky Stream, or the Sky Glass TV. To access Sky’s HDR coverage, a Sky Sports or Sky Sports Football subscription is essential, and during a game, pressing the red button activates the 4K HDR feed.

But here’s the good news: Virgin Media has finally caught up. The late entry into the UHD arena shouldn’t deter Virgin Media customers; rather, it’s a reason to celebrate. Now, you can watch a range of live sports, including Premier League football, cricket, and darts, in spectacular Ultra HD and HDR. The quality is not just high-definition; it’s ultra, offering a level of detail and color richness that standard broadcasts can’t match.

One key advantage that Virgin Media holds over Sky is its flexible contract terms. While Sky locks you into an 18-month contract for their Sports package at £22/month, Virgin Media offers a more customer-friendly approach with 30-day rolling contracts. This flexibility allows you to adapt your subscription based on your viewing needs, without the long-term commitment.

How to Subscribe to Sky Sports HD

Subscribing to Sky Sports HD or Ultra HD on Virgin Media is a straightforward process, whether you’re a new customer or have been with Virgin Media for years. Here’s how to go about it:

For New Customers

  1. Check for Deals: Start by entering your postcode on Virgin Media’s website to see the available deals in your area.
  2. Choose a Package: Look for packages that come pre-loaded with Sky Sports, such as the Bigger bundle + Sports.
  3. Customize: If Sky Sports isn’t included in the package you want, you can easily add it during the checkout process.
  4. Live Chat Option: Alternatively, you can use Virgin Media’s online Live Chat to order a TV-only package that includes Sky Sports.

For Existing Customers

  1. Sign In: Log into your My Virgin Media account.
  2. Navigate: Follow the on-screen steps to add Sky Sports to your current package.
  3. Billing: Any changes you make will appear on your next bill under the ‘Package change’ section.

For Existing Customers (Alternate Method)

  • Direct Contact: If you prefer a more hands-on approach, existing Virgin TV customers can directly add Sky Sports Ultra HD to their subscription by calling 0800 052 0813. This option provides a quick and straightforward way to upgrade your package without navigating through the online portal.

Flexible Contracts

Virgin Media offers Sky Sports channel packs on 30-day rolling contracts. This flexibility allows you to adapt your subscription based on your viewing preferences. The price varies depending on whether you opt for standard or high definition.

Important Note

Before you can add the Sky Sports UHD channels, you’ll need to have the HD version already included in your package. This is a prerequisite and ensures that you’re eligible for the UHD upgrade.

Pricing Details

When it comes to enhancing your sports-viewing experience, understanding the cost implications is crucial. Virgin Media has structured its pricing in a way that allows flexibility while offering value for money. Here’s what you need to know:

Basic Costs

  • Sky Sports HD: Adding the Sky Sports HD channels to your existing package will set you back an extra £7 per month. Note that you must already have the standard-definition version to be eligible for this upgrade.
  • Sky Sports Ultra HD: The cost for upgrading to Ultra HD is also £7 per month, but you’ll need to have the HD version as a prerequisite.

Special Packages

  • Ultimate Oomph or Ultimate Volt: If you’re on one of these packages, which previously included Sky Cinema & Sky Entertainment UHD for free, adding Sky Sports UHD will still cost an additional £7 per month.

Additional Add-Ons

  • Sky Cinema & Sky Entertainment UHD: As of November, this add-on is no longer free for new subscribers to the Ultimate Volt package. If you wish to add both this and the Sky Sports UHD channels, the total additional cost would be £10 per month.
  • Sky Cinema & Entertainment UHD Alone: If you’re only interested in this add-on, it will cost you an additional £6 per month.

SD vs HD vs UHD

  • From SD to UHD: If you currently have Sky Sports in standard definition, upgrading to Ultra HD would cost £11 per month. This includes £7 for the HD add-on and an additional £4 for the UHD upgrade.

Requirements for Watching the Premier League in UHD on Virgin Media

So you’re keen on watching the Premier League in the best quality available? That’s a great choice, but there are a few prerequisites to ensure you get the full UHD experience. Here’s what you need:

4K HDR Compatible TV

The first and most obvious requirement is a 4K HDR compatible TV. While 4K TVs have become more common, it’s important to note that not all 4K TVs are created equal. If you’re looking for optimal performance, you might want to consider TVs on the higher end of the price range. These often come with better HDR capabilities, ensuring that you get the most vibrant and lifelike images.

Modem and Package Requirements

To access Sky Sports UHD channels, you’ll need to have either a Virgin TV V6 or a 360 box. These are the only modems compatible with the UHD offering. As for the package, you’ll need to either choose one that comes pre-loaded with Sky Sports, like the Bigger bundle + Sports, or add Sky Sports UHD as an extra to your existing package for an additional £7 per month.

Additional Considerations

  • HD Prerequisite: Before you can add the UHD channels, make sure you already have the HD version of Sky Sports in your package.
  • Contact for Upgrade: If you’re an existing customer and prefer a direct approach, you can add Sky Sports UHD by calling 0800 052 0813.

More information:

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About S. Santos

👋 I'm a technology columnist and blogger with over 10 years of experience, currently serving as Blue Cine Tech's AV Editor. Specialising in gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology, my work has been featured in top technology blogs. I'm dedicated to breaking down the complexities of the latest tech trends, from explaining the intricacies of Dolby Vision to optimising your streaming experience. This blog serves as a platform for my ongoing exploration of the ever-evolving tech landscape. If you see me at industry events like CES or IFA, feel free to say hello.

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