So it has begun. The proposition is the same, but the marketing will make people think something new has happened. Virgin Media launched today in a blaze of publicity, as is the style of Richard Branson. In the history of cable I never saw NTL or telewest get so many column inches over a product launch. Rather than bang on about details that you can find elsewhere, I thought I would offer opinion. I won’t be getting it.
My T-Mobile phone works fine, my BT landline never let me down, my ‘Be’ broadband connection is flawless and Freeview suits me fine for TV. The only differentiator they are bringing to the table is a new “On Demand” channel called Virgin Central, which will call up over 500 hours of Buena Vista (West Wing, Nip/Tuck) and Alliance Atlantis (CSI) content at the touch of a button. But it’s not really different, because you can get those shows at the touch of a button from other providers. Virgin have also unveiled a Very Impressive Package for high-end users. According to Media Guardian:-
Consumers will get its new Vplus digital TV, offering 129 channels, a personal video recorder and high definition signal – including the popular Sky Sports and movie packages.
Users also get a second set-top box for another room, and a new video on demand service. On top, those signing up also get a 10Mb, unlimited broadband connection, plus a home landline with unlimited calls to other homes.
Virgin says the deal represents a saving of about £37 a month against buying each component separately.
I can’t be bothered to do the maths, but if you were moving into a brand new home, and had none of the above, that would be an alright dealio. For more info, including what Richard Branson did to promote
himself this new venture, click here.