Excerpt: Virgin V+ operates on a slightly different model from Sky: there's a one-off installation cost of £99, then you pay a monthly amount for the service. It costs £5 a month if you subscribe to the M or L TV packages, but there's no monthly fee for subscribers to the XL package.
Pros: Three tuners, so you can record two programmes simultaneously while watching a third, easy recording, good high-definition pictures and sound
Cons: Limited amount of high-definition programming, although more is coming
Summary: Virgin Media's TV service and V+ HD box offer plenty of entertainment potential if you get the top-end viewing package. The video-on-demand functionality is super, as are the catch-up TV services from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. The only problem is the lack of HD channels, with crucial fare like Sky Sports HD and Movies HD being unavailable.
Pros: Superb video-on-demand and catch-up TV services, Good picture quality, Service is easy to use, Stylish hardware
Cons: Not enough high-definition channels, Box is very slow, Ugly user interface
Summary: Their falling out was a gigantic corporate bout of handbags, but the antipathy between Sky and Virgin Media is working out nicely for us customers. Virgin’s determination not to let Sky have hi-def broadcasting all to itself has resulted in the V+ box and, unlike BT’s Vision, it offers a real challenge to the bigger boys right now.