Category Archives: Cable

Bye bye virgin

Slightly earlier than planned but we are now totally disconnected from virgin media with our phone service now on BT, Sky got installed yesterday and O2 broadband activated itself in record time by activating just over 1 working day after we ordered it.

So how are we finding the changes. I’ll avoid talking about BT as a phone line is a phone line in respects of making calls so I’ll just talk about the TV and broadband.

TV

The main difference is probably the reduction in tuners in the sky plus box compared to the v+. There is the lack of HD as well but since we don’t have a HDTV and virgin media only have one HD channel that really isn’t a great loss.

The sky plus seems to function fine with the additional benefit being I can now set programmes to record whilst I am out from my iPhone. We also now have full teletext services which is nice (Yvonne wants to look at holidays).

Probably the only bad thing is the installers left some wires trailing that we need to tuck under the carpet at some point. Oh that and the sky plus doesn’t confirm when you press to delete a recording, it just deletes it. There was also an annoying rotating light on the front of the sky plus box when watching a sky plus recording but I managed to turn that off!

Broadband

Now this is probably where I would notice the difference as we have moved from a 20Mbit service to an up to 8Mbit service. Our broadband synced at 5.5Mbit last night but since then has increased to 6.1Mbit.

Oddly we have not notice too much of a speed difference. Probably the main reason for this is virgin media traffic manage their 20Mbit service and reduce it to 5Mbit if you dare actually try and use the 20Mbit service. So in actual fact taking this traffic management into account our service is now faster!

I was also concerned from the number of O2 broadband users experiencing slowdowns at peak rate. I am pleased to say however that so far we haven’t experienced this.

Conclusion

We’ve actually made a huge change by switching from having phone, broadband and TV with one supplier through cable to having them provided by 3 different suppliers through satellite and a BT phone line. So far so good though and this is saving us £15 a month on our previous prices. We also now get three small manageable bills rather than one chunky one.

Of course this saving could be negated as Sky gave us free sports and movies for one month to try and Yvonne is quite liking having the movies so we could end up keeping them. Oh well easy come easy go

Thank god I’m leaving

Just found out that my area is going to be a trial area for virgin media’s new traffic management which is even more fun and confusing than it was previously but now also seriously limits your downloads at the weekend if you download over 7.5Gb

Thank god my BT line should be installed on Friday and then I can sort out getting O2 broadband. If I hadn’t already cancelled my virgin media service this may have been the final nail in the coffin. If they don’t want people to use a 20Mb service they shouldn’t offer it (and they are even starting to offer 50Mb which will probably eventually get traffic managed down to 12.5Mb)

Full details of the new traffic management HERE

Vat Reduction – Well done virgin media

Just had a reply from my e-mail sent to the chief executive of virgin media, Neil Berkett about the reduction in VAT. I am pleased to say that they will be passing the reduction onto their customer base.

His e-mail to me was as follows:

Yes we will be reducing the VAT rate for all our customers from December 1st (per the pre budget) This may include the use of credits in the first instance as we prebill for some charges. As you can imagine this is not a trivial exercise and we are working on the exact actions as we speak!