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TRL Helpdesk - Sky or Virgin Media


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#1 Severus

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:00 AM

Our Sky reception has been a bit dodgy recently and I'm consider my other options regards to getting Sky tv. I've had the Sky engineers out to check the dish, the LMB, the wires and the Sky box and all seem to be working fine when they are there but I end up dropping one or the other of the input signals. Can anyone who has used Virgin media for tv and internet tell me what they are like to deal with?

Also thinking of downgrading my packages and getting rid of movies and perhaps even Sky sports especially if the AP will be on some BT channel next season.
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#2 RidingPie

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:06 AM

Hi Sev

right I can only talk about their internet service here and even that is their national service not fibre (so through a normal BT phone line). That was terrible! A peak times it dropped to 0.1mbps and ping time to fairly local servers in Leeds was over 600ms. If you are in a fibre area (which sadly my 2 cow village will never be) then their internet is excellent.

The one thing I will mention is that if they put the price up on you, you're aloud to cancel your contract without penalty. They did this to me 6 months in to having terrible internet and I quickly ran back to other providers. They did however remain professional throughout when I contacted them.

My friend however has both tv and (fibre) internet through virgin and he is a very happy.

#3 Severus

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:08 AM

Hi Sev

right I can only talk about their internet service here and even that is their national service not fibre (so through a normal BT phone line). That was terrible! A peak times it dropped to 0.1mbps and ping time to fairly local servers in Leeds was over 600ms. If you are in a fibre area (which sadly my 2 cow village will never be) then their internet is excellent.

The one thing I will mention is that if they put the price up on you, you're aloud to cancel your contract without penalty. They did this to me 6 months in to having terrible internet and I quickly ran back to other providers. They did however remain professional throughout when I contacted them.

My friend however has both tv and (fibre) internet through virgin and he is a very happy.

Thanks for the info RP. I'm in a fibre area so it should be fine.
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#4 John Drake

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:37 AM

I've used both at various times and found them both to be very good. I think I've been lucky as I've heard horror stories about customer service from others, but for me, it's always been ok with both companies.

Virgin used to have the edge in broadband provision and TV on demand, while Sky had the wider choice of channels and more HD.

I originally switched from Sky to Virgin to get fast cable broadband. Sky could only offer me 4Mb down the telephone line at that time. The decider for me in switching back from Virgin to Sky was that Virgin didn't have Premier Sports in their channel package when the RL Championships started being broadcast by Premier Sports last year. Not sure if they have it now though.

Since I switched, Sky have started offering fibre optic broadband too (via the BT Infinity network I think) and my experience of that so far is positive though it's not as tidy as Virgin's cable modem. Sky have also added TV on demand (BBC iPlayer etc) which was a big gap in their old service compared to Virgin, though Virgin also offer TiVo which probably just has the edge over the basic Sky+HD box.

Apart from price and channel line ups, where I still think Sky just about have the edge for me, I'm not sure there's that much to differentiate them now.

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#5 Saint Billinge

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:45 AM

Had some appalling service from Virgin Media, especially when dealing with overseas contact-centres.

#6 Derwent

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 09:50 AM

Our Sky reception has been a bit dodgy recently and I'm consider my other options regards to getting Sky tv. I've had the Sky engineers out to check the dish, the LMB, the wires and the Sky box and all seem to be working fine when they are there but I end up dropping one or the other of the input signals.


We had exactly the same problem for a while and had several Sky 'engineers' visit over a few months, none of which managed to solve it. Until one day when a proper Sky employee (as opposed to the contractors who get paid by the job and therefore rush them) came and said the cable from dish to box had been cut too short and was tensioning. When it tensioned it fractionally pulled the copper wire that goes into the box meaning although it was in it wasn't connecting properly. He extended the cable by 6 feet to give it some 'play' and slackened it all the way back to the dish. We've had no problems since.

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#7 Wolford6

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 10:05 AM

For a Rugby Union man, it has to be Sky. Virgin in Yorkshire doesn't provide BBC Wales, BBC Northern Ireland, S4C or BBC Alba. All have live free-to-air Celtic League games.

Plus you can get the Points West local news programme ... lead item: Gloucester man stunned after going to supermarket and finding that it had run out of brown boot polish.
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#8 Mumby Magic

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Posted 15 February 2013 - 03:01 PM

Well had both and i agree with Saint Billinge. In addition with dropping movies come in at an angle that you'd like it but can't affford it. We got it free for a year! Basicaaly they are pulling out the stops to stop people moving to Virgin. (Even mention that you are thinking of moving to Virgin and see what they offer you.)

Edited by Mumby Magic, 15 February 2013 - 03:01 PM.

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#9 metallithrax

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 10:40 AM

Our Sky reception has been a bit dodgy recently and I'm consider my other options regards to getting Sky tv. I've had the Sky engineers out to check the dish, the LMB, the wires and the Sky box and all seem to be working fine when they are there but I end up dropping one or the other of the input signals. Can anyone who has used Virgin media for tv and internet tell me what they are like to deal with?

Also thinking of downgrading my packages and getting rid of movies and perhaps even Sky sports especially if the AP will be on some BT channel next season.


Are there any channels that are keeping you on pay TV? After cancelling Sky TV, you can still use your box to receive channels although not all (check out freesat for list of channels).

I have Virgin broadband, and have rarely had problems. Used to have Virgin TV, but stopped that a few years back and currently use Freeview and Freesat.

#10 Severus

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 11:54 AM

Are there any channels that are keeping you on pay TV? After cancelling Sky TV, you can still use your box to receive channels although not all (check out freesat for list of channels).

I have Virgin broadband, and have rarely had problems. Used to have Virgin TV, but stopped that a few years back and currently use Freeview and Freesat.

All very up in the air at the moment. ATM I have sports, movies and ESPN. The only reason I have movies is because its only a few quid more if you have sports and the only reason I have sports is for the rugby. Next season BT have the rights to the AP but they haven't released any details of how you can get the channel yet. I'm quite tempted to cancel everything and just subscribe to this new BT channel if as they have promised they will show three AP games per weekend.
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#11 Wolford6

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 02:16 PM

I'm quite tempted to cancel everything and just subscribe to this new BT channel if as they have promised they will show three AP games per weekend.


I think you mean threatened.
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#12 Maximus Decimus

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Posted 16 February 2013 - 08:36 PM

Had some appalling service from Virgin Media, especially when dealing with overseas contact-centres.


I used to work in customer service for Telewest Broadband, who merged with NTL to become Virgin Media. Telewest really cared about customer service and their staff but as soon as NTL came in things changed massively and not for the better. I was lucky to leave very soon after the merger was announced.

#13 Phil

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 12:10 PM

virgin for me, the service we had from sky was appalling, too long a story to go into on here. Virgin give you a lifetime warranty on the hardware unlike sky who seem very fond of call out charges and charges for this that and t'other.

True Premier isn't in the package, nor is sky atlantic but I'll forego them given the problems we had in the past.
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#14 back to the future

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:05 PM

We have sky for tv and Virgin media for phone and broadband,we tried sky broadband but it was really poor,the kids PS3 was always losing connection,we now have the VM super hub and 20mb,excellent stuff

#15 hindle xiii

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:54 PM

... Sky have also added TV on demand (BBC iPlayer etc) which was a big gap in their old service compared to Virgin, ...

It's a bit annoying that a lot of catch up, especially iplayer, you have to download unlike on Virgin.

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#16 bobbruce

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 04:11 PM

All very up in the air at the moment. ATM I have sports, movies and ESPN. The only reason I have movies is because its only a few quid more if you have sports and the only reason I have sports is for the rugby. Next season BT have the rights to the AP but they haven't released any details of how you can get the channel yet. I'm quite tempted to cancel everything and just subscribe to this new BT channel if as they have promised they will show three AP games per weekend.


If I was you then I wouldn't change yet. Sky will almost certainly be carrying BT sports as there as a connection there already. It's also not unusual for Sky to keep new channels from virgin as a selling point for dishes.




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