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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The current issue(s):
Virgin Media Basic TV and Broadband has just crept past the £50/month (will keep increasing) and we've had issues with connection. TV is an old 37" Toshiba with 2 HDMI, Scart and no USB but when watching Sky it is done via a laptop with wires trailing across the lounge floor.

We can get 900Mb Fibre for £30/mth (though it will likely go up during the contract as these things do) or save a few quid and go for 150Mb for about £20/mth.

We want to be able to record shows and I'd happily spend some of the savings on a building a small PC to install stream/download from possibly with a DVD drive. Or we could get a PVR and live with Freeview. Thing is, we also have a little one who is capable of playing back recorded shows (and not to stray at this point) so we need something simple that they can operate (I'd like to have parental controls but that can wait for the moment). Also needs to be simple enough for grandparents.

I don't mind a little setting up but it needs to be cost-effective and semi-future proof.

Any thoughts? Happy to skip the OTA if I can get it legally and cheaply via BB.
 

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You can haggle with Virgin and see if they'll hold or reduce the current package price. My bro did this for my ma.
As for the other... don't know but my tv is now too obsolete for current beeb iPlayer etc, so will need to get an Android box to access catchup. Not a fan of wireless usb stuff eg Roku. Is it really worth recording shows etc when you can get so much on streaming-?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can haggle with Virgin and see if they'll hold or reduce the current package price. My bro did this for my ma.
As for the other... don't know but my tv is now too obsolete for current beeb iPlayer etc, so will need to get an Android box to access catchup. Not a fan of wireless usb stuff eg Roku. Is it really worth recording shows etc when you can get so much on streaming-?
I've haggled with Virgin before but we've had a few outages and the hardware can be a bit flakey at times. I've already haggled the price down a few times since we got it (we'd have north of £60/mth at least by now if I hadn't). Personally I'd likely be happy enough with a PC streaming/downloading everything, but it's more than me using it. The recording is easier for the little one or grandparents to access as they are less familiar with navigating things. The little one recognises the pictures of their shows but I want to keep it to ones we've chosen (or curated to coin a popular phrase). I want to effectively be the AOL for our child (they are exposed to far too much far too young imo).
 

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I ditched Virgin in favour of Vodafone a couple of years ago and I've only had one minor outage in that time when Openreach were doing some repairs. I've got the 100Mb package which is more than fast enough for streaming and playing online games like WoW. £20p/m.

I was looking not so long ago for a way to play films, etc. from an external HDD on the TV and the cheapest option I came up with was a mini PC (AWOW, £160 from Amazon). For such a tiny unit it's awesome, has WiFi built in, both 2.4g and 5g, 4x USB 3 ports, 2x LAN ports and 2x HDMI ports. Combined with a small format wireless keyboard and mouse it does the job perfectly.
 

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Coincidentally I've been thinking of ditching the TV from my Virgin package, on the basis I rarely watch anything other than the freeview channels anyway, and often on my laptop rather than the TV.

The first place I'll look for suitable recording software is VLC. It's free software I used to use back in the days before Youtube was so comprehensive. Short films or music videos were available to download from various sites, and VLC worked well.

I've recently seen VLC recommended as an easy-to-use recording tool so might go back to using it.
 

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You can haggle with Virgin and see if they'll hold or reduce the current package price. My bro did this for my ma.
As for the other... don't know but my tv is now too obsolete for current beeb iPlayer etc, so will need to get an Android box to access catchup. Not a fan of wireless usb stuff eg Roku. Is it really worth recording shows etc when you can get so much on streaming-?
Did the same.... Virgin were upping price to £72.... threatened to leave.
Basic TV,200mb broadband and landline for £43.
And a cheapie Android TV box from Amazon...... irreplaceable.

Virgin have been decent for us....only thing that bugs me is their price rises and the subsequent fighting to get it reduced for a "loyal" customer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Depends where you live. I've used hyperopic for years and never had a problem with them. homepage
They don't do streaming stuff though.
On my Freeview TV I can record straight to an external hard drive.
I'd not heard of them but they aren't an option here. Our current alternatives to Virgin all use CityFibre and range from Vodafone to TalkTalk to Zen to some I'd not heard of but seem to be more local.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Did the same.... Virgin were upping price to £72.... threatened to leave.
Basic TV,200mb broadband and landline for £43.
And a cheapie Android TV box from Amazon...... irreplaceable.

Virgin have been decent for us....only thing that bugs me is their price rises and the subsequent fighting to get it reduced for a "loyal" customer.
We've had outages and the box we have keeps dropping connection to some or all devices in the house with no logical pattern. Some days it's great and I've worked from home fine but others it can be really patchy (admittedly more on the older laptops but not exclusively). I'm back on it with the spreadsheet and looking at the costings to see what's best value but any feedback I get helps add context or gives me ideas that I should have thought of but didn't!
 

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We've had outages and the box we have keeps dropping connection to some or all devices in the house with no logical pattern. Some days it's great and I've worked from home fine but others it can be really patchy (admittedly more on the older laptops but not exclusively). I'm back on it with the spreadsheet and looking at the costings to see what's best value but any feedback I get helps add context or gives me ideas that I should have thought of but didn't!
What superhub you got?
When we admittedly did have a few problems we upped from 100mb to 200mb...thought that would sort it.....nope.

Only when they sent the Superhub 3 that things have totally settled down.
Can't remember the last time the boys moaned about WiFi speeds....thank God.

Virgin like to contact you via WhatsApp these days....you just have to stick to your guns and tell them what you want and how much you are willing to pay.....or else you are off.

They will give in.

Read bad reviews about the Superhub 3.....but it's worked great for us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'll have to have a look... It's white (that's such a non-techy answer but it's downstairs and I'm not!) I'll do a remote login... One mo... Hub 3.0. Had wondered about a Silicon Dust HomeRun connected to the Synology NAS as a possible solution but I now see you need to pay for an EPG to record. Not the biggest cost but it's in dollars and I wondered if anyone had used one?
Amazon.co.uk is just over £150 and would be cheaper (to build or run) than a PC. The annual cost for the EPG is about $35/year. I am aware that I could potentially put a tuner into my Synology but it's not currently near a TV connection and the compatible ones are "laptop" style ones that either protrude or have been known to be a little flaky or tricky to set up.
 

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Didn't wanna start a new thread.

Just for info....after Virgin and 02 joined forces they offered a wee promotion called Volt.
If you have both Virgin Broadband and O2 fill in a wee form and get double your data and the next highest broadband for free.
Did so and hey presto (y)

 

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I had a leaflet about that when I ditched my sim only Virgin Mobile in favour of an O2 sim contract. I now have 50Gb of data instead of 16Gb for the same £12 p/m cost. Funnily enough I ditched Virgin Media because their prices take the proverbial for less than average performance - their network is only fibre to the cabinet unless you have the fastest package. Switched to Vodafone, which uses BT fibre all the way to the router, half the cost of what Virgin wanted last renewal.
 

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I have Vodafone BB and mobile for £51.** a month. TV is via a FreeSat box (one off payment) and we have an Amazon Prime Firestick through which you can get Netflix. For me, there is more viewing there than I have time for, even if I sat at the TV most of the day.
 
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