Virgin Media launching 4K set-top later this year

UK-based quad-play provider Virgin Media has plans to launch a new set-top with support for UltraHD 4K.

The MSO confirmed plans for a new set-top platform while announcing its first-quarter earnings and a company spokesperson told What Hi-Fi? that the new box is coming later this year. In the meantime, Virgin Media will make upgrades, including "slicker menus," to its existing TiVo set-top.

Virgin Media's push into 4K comes a few months after rival Sky debuted its Sky Q service with support for 4K. Sky Q's set-top features a whopping 12 tuners to help enable the service's "fluid viewing" experience which promises to allow up to four shows to be recorded at once, the ability to pause and restart programs on different devices, and sync recordings on tablets. According to What Hi-Fi?, Virgin Media's new box is expected to pack in similar features.

As the battle around pay-TV 4K heats up across the pond, the U.S. market for live 4K content is largely being moved forward by DirecTV. The satellite operator is currently broadcasting a slate of MLB games in 4K after testing the standard out with limited broadcasts of PGA golf. DirecTV also recently announced three dedicated channels for 4K content including movies, documentaries and other live events.

For more:
- see this release
- see this What Hi-Fi? story
- see this Engadget story
- see this Techradar story

Special report: DirecTV's trials and tribulations in the early days of live 4K

Related articles:
DirecTV to show 25 Major League Baseball games in 4K
CSG branches into 4K with monetization support for Sony's new UltraHD streaming service
Dish brings Netflix 4K content to the Hopper 3, expands on limited UltraHD content options
DirecTV sets launch of three 4K channels