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Background Our Samsung box not only supplies us with the regular terrestrial channels such as BBC and channel 4, but also with virgin media or NTL cable. When I was about ten years old my parents made the switch over on our television from having four/five of the standard channels to maybe 30 with a little NTL box which was small and black. It seemed a common occurrence around then to update your television service and gain some more new and interesting channels. However when I entered my later teenage years the little black box gave up the ghost, this resulted in getting our new Samsung digibox through Ntl which has the XLarge package which includes music channels, kids channels, comedy channels and the natural geographic and history package. Packaging The digibox came in a large cardboard box with lots of polystyrene packaging a remote control and an instruction leaflet; however we had a man from NTL come out and install it for us so the setup was not complicated. I suppose if it was just the standard box with freeview on it, it would be pretty simple anyway as it is connected via a standard skart lead which can be purchased anywhere. The remote control we were not happy with however as the writing on it telling you what button did what wore down fairly quickly, buttons became sticky and it pretty much stopped working after a while, though as soon as virgin media took over this was soon replaced without too much difficulty. The remote runs on two triple A batteries which is a little old fashioned these days in that most things now function on double As The box itself The box itself is silver in colour maybe four inches high and generally smaller than the majority of videotape players so is quite smart and fits neatly into most television cabinets. It has a little front screen which displays the channel numbers in digital green much like a clock radio and a large on and off button that also glows green when it is on , red when starting up or on standby or not on at all when off or unplugged. It also contains basic back and forward buttons on its front though we have never had to use these as the remote control holds most of the power. There is a little card slot in the bottom left hand corner to apply your channel or service cards. In general the box gives a good picture, though sometimes things do become pixelated, though I would blame the virgin media service for this over the box itself, It also does not pick up HD channels as it is quite old nor does it always pick up RTE. Network2 or TG4 which can be a bit frustrating when there is a big match on or a new movie. However it is definitely easy to use, though it does get very hot so I would definitely say to turn it off every night if you don't already turn off all your electrical products as I would worry about it. I remembered with our last the machine became so hot that the channel card actually melted and I think that this lead to the death of our last box. The box itself had one payment to install it though because we are supplied with virgin media/NTL we have to pay a monthly fee for all the extras and the broadband. I don't actually know if this box is available any longer but me and my family have had a very good experience with it and would recommend it rather highly, providing you look after it.
We have V+ and two normal Virgin TV subscriptions in our house, the V+ box being downstairs in the living room, and the normal ones in both mine and my sisters' bedroom. I was out when they were installed, so I didn't see the boxes and didn't have a clue what they would be like. When I got in, I went in to the living room to find the V+ box was huge, and not the nicest looking thing I've ever seen. I went upstairs, expecting mine and my sisters' boxes to be something similar. To my surprise it was a smart little Samsung box, which I quite liked the look of! It's a pretty small box, silver in colour. It's pretty standard to any other digital TV box really, all the connections you need in the back, a slow in the bottom right hand corner on the front of the box for your subscription card, a little screen that shows what channel you're watching and some buttons. The power button is on the left hand side, it's a little square button. It's silver in colour and matches the rest of the box, to make it stand out it has a thing black trimming which does look pretty smart. The standby symbol in the middle glows red when the box is switched off and green when the box is switched on. The screen is a few inches to the right of this, and only shows information (the TV channel number) when the box is turned on - this is shown in green digits. A few millimetres to the right of this are the rest of the buttons, including the four arrows, a 'TV' button and an 'OK' button. These are well designed and form the same sized shape of the screen. In the top right of the box, the Samsung logo is displayed, and in the bottom right just below where the card slot is, is the model number of the box. The control, on the other hand, is the disappointment for me. You can tell this hasn't been manufactured by Samsung. It's the same size and shape as the old NTL control which I have never been very keen on. It has a ridge in the centre of the control on the back so that you can easily hold it, but if you hold it like this, I find that you can only reach the bottom buttons on the control rather than the top, meaning you can to hold the control in a rather uncomfortable way in order to reach all of the buttons. This control was either designed for people with extraordinary long fingers, or just didn't have the time and effort put in to it. The signal with the control isn't very good either. I quite often find myself repeatedly pressing the on button, and sometimes other buttons, because it isn't doing what I'm asking. Sometimes I'm tapping the on button over and over again just trying to get it to work, then all of a sudden the box will decide to turn on, and off, and on, and off, over and over again. Just seems there's a bit of a delay! Other than the control, I think it's a really nice box and the only thing I think can be improved is to release a new control and maybe send new ones to every household who has Virgin Media TV! Maybe they should have Samsung design and manufacture it!