Friday, May 09, 2014

Virgin Media V+ dead (bricked) - how to fix

Virgin Media (nee NTL) have been providing what I consider to be unbeatable cable broadband for about fifteen years now, and in that time the set top box provided for the television part of the Internet / Television / Phone package has changed several times.  The first box was a tiny little effort with a silly little remote control that didn't make much sense.  The next set top box NTL gave us came with a remote control that appeared to have been designed with the ability to always be sticky to touch as a priority.

The current set-top box we have is the Virgin Media V+ box, I believe it has been superseded by a Tivo box, but as plenty of other folk must still have the V+ box I'm going to share with you a little fix that might just save you a bunch of trouble.

How the Virgin Media V+ box died

I was watching telly and paused it so go and eat my supper (pizza it was) and when I came back the screen was black, but the little widget that informs the viewer that the program is paused was still showing on the bottom left of the screen.  I couldn't get the box to respond to anything pressed either on the remote or the actual device itself.  I tried the power button; nothing.  I pulled the power lead out of the back, left it for a few minutes and plugged it back in.  Nothing.  Now the V+ appeared to be well and truly dead.  No lights, no whirring, nuffink.

How to fix a dead V+ set top box.

I rang Virgin (by dialling '150' from my landline) and the operative was very sympathetic to my woes, and ran me through his entire repertoire of troubleshooting magic for the issue I was having.  This process involved asking me to switch the thing off and on twice.  After a brief period of presumed noodle-scratching (on his part) he kindly offered to send out an engineer.  When the engineer arrived he picked up the V+ box and as if by magic it sprung to life in his hands.  I was amazed, these Virgin Media guys are always polite and efficient, but I've never seen such a fast repair in all my life.  I asked how he was able to fix the problem so quickly, I'll leave his reply as the last line for this blog post:

'I just switched it on, you had switched it off; there's a power switch next to the power lead.'