United Kingdom: Virgin Media Offers Free HD Box

Virgin Media will allow its new top-tier subscribers ("XL tier") to rent its V+ HD DVR box free of charge, in an arrangement similar to an incentive already in play by a competitor. New British customers opting for the lower-cost tiers ("M" and "L" levels) will still be charged the equivalent of $10 a month. However, an installation charge of nearly $300 will apply to all new V+ installations, according to Digital Spy.

In one of those deals where existing customers apparently are not rewarded for their loyalty, current Virgin Media subs are only eligible for the new pricing scheme if they pay about $200 to cover the initial cost of supplying the V+ box.

A Virgin spokesperson denied their new free rental option for the HD box was a response to DBS competitor BSkyB's recent decision to scrap its monthly HD Sky+ box fee for both its new and existing customers.