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Details emerge on new V+ cable box

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Details emerge on new V+ cable box
The new version of Virgin Media's V+ personal video recorder will be a slimmed-down model from Samsung, according to documents leaked online.

Last February, it emerged that a new V+ box was in development and could have been released in August 2008; however, the release has been delayed and it is not yet known when the box will commence distribution in parallel with the existing fleet of Scientific Atlanta 8300HD boxes.

The leaked document revealed that the new Samsung 3110 boxes will run software based on that currently in use by existing V+ boxes, and that development work will continue on software for both the SA8300HD and Samsung models. A major software released codenamed "UK5" will eventually roll out onto all boxes to support Virgin Media's next generation TV products, which will launch in Kirklees, Leeds and Barnsley first.

In terms of hardware specification, the Samsung model offers far fewer connections compared with its SA8300HD predecessor. Component output has been removed, with HDMI being the sole high definition-capable outlet at the back of the box. Other connectors removed include eSATA - confirming suspicions that the connection, which would have permitted users to boost V+ storage capacity by connecting an external hard drive, will not be used - left and right phono, and the RF loop. It will, however, be equipped with a fan to better regulate internal temperatures and will permit recordings to be made from radio channels - a feature planned for the SA8300HD boxes in a future software release.

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