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How to Fit a Smart Card in a Virgin Set Top Box

Updated February 21, 2017

Virgin Media offers digital TV service in England, delivered through fibre optic cable. Subscribers get a Virgin set top box that connects to their television. It is used to select TV channels and to watch, pause, rewind and record programs. The service only works when the set top box has a Smart Card from Virgin Media inserted into it. When Virgin Media upgrades your TV service, you will receive a new TV Smart Card to replace the old one. Your old card will stop working soon after, so you should put the new one in as soon as it arrives in the mail, which will come with a letter that lists your set top box ID number.

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  1. Power on your TV set and the set top box.

  2. Locate your old Smart Card. If you have a standard set top box, you will see the Smart Card sticking out of the front of it, or underneath a protective flap. If you have a "V+ Box," the Smart Card is sticking out of a slot on the back of the set top box.

  3. Grasp the Smart Card and pull it out of the set top box. A message will appear on your TV screen, telling you to insert your new Smart Card, or you won't be able to see any channels. It will also list your specific set top box ID number and will show a phone number to call if there is a problem with the Smart Card.

  4. Compare the set top box ID number displayed on the screen to make sure it matches the number listed in the letter that came in the mail from Virgin Media with your new Smart Card.

  5. Hold the new Smart Card so the side with the yellow arrow faces upward, pointing into the set top box slot. Insert the Smart Card into the slot. A message will appear on your TV screen telling you that the system is checking your details. Next, another message will appear, indicating that your new Smart Card has been successfully set up, and that your Virgin TV service will be available within 20 minutes. Throw away the old Smart Card.

  6. Warning

    It takes about 20 minutes for your new Smart Card to activate, so don't put in the new one at the same time you want to watch or record a program.

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Things You'll Need

  • Letter from Virgin Media listing your set top box ID number.

About the Author

Julius Vandersteen

Julius Vandersteen has been a freelance writer since 1999. His work has appeared in “The Los Angeles Times,” “Wired” and “S.F. Weekly.” Vandersteen has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from San Francisco State University.

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