October 18, 2014

HBO looking to cut the cable?

HBO is finally moving to confront the threat of Netflix in the US and is to offer some of its programming to customers who don't have a cable subscription via a new "OTT" (i.e. Internet) service. Is this the start of the end for the huge US cable industry and the tipping point for cord cutting? This article on The Register makes some interesting points http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/17/hbo_sends_shock_waves_over_us_pay_tv_we_go_ott_next_year/ .

October 14, 2014

BBC iPlayer HD disappears from V+

From the VM Community Boards:
The BBC is improving its iPlayer service across all platforms this year with some new features and benefits including moving to a 30 day catch up as opposed to 7 days. Our TiVo® customers will benefit from all of these new features when it rolls out on the platform later this year. For our non-TiVo TV customers, the BBC iPlayer will remain as a seven day catch-up service and HD shows [have been] removed [since] Saturday 12th July. But there is a silver lining as our non-TiVo customers will now have access to even more BBC programmes than ever before in standard definition.

"Sky America"?

Here's an odd one. There's a Virgin Media ad in the tabloid papers today and in the small print it says "Sky Atlantic, Sky 3D and Sky America not included with Virgin Media". There's been no announcement of any new channel called Sky America yet, but if it is "coming soon" for satellite customers it looks like we won't see it any time soon.

October 08, 2014

ITVBe to launch soon in HD

The new channel features reality programming from the UK and the US and is the exclusive home of ITV’s award-winning series, The Only Way is Essex. The channel also features original commissions including Seven Days with… and Dinner Date, plus US acquisitions including Ladies of London and Millionaire Matchmaker.  

ITVBe is available in SD to Virgin TV customers with the HD and +1 versions of the channel joining the line-up in the coming weeks.

Can't wait...

October 06, 2014

BBC iPlayer now has shows for 30 days rather than just seven

This from Auntie herself:
Shows will now be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days rather than seven, after the service was extended by the corporation. The move was announced in April but has now been put into effect. It has been introduced in time for the autumn schedule, which is traditionally one of the most popular times of the year for TV viewing.
Which is very good news if, like me, you go looking for something only to find it's disappearing before you have time to watch it. However if you find the iPlayer service bordering on unusable via Virgin Media (I find it good in SD but the HD playback is very unreliable) then it may prove even more frustrating.
I now use my Smart TV's iPlayer by default rather than the TiVo's. Ditto Netflix. I sometimes wonder if my TiVo is now an extravagance rather than a necessity...

October 03, 2014

BT Sport Extra arrives, via the Red button

If you are one of the few Virgin Media customers who still believes you are being short changed on the amount of sports channels we have, good news - another one is on the way.
TiVo owners with a BT Sport subscription can now get the new BT Sport Extra channel for no additional cost. (Media Boy is reporting it's now working on non-TiVo boxes too.)
The new BT Sport channel, which includes coverage of games from the Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Primera Liga and Brasileirao, can be accessed when watching either BT Sport 1 or BT Sport 2 via the Red button - you’ll need to head to BT Sport 1 and 2 at channel 547 and channel 548, BT Sport 1 HD on channel 549 and BT Sport 2 HD on channel 550 and hit the Red button.
It's not in high definition (I don't think any of the red button channels are) and the line up is hardly mass audience, but it will no doubt appeal to some.

ITV HD sync issues

This just in from Virgin Media:
We are aware that some customers may be experiencing Audio Sync issues on ITV HD, Channel 113.

Our networks department are currently in discussions with ITV regarding this.

We have discovered that changing the audio settings on your TiVo® may help with this in the short term.

To change your Audio settings just click on

Home > Help & Settings> Settings > Audio > Dolby Digital

Then select "Dolby Digital to PCM"

Should you be experiencing this, please could you reply to this post with the make and model of your TV, and if you use our TiVo® service, or another one of our set top boxes. 

September 20, 2014

Now TV Entertainment price rise

It was only a matter of time - anyone watching the last season of Boardwalk Empire or the first of Leftovers on Sky Atlantic via Now TV is in for a surprise. Sky is raising the monthly fee from £4.99 to £6.99 from October 16th. That's before those two series finish their current runs. Now you may call me a cynic but isn't that just bloody typical??

Wifi Buddy debuts for Android

What's this? A Virgin Media App that's for Android only?? Can it be true?
Apparently so. Wifi Buddy is not on Apple devices so Android fans fill your boots:
Meet your WiFi Buddy 
We all want superfast speeds when surfing the internet on our mobiles but sometimes it slows up when you’re out of a WiFi zone. That’s why we’ve created our Virgin Media WiFi Buddy app – exclusively for Virgin Mobile customers – that automatically connects you to public WiFi hotspots. It means you won’t eat into any of your mobile data and it’s much quicker than 3G, too. The app actively hooks you up to free access to tens of thousands of WiFi hotspots in the UK and more than 19 million worldwide. Sweet! It’s only available on Android handsets for now, so visit the link below to download from Google’s Play Store, and stream to your heart’s content!