April 18, 2014

Sky Atlantic viewing

I've re-subscribed to Entertainment on my lil' NOW TV box for the new seasons of GAME OF THRONES and MAD MEN. Couple of comments:
For those who haven't watched GoT on Atlantic before, there are loads of ads in the live broadcast (the latest episode had 20 minutes at least). Better to watch on the catch up service. 
Picture quality is very good SD on catch up, a little poorer on the live channels. Better than SD iPlayer on my TiVo (I have break up on my TiVo's HD iPlayer btw - anyone else have problems. 
All previous seasons episodes for both shows are available via catch up. Nice for newbies and fans alike. 
It's the first time I've had NOW on for a while and I'm impressed. They've added some more Apps (Spotify, Flixster, Sky Store for on demand movies and a few others). IPlayer is better than my TiVo in HD, and, considering the box was a tenner and the Entertainment package I'd a fiver a month, that's pretty great value. 

April 14, 2014

TV Anywhere boohoo

I don't think that's Mr Freeman


Also, if anyone can't wait until Friday to see Man of Steel on Sky Premiere on Friday evening it has appeared already on Sky Movies On Demand in HD. Great soundtrack, so-so movie in my opinion. 

April 10, 2014

Netflix when abroad

If you're travelling abroad this summer, you may be able to access Netflix on your tech, but don't expect it everywhere unless you have a VPN or an IP masker like MediaHint installed. 
Netflix is available currently in the following nations are served by Netflix: United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland. More details can be found at http://netflix.fromabroad.org

April 09, 2014

Netflix - behind the new interface

I'm currently on a break in Amsterdam and was delighted to find that if can watch the Dutch Netflix selection of TV and movies in my apartment's TV (courtesy of my iPhone and cable). The Dutch selection is missing a fair bit of Brit TV but makes up for that by having full seasons of Lost and Mad Men, plus recent movies including Monsters University and Avengers Assemble. Which look stunning on the 40in Sony I'm viewing them on.
Anyway, whilst I'm away there's still bugger-all news about anything exciting heading our way on VM, so here's something I read a few weeks back about how Netflix tweaked the store interface recently to improve the whole experience: http://gigaom.com/2014/02/24/a-look-behind-the-curtain-how-netflix-redesigned-and-rebuilt-its-television-experience/.

April 08, 2014

Netflix 4K Ultra HD hits the UK, but not yet for TiVo

Netflix has begun streaming video in 4K Ultra HD resolution in the UK, launching the service with House of Cards Season 2, but you'll need to have a new 4K TV with the required HEVC codec.
So that's good news if you shelled out as an early adopter for a 4K TV from LG, Samsung or Sony as they have the latest Netflix app, allowing them to stream 4K content, but there is no word yet on a new TiVo app. 
Nor is there going to be masses of 4K content. A Netflix spokesman said "Initially, there will only be a few titles on Netflix available in Ultra HD. We will have House of Cards Season 2 as well as a few nature documentaries. We will add more titles over time, but it will be a slowly expanding offering."

April 02, 2014

Who wants the Family Filter?

Not many, according to the poll I ran on this blog in March. The poll had the largest vote I've had on this blog - 716 were good enough to vote - and 637 (88%) said they wouldn't be signing up for the Prime Minister's inspired mandating of his family values crusade to UK ISPs. Just 47 said they would be signing up.
Of course, much will depend on how the question is phrased when we're asked; if it's "Sign this if you think children accessing pornography is a bad thing" then most will sign not really appreciating that the Family Filter is a nonsense,  a clumsy, ill-conceived and ultimately false security measure being foisted upon us all. I hope Virgin Media will phrase the question appropriately.

April 01, 2014

Sky announces another satellite exclusive channel

Not content with depriving Virgin Media customers of Sky Atlantic and Game of Thrones et al, Sky has now announced another channel of premium import content that will only be available to satellite customers.
Sky Indian Ocean launches today and is a Sky exclusive. Featuring "the very best of Bollywood and Indian programming", including simulcasts of the latest soaps and every single episode of Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, all 1833 of them, which will be screened ten a day over the next six months.
Also announced, but launching later in the year, is the Sky exclusive Sky Barrier Reef. "This one's taking a little longer to get together," said a spokesman, "on account of high quality Australian programming being pretty much non-existent. Aside from Skippy and The Only Way is Tasmania, it's all shite to be honest. And don't get us started on New Zealand TV - strewth."
Rumours of Sky English Channel, featuring only Jersey-based programmes such as Bergerac, have again surfaced over on Digital Spy forums.

March 31, 2014

New stuff on Netflix on TiVo

Netflix additions recently will excite those lacking a Sky Movies sub - say hello to Avengers Assemble, Toy Story 3 and a host of other new arrivals. There's a refresh of the BBC archive too by the look of things, with the first two seasons of Sherlock available. Fuller details over at http://netflix.maft.co/.

No Horizon box for Virgin Media customers

At a recent Broadcasting Press Guild event Virgin Media head honcho Tom Mockridge said that the success and continued growth of Virgin Media TiVo meant that Virgin Media wasn’t planning to introduce Liberty Global's Horizon box to Virgin Media customers at any point soon.
Mockridge said: “It’s a bit like saying Virgin Media’s not a brand that Liberty Global uses in other markets. They haven’t turned up here and said ‘we’ll take away the red paint and slap Liberty on everything.’ “The [TiVo] boxes deployed today have been very successful here. The strongest mantra we take is that our customers like it.”
Sensible chap, and hopefully that will quieten the "Horizon on its way" doom merchants on some forum, as should the fact that more than two million of us have TiVo now.

March 21, 2014

Virgin Media boss on Amazon Prime talks

According to The Guardian, Virgin Media has held talks with Amazon about putting its video-on-demand service Prime Instant Video on TiVo and is " certainly open" to the idea, according to Virgin's boss Tom Mockridge.
Speaking at a Broadcasting Press Guild event in London, Mockridge was asked if he had had discussions to carry shows from Prime Instant Video. He replied that, "the honest answer is we have talked to them" and "we are certainly open to it", but " it takes two to tango" and said there is nothing to report currently as Prime is still "working out" their proposition.
He went on to say that Virgin had "no interest at all" in entering the fray over football rights, arguing that the company could secure the rights for its customers  through its relationship with rights holders such as BT, Sky etc.
The full article is available here: The Guardian