September 27, 2018

HD only channels arrive

VMHD regular Jez24 writes:
Some news might have slipped under the radar, so i thought i would mention it.
UK Gold has just started on Virgin, however that's not the big news. The big news is for the first time the HD version has replaced the SD version. They have also done this with the Free Sports channel. Virgin are the first broadcaster who can do this now they have replaced all the old non HD boxes. There is nothing to stop them ditching all the SD channels that have an HD version now, apart from BBC1 of course. We need our local news!

September 10, 2018

Virgin Media announces dedicated 4K ultra high definition channel

Here's Virgin Media's press release on a new channel launching next week:

Virgin Media is launching the UK’s first dedicated 4K ultra high definition (UHD) entertainment channel, which will start broadcasting from next week.
The Virgin TV Ultra HD channel will air a line-up of must-see shows in incredible picture quality from Monday 17 September.
The channel will be exclusively available for Virgin TV Full House and VIP customers with a V6 set-top box. These customers can tune into a collection of critically acclaimed dramas, beautifully shot documentaries and get up close to some of the biggest names in music with a selection of hot-ticket concerts; all in dazzling UHD detail and at no extra cost.
The schedule is packed with blockbuster entertainment series such as ‘Start Up’ with Martin Freeman, ‘Masters of Sex’ starring Michael Sheen and political powerhouse ‘House of Cards’ as well as wildlife and nature documentaries set in Zambia and Vietnam, plus gigs from the Rolling Stones, Sting and Imagine Dragons.
A number of these programmes will be broadcast for the first time on UK television, such as ‘Start Up’ as well as ‘Shut Eye’ with Isabella Rosselini and ‘The Art of More’ with Dennis Quaid.
To celebrate the launch of Virgin TV Ultra HD, comedian, author and ‘Love Island’ narrator, Iain Stirling will become the ‘voice’ of the channel for its opening night next Monday.
David Bouchier, Virgin Media’s Chief Digital Entertainment Officer, said:
“With the launch of Virgin TV Ultra HD we’re giving our customers the ultimate entertainment viewing experience with must-see shows in incredible, crystal-clear picture quality.
“From epic dramas and stunning documentaries to the front row feeling of a rock concert, our customers will get closer to the action than ever before – with four times the picture quality of HD. It really is the next best thing to being there.
“We’ve shown some of this year’s biggest sporting events in Ultra HD, such as the Champions League and Wimbledon finals and we’re now giving entertainment the Ultra HD treatment. It’s all part of our ongoing investment to give our customers the best way to watch the best TV.”
Virgin TV Ultra HD will air on channel 999 and broadcast at prime-time until the early hours. The channel will begin broadcasting from 8.20pm on the launch night.
Virgin TV Ultra HD programme highlights:
- ‘Start Up’ airs on Mondays at 10pm and stars Martin Freeman. The show explores what happens when a brilliant yet controversial tech idea gets funded with dirty money, from three entrepreneurs you would never find in Silicon Valley. Distributed by Sony pictures television.
- ‘Shut Eye’ airs on Tuesdays at 10pm and is a UK network premiere. It’s a darkly-comic look at the activities of storefront psychics and the underground criminal syndicate that controls them. The series stars Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice), KaDee Strickland (The Sixth Sense), Isabella Rossellini (Blue Velvet). Distributed by Sony pictures television.
- From the producers of ‘Blue Planet’ and ‘Planet Earth II’, Love Nature’s ‘The Big Dry’ will air Monday to Wednesday at 8pm during launch week. Set in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, this visually stunning documentary series follows the challenges the valley’s wildlife must overcome during the long dry season as they await the life-giving rains.
- ‘The Art of More’ airs on Thursdays at 10pm and is a UK network premiere. Graham Conner (Christian Cooke), a blue-collar former soldier turned auction house executive, leads a dangerous double life as he uses his secret past to beat the auction world elite at their own game. Distributed by Sony pictures television.
- ‘Masters of Sex’ airs on Fridays at 10pm featuring Michael Sheen as renowned obstetrician Dr. William Masters who hires sexually liberated, single working mother Virginia Johnson (Lizzy Caplan) as his assistant in carrying out pioneering, intimate research into human sexuality. Distributed by Sony pictures television.

August 15, 2018

Autumn price rises ahoy

Virgin Media has announced it is hiking prices for five million customers. We will be sent letters between now and the end of September outlining the changes, and the company has confirmed that anyone who wants to can leave penalty-free by providing notice within 30-days of receiving the notification.
Here are the main price increases:

  • Broadband-only – up to £3/mth.
  • Broadband and line rental – up to £3/mth.
  • The Player bundle – by £3/mth.
  • The Mix and Fun bundles – by £3.50/mth.
  • The Full House bundle – by £4/mth.

Anyone who signed up to Virgin Media after August 1st 2018 won't see their prices increase.
The increase will hit bills in either October or November and will be confirmed in the notification letter.

August 11, 2018

UKTV channels return to Virgin Media


The channels added during the UKTV time away have stayed. I can see only two that have been renumbered Quest HD  is now 217 and C&I HD is on 222

August 03, 2018

Premier League looks to ISP to curb use of illegal streaming

The Premier League league is getting tougher with those illegal streams of football in the forthcoming season. The High Court has issued a "blocking order" which will force the major ISPs (including Virgin, BT and Sky) to shut down servers which are illegally streaming games.
The Premier League obtained the order as part of what it calls "biggest ever crackdown" on the illegal streaming of its content and is part of a bid to "combat the sale and use of illicit streaming devices" including the Kodi Box, which lets people watch sports and films for free.
A similar order was granted for the final two months of the 2016/17 season and saw more than 5,000 server IP addresses blocked. The latest block will be in place for the entire 2017/18 Premier League season.
Premier League Director of Legal Services, Kevin Plumb, said: “This blocking order is a game-changer in our efforts to tackle the supply and use of illicit streams of our content.
“It will allow us to quickly and effectively block and disrupt the illegal broadcast of Premier League football via any means, including Kodi boxes."
Similar measures have also been used to block bit torrent sites such as Pirate Bay, but it's proven to be like that fairground whac-a-mole game - hit one and another quickly pops up.

August 01, 2018

Virgin Media's first 4K UHD channel has arrived

From the BT Sports press release:
BT Sport 4K UHD is now available to Virgin TV customers for the very first time.
This comes as BT Sport has reached a new multi-year agreement to continue broadcasting all of its sporting action to Virgin TV customers. This includes all 351 UEFA Champions League & UEFA Europa League games alongside 42 live Premier League matches, the FA Cup, European Rugby Champions Cup, boxing, MotoGP and much more.
Many of these major sporting events will also be shown in stunning 4K Ultra High Definition – which is four times the detail of High Definition (HD).
BT Sports 4K UHD is on channel 555 on the V6 EPG.

July 27, 2018

Virgin Media signs new ITV agreement

ITV has reached an agreement with Virgin Media to continue to make its channels available to the company's 4 million TV customers for the next three years.

The deal, which ends more than a year of discussions that were acrimonious at times, comes after ITV delivered an ultimatum to Virgin Media to reach a deal this week or potentially face a blackout of shows such as Love Island and Coronation Street.

More info at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jul/27/virgin-media-reaches-deal-itv-access-channels?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

July 20, 2018

Five HD channels going, six arriving

HD channels that will disappear on Sunday with the departure of the UKTV channels from Virgin Media:
  • W HD (191)
  • Dave HD (194)
  • Alibi HD (200)
  • Eden HD (249)
  • Good Food HD (280)
New HD channels arriving are:
  • Paramount Network HD (124)
  • Premier Sports (127 - subscription free for two months)
  • Quest HD (194)
  • C&I HD (200)
  • History HD (245)
  • Love Nature HD (247)
I'll miss Eden HD, which was a regular destination in our house.
That's five gone, six incoming. There are more SD channels going and arriving - get the full list of arrivals here: https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/News/UKTV-Channels-List/ba-p/3775318
It's interesting to note that the two sides in the dispute can't even agree as to the reason for the channels departing. Virgin waffle on about the On Demand rights not being available but UKTV point to Virgin offering a lower price for the channels. I suspect the truth is somewhere between the two. I also think this could be a big problem for both companies if the dispute rumbles on into the autumn - maybe we will see a speedy resolution and then we'll have some additional HD channels as well as old favourites returning?

July 11, 2018

BT Sport 4k UHD on Virgin Media from July 30th

A new multi-year agreement will make BT’s 4K channel available to Virgin TV Full House and VIP bundle customers at no extra cost, from July 30th.
Virgin and BT’s partnership has been extended in a multi-year agreement spells good news for sport fans who own a 4K TV, Virgin TV V6 box and subscribe to Virgin TV’s Full House or VIP bundles - it will see them automatically gain the BT Sport 4K UHD channel (531). New and existing Virgin TV customers signed up to its Player or Mix bundles will be able to add all BT Sport channels, including the 4K one, to their package for £18 per month.
BT Sport’s coverage includes UEFA Champions League, Europa League and Premier League matches, the FA Cup, European Rugby Champions Cup and MotoGP - some of which will be offered in 4K.
Here's the official Virgin Media Press Release