May 22, 2008

Band of Bother

The sheer incompetence of Virgin Media's management of its On Demand content has reached a new level with its posting of the High Definition episodes of Band of Brothers in many regions over the last few months.
This brilliant landmark series is often repeated, but that does not excuse the way it's been handled by Virgin.
In HD, I have episodes 1 -10 ... except 6. I've never had 6. I had two episodes of 5 at one point, but still no 6. In the end, with the clock ticking ("9 days left" it cheerily pointed out yesterday) I'm going to have to watch 6 in SD and gorge myself on the last four episodes in a flurry of Bank Holiday weekend viewing - I've only had the last three episodes a few days and already they're going.
Video On Demand is a fabulous, fabulous opportunity for Virgin to offer a genuine alternative to Sky and Freeview/sat, but it has to sort out its content loading processes for the service to be trusted by its viewers. No-one likes getting into a TV series and then finding it unceremoniously dropped prematurely by the provider. It's happened before (Lost, Ghost Whisperer, Night Stalker...pretty much everything in HD come to think of it) and it will no doubt happen again.
It's incompetent, pathetic, and cheating the paying customer.


Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more!!

The other thing that get's my goat is the CH4HD "VM offers content on it's VoD service" statement. They conveniently forget to tell you that it costs 99p per episode!?

How on god's earth is that a comparison to a free linear channel???? Pure marketing tripe!


Nialli said...

Good point sir. I'm not sure if C4HD is actually "free to air" at the moment - do Sky HD customers still get it if they cancel their HD sub?
I remember the first season of Brothers & Sisters being available in HD on demand for 99p each, but they were posted up two weeks after the latest episode was shown on E4 - madness!
How much would I pay for HD episodes? I currently watch Dirty Sexy Money, Desperate Housewives and My Name Is Earl on C4 - a month's worth of those at 99p each would set me back more than a £10 monthly Sky HD sub. Hardly great value.(Mind you, iTunes' £1.89 for a Low Definition version really sets the bar...)

Anonymous said...

Looks like all the Band of Brothers episodes are up and in order now, Not sure how many episodes there should be but atleast the ones that are there are in order and no duplicates.been like it for a few days in my neck of the woods(south east Essex)