August 21, 2008

Meanwhile, on Sky HD

Another day, another announcement from Sky on more HD channels.
I guess everyone who wants high definition services in the UK already knows that there's just one show in town, but this almost daily growing of Sky's offering is making even this cable veteran look twice. Having had my eyes popped by Armageddon in HD at the weekend, I'm hungry for more, but I won't find it on Virgin Media. FilmFlex HD? It's bloody expensive compared with Sky's £10 a month. If they offerred unlimited HD movies for £10 a month I'd bite, but no sign of that.
If it wasn't for the hassle and cost of changing suppliers (and my family's daily use of VoD) I'd be seriously tempted to switch...

22 comments:

dazza124 said...

I found myself on the sky website looking at costs...
oh what was thinking hehehehe

Splatz said...

At what point will Virgin change their minds?

When every other provider has lots of HD?

When significant numbers of customers have HD ready TVs?

When significant numbers of customers have left Virgin?

Nialli said...

Virgin are both financially and technically constrained with what they can do with regards to HD. If we had just some improvement from VM with HD I'd be happier. But like Dazza124, I've been looking on the Sky site this morning :(

Andy said...

I looked and looked and looked and then jumped, it was the right choice even for the extra £10. All the films etc is well worth it. Also not only Sky Sports HD they have Eurosport HD. VM make promises but I got bored with these and my tv was too good not to move to SKY!!!!!

jcwild said...

Well ... only 3 more months until I can switch. Looking forward to it already...

Afront said...

So it's come to this... even the guy who runs the Virgin Media HD blog is contemplating "defecting" to Sky.

I'm tempted again myself though Neil. Even just Channel 4 HD and/or ITV HD would keep me happy for now.

How about a post reminding us of the costs of HD? Then I can factor in Virgin's £5-a-movie vs. Sky HD or a Lovefilm subscription.

David said...

just looked at the sky offering - other than the 180 quid up front installation fee I can't see what's not to like - seriously tempted as we're going to get nothing out of virgin

Nialli said...

Yes, even the guy who runs this blog is considering signing up with the devil. (Of course, Mrs Nialli will talk me out of it as she's been watching On Demand stuff all summer and doesn't want a dish.) I reckon if I keep VM for broadband and phone, I can keep the monthly outgoing to under £100 a month with the full Sky HD TV package.
I've tried my best to get Virgin to listen to the clamour for HD, but frankly I've just about given up :(

Andy said...

If you ring SKY you can easily get the HD Box for £99 quid if you tell them that is what Comet are offering. Also I managed to get free installation but this takes some persistance. It's worth it, I was also with LoveFilm having Blu Ray's sent, no point the HD movies are excellent. I stayed with VM for Broadband and Phone.

demented said...

Absolutely crushing. Although I thought sky would stick to their aimed number of channels I didn't think it'd get there so quickly. I'm not that surprised because looking around HD prints of a hell of a lot of movies on the current non-HD movie channels seem to exist or have even been shown on Premier/Screen1/2. I suppose the only possible ray of light would be that at some point in the future Ofcom decide that a practical duplication of all rate card services in HD is not on and force them to sell them at a fair price. By that time virgin media may even have the capacity but not the will to add them.

The only bad things about sky HD are the HD wiping, the EPG and lack of VOD. The new EPG is out soon isn't it? and VOD is next year? :-(.

Carol Steele said...

It is not that expensive to switch - there are always offers available. I paid just £75 for the box (which is mine and can therefore upgrade to a much larger hard drive without fear of reprisals from Virgin if you updated their box) and a £30 installation fee.

As I don't watch any of the music channels, I opted for a package which includes the stuff which I actually watch - a mix of Entertainment, Knowledge and the two premium mixes (Sport and Movies), plus of course the HD mix.

What I gain is a huge increase in HD programming of most of my favourite programs. What I lose is 20Mb BB (but for what I use my BB connection for - mainly web browsing and occasional downloads of new drivers for my computer) I can live with that and of course Setanta Sports.
What I also gain is a saving of some £8 a week if I stick with Virgin for my phone and broadband or even more if I switch telephone providers.

So for me at least, it is a win-win situation to switch to Sky.

dazza124 said...

Nialli,

how about sending the results from this latest poll to VM.
I know its frustrating but even though i am still tempted i find myself sticking with VM.
As with Afront statement i also would be happy with small carrot dangled in front of me, Eurosport HD or itv hd, oh what the heck any HD....

Nialli said...

If I thought VM would pay attention, I'd do it, but the way they responded to the petition has made me think I'm wasting my time. I'll see what the final results are and maybe mail it to Virgin along with an updated petition (now over 1200 - when I sent it to VM it was just 800).
C4HD and ITV HD would at least be a step in the right direction. The On Demand HD content is the weakest it's been for many a moon :(

Andy said...

I hate to rain on your parade but C4HD is not that great, it is just dual cast. The programmes aren't that much different. I have noticed a slight difference on films but thats about it. It maybe a carrot for you VM customers, but bugs has already eaten most of it.

Nialli said...

I know that neither C4HD and ITVHD are nothing to shout about, but they will evolve and be worth having by the time they appear properly on Freesat and Freeview. I've posted before on how disappointing C4HD is, but surely it can't stay that bad forever

Carol Steele said...

Nialli, I sense a mood of great despondency and despair settling over you. I went through similar feelings, especially after the many years I have been with this company and its earlier incarnations (starting with Eurobell when it fist became available down here in the West Country). However, despite the promises of more HD channels and more VOD HD programs, Virgin have stayed with just one HD channels and a token VOD HD programs (probably a tenth of what was available when I first changed to a VIP package). That's well over £1000 I have given them over the past year - for package which has continued to shrink in value.

However, one bright spot is that when I telephoned to cancel my contract, they did say that more HD channels would definitely be broadcast in late summer - so you should be getting them sometime next month with luck - but for me at least, it was too little, too late.

demented said...

I too am thinking of leaving when out of contract. Even a mate's box wiping his recordings isn't putting me off. Maybe cable will improve but with their obsession with keeping 190 000 analogue customers (when 50 000 of them supposedly won't be able to be transfered to digital anyway) v 3 million normal customers is really hacking me off. Similarly concentrating on so called 50Mbs broadband and throwing bandwidth at that even though only 300 000 people have 20Mbs connections and trying to sign up Usain Bolt for a broadband campaign irks me when people have the temerity to tell us that High Def is a minority interest even though all the other things cable fool around with are.

I see cable improving - BBC HD will be 9hrs from April 2009. ITV have plans for a 5hr prime time HD service with upscaled the rest etc but these thing are ANOTHER year away and these are pretty much with cable doing diddly squat. Like Nialli I watch quite a few films and trawling through sites it looks like I may well be able to get some of the stuff I want on Blu-ray years before this kind of stuff comes to cable (and that's saying something).

Nialli said...

Not particularly despondent (HD's not that important!) but somewhat resigned to things. I'm giving Virgin until the end of the year, then I'll consider my options. Maybe Santa will get me a dish. Maybe he'll have a sack full of them...

Anonymous said...

The V+ Box is the only decent thing. Sky has a whole host of HD channels - why is Virgin still on one. The on demand stuff is okay but seriously, I want to see Dexter in HD. I want to see Sky movies in HD. All we get is BBC and its not that great. My main bugs:

1. Virgin HD content is poor. I want them to at least match Skys content of 'live' channels.
2. GIVE ME SKY ONE! Enough of this dumb dispute. Great shows like BSG, Lost and 24 are on and we are missing them because Virgin have some moral fight in them that no other broadcaster gives two monkeys for!!

I give Virgin till December. Then, I move to Sky!

Glyn said...

Have to say nialli i was on virgin media and finally caved in two or three weeks ago, cut down my vip package to £51 quid a month..(thats the lowest i could get it being in bloody contract still..) shoved the V+ box upstairs and got sky hd in with sky world for what will be £57 quid a month.

Have to say am loving it and got finally sick of VM ever getting any more hd content.

When VM contract ends next year will give the V+ box up so will save more each month.

Like some of you guys i kept looking at sky's website and hd stuff and thought "that's it ive had enough" and went to skyhd and would not change back now.

dazza124 said...

Does anyone know why the digital audio is sent seperately from the HDMI port?.

Anonymous said...

had been with ntl/virgin for years , hopeing and ewaiting for hd, like others loved virgin box and missus used vod alot. Chnaged to Sky HD £75.00 installed complete. Also Sky + in bedrom and Sky in one of the kids rooms. £55.00 month for 6 months all movies and sports and glorious hd channels everywhere. If only Virgin had HD with there box it owuld be a no brainer. Sorry but not going back until they got it.