September 24, 2008

2008 Prediction Update

Back in January I stuck my neck out and made ten predictions about Virgin Media and high definition services. Nine months on and some of those predictions have come true, some are wide of the mark, and one or two look even less likely today than they did when I made them. Over to George Dawes for the scores on the doors...
1 Channel 4 HD finally makes an appearance on cable
Hmmmm. I thought it may be the Spring, but we'll be lucky to get anything this side of Christmas now. Once the C4 play out services move from Sky to RedBee Media there may be a change, but I'm not holding my breath and I don't suggest you hold yours. What's also disappointing is that C4 has little more HD content than it did at launch last year.
2 ITV HD not on Virgin Media at launch
Bingo! But I was surprised as anyone that it didn't appear on Sky. Still a Freesat exclusive, although not really a "channel" as yet.
3 VOD HD grows in fits and spurts
Filmflex has grown, but TV Choice On Demand has actually reduced, now just a handful of HBO documentaries, some stuff from the History Channel and seasons of The Sopranos that are removed before you're half way through them. No word on Lost season 4 nor any of the promised Sky series in either High Def or SD.
4 BBC HD expands, but "events" take precedent over regular programming
Still too many repeats, but the coverage of the Olympics, Euro 2008 and Wimbledon was memorable.
5 HD remains a niche product
I don't think anyone would see it otherwise. Sky's HD growth has slowed and they've cut prices to attract more, but it's still around just 5% of their subscriber base. Heavily marketed and now with over 20 channels it's pretty good value at £10 a month, but it's still struggling to become mass market. Only a matter of time, but it's not quite the TV revolution perhaps anticipated by the home cinema press.
6 Sky HD will be impacted by FreeSat
Too early to tell. Once the Freesat+ boxes ship it'll be interesting.
7 Sky One and the basics return
8 OFCOM report hits Sky...and Virgin
No report as yet. Relations between Sky and OFCOM took a turn for the worse though with the Picnic sniping.
9 Tiscali TV and BT Vision struggle IP TV fails to make the grade
Neither has set the world alight and the former's rumoured to be struggling to find a buyer. BT Vision has made some inroads. Mind you, BBC iPlayer proves that web TV access can be successful, especially the streaming version.
10 Blu-Ray will become the new DVD HD standard
Well, I called that one right at least!

1 comment:

demented said...

Yeah well we're all in that boat :-(.

I'm surprised Sky HD hasn't increased it's subscribers quicker this year (really actually, should be interesting to see if it changes later this year).

It's not a completely hopeless situation re natural HD expansion as we know by November next year they'll be on freeview mux B granada region. To offer a service there any sane service would have to crank up the schedule before that rather than going from a few progs a week to 5hrs prime time overnight, so I expect ITV HD to start on other platforms a few months before then.

There are a few big blu-ray releases coming up. Annoyingly although quite a few are region abc there's still the gap between here and the US so one has to import some. The players have become not too bad prices either.