As someone who has a problem every evening when my 20Mb BB falls below 6Mb, I'll be hot on the blower as soon as it's free. Enjoy a happy Hi Def easter everyone!
Virgin Media will drop premium rate charges to its technical support line in June, less than a year after they were introduced, the firm has confirmed.
An email doing the rounds inside VM says the move last summer to discourage irrelevant calls to the broadband support line has not gone down well. It confirms that the 25p per minute line will revert to a standard local rate 0845 number, or free by dialling 151 from a cable phone.
"This year, one of our key aims is to delight our customers by improving customer service - and boy are we serious about it," the author gushes.
Customers will be emailed about the changes in April and May.
A Virgin Media spokesman said today: "Whilst calls to the premium rate broadband support line are already refunded when there has been a fault with our network, perhaps that wasn't clear.
"We have been working hard to improve customer service and listening to what our customers say, so will now be removing this charge from the outset."
March 20, 2008
March 18, 2008
Whilst the weekly BBC HD offering is something of a mixed bag, the Easter weekend gives us a few treats in high definition to lift the spirits regardless of the weather.
First off is Saturday’s premier of the Pixar classic (and that ain’t too strong a description in my book); Toy Story 2. Fabulous. Starts at 5.40pm and a real treat no matter how many times you’ve seen it before.
Later that evening for those who like a documentary with a spiritual touch, there’s Shroud of Turin: Material Evidence (8.30pm). It’s twenty years since carbon dating proved the Shroud do be fake, and this documentary updates that discovery; who was the forger, why does the image still compel and, perhaps most interestingly, what is the new evidence that has cast doubt on the carbon dating? Interesting stuff.
On Sunday at 1pm the finals of the World Figure Skating Championships are on BBC HD. Hmmm.
In the evening, the two hour adaptation of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency finally arrives. Adapted by Anthony Minghella and Richard Curtis, this is a taster for an ongoing series adapting the somewhat pedestrian bestsellers. A costume drama of a different, brighter flavour I’m not sure how it will play to Sunday audiences but the African setting should be stunning in HD.
On Monday at 10pm BBC HD has The Curse of Steptoe and Son, repeating from BBC4 last week. It’s an hour of what the Beeb does best, and should look great in HD. Did anyone catch the excellent Stan last year? This is along similar lines; the sadness 'n' tears behind the laughter of some of our best-loved comedians. Should be one to savour, with further one-hour dramas on Hancock and Howerd in the coming weeks too.
Finally, as we head into spring there's more high definition sport promised: one of the FA Cup Semi Finals and the Final will be shown in HD, as will the US Masters Golf. Finally, Heroes season two is also due before April is out, presumably filling the slot that Torchwood will leave behind when it finishes early in the month.
March 17, 2008
March 15, 2008
'At last!' the V+ club shout; BBC HD is picking up a bit of pace again in the run up to Easter. In addition to Saturday's Six Nations marathon and a double dose of Torchwood this week, and the return of Damages for its final episodes, Auntie has raided the coffers and lined up some more tasty High Def treats for the next seven days.
First off, we've got a 'drama documentary' this evening on another of those historical figures surrounded by Myth; Cortes. According to popular legend, Hernan Cortes took on the might of the Montezuma and the Aztec empire with barely a starting eleven of men and horses at his disposal. But is that the truth? Find out at 9.30pm on Saturday.
Following that at 10.30 is a movie in HD, but before you get excited and rush to the V+ I should point out that it's one I've not heard of and is hardly a box office smash. Opal Dream is an Australian tale of ... er ... the disappearance of a nine year old's invisible friends. Curious.
Wrinkle alert: Delia is in HD on Monday at 8.30, with her "How to Cheat" series. I don't know why she doesn't just go the whole hog and turn it into a 3o minute ad for M&S ready meals - far more reliable and even quicker Delia, honest...
The new series of Gavin and Stacey arrives in HD - good to see almost all of the BBC's comedy output these days is shot in HD, even if it hardly shows the format off at its finest. Come Good Friday and we have no fewer than three films in HD thanks to extended broadcasting hours for the long weekend: The Magic Roundabout, Freaky Friday and High School Musical 2 will keep the kids happy and have the V+ stuck on channel 108 all afternoon.
I'll post in the next few days on the line up for the following week. Good news folks...Toy Story 2 is coming to your sole HD channel next weekend!
March 13, 2008
In SE London I'm now seeing:
2 Days in Paris
Gone in Sixty Seconds
The Hoax (£4.25)
Honey I Shrunk the Kids
Pirates of the Caribbean: At the End of the World (£4.50)
The Queen (£3.50)
Riser of the Footsoldier (£4.25)
At £4 except where noted...is it me, or do those prices reflect the film length? Over two hours, you pay 25p or 50p more? That's pretty pathetic...they don't do it with the SD films, so why do it for HD?
Incidentally, I've noticed that the A-Z listing in TV Choice on Demand is now listed in a different format, making it quicker to go through. Could this be a sign that they're looking to add more content shortly?
March 11, 2008
If you didn't know me better, you'd think I was getting excited...
(Incidentally, my previous post on the new V+ possibly being a Cisco box has been removed as that now proves to be inaccurate speculation.)
March 09, 2008
Here's the updated list for SE London this morning:
BBC (Home - 6 - 2 - 1)
The Blue Planet: Introduction
The Blue Planet: Frozen Seas
The Blue Planet: Coasts
The Blue Planet: Coral Seas
The Blue Planet: Frozen Seas
The Blue Planet: Open Oceans
The Blue Planet: Seasonal Seas
The Blue Planet: The Deep
The Blue Planet: Tidal Seas
Diana - Last Days of a Princess
Great Natural Wonders of the World
Hotel Babylon Season Two episodes 2 - 8
The Innocence Project 1-8 except episode 4
Planet Earth: episodes 1-5
The Quatermass Experiment
Rick Stein and the Japanese Ambassador
Filmflex HD (all £4 unless mentioned)
TV Choice On Demand (Home - 5 - 9 - 1)
Dog Fight 2 episodes
Engineering An Empire 3 episodes
Ghost Whisperer Season One 1 - 22
Mega Movers 2 episodes
Lost Season Two 1 - 23
Lost Season Three 1 - 23
March 07, 2008
What does this mean for the future of HD services on VM? To date, his strategic statements on the company's direction have made sound business sense but haven't been so encouraging with regards to HD and particularly more HD channels. His contention that Virgin's strengths are its broadband and On Demand TV provision cannot be argued with, but his view that high definition services are best delivered via On Demand rather than actual channels is more contentious, especially if this is to be a pay-per-view model.
We'll just have to see how this pans out. Regardless of what Virgin Media services you value most, everyone must agree that a strong Virgin Media requires strong strategic leadership and a period of sustained commercial growth. I for one am willing to give Berkett a fair crack of the whip before passing judgement. It's not as if the previous occupants of the big chair have been impressive - he's hardly got a tough act to follow!
March 06, 2008
HD falters in Europe
The recent closure of two of Germany's HDTV channels has cast a shadow over European hopes for a rapid transition to high definition, according to Strategy Analytics. The report concludes that Europe's television providers should concentrate their resources initially on building pay television rather than advertising-based business models in order to reach the critical mass of HD content and receivers necessary to make HDTV a self-sustaining business.
"It was always highly ambitious to expect advertising revenues alone to support HD channels in the early years," comments David Mercer, Principal Analyst. "Significant audiences cannot be built until the market has been seeded with millions of HD receivers - and this was always going to take a number of years."
The report finds that only five per cent of Europeans who currently own an HD-Ready TV are, in fact, watching HDTV channels. In spite of these early difficulties, the report concludes that the number of European HDTV subscribers will grow steadily towards 3.5 million by the end of 2008. By 2012, Strategy Analytics predicts that 20 per cent of all European households will be watching HD channels.
March 01, 2008
Tuesday 04 March
11:20pm - 12:00am
Drama series which takes an unflinching look at the world of advertising in 1960s New York. Top executive Don Draper's position is under threat from his competitors. An assignment to sell cigarettes after a medical report about their dangers has just been published doesn't help.
Criminal Minds Season One 1 - 22
Day Break 1-13
Lost Season One 1-25
Night Stalker Season One 1-10
And all the FilmFlex HD movies. I think it's a mistake (Night Stalker only turned up a week ago) and they're probably doing something to refresh things for March, but it's pretty typical of the appalling way VM manage their On Demand HD series.