January 17, 2009

New V+ "will be MPEG4"

There's nothing in the leaked document on the Samsung 3110 that indicates that the (likely) new V+ set top box will be Mpeg4 compatible, but a story over on TechRadar says it definitely is:
Although it has not been officially announced, it is the fact that the box will be MPEG4 that gives a true glimpse of the future for Virgin Media.
Let's hope that's accurate. The question then is how will Virgin roll out MPEG4 HD services. My guess would be that they'll look to introduce the newer technology with the new hardware as a premium service with additional HD channels. Depending on how many channels, it'll be either a monthly sub (similar to Sky's) or, if it's just a handful of channels such as those from C4 and ITV, a one-off install cost. The older Scientific Atlanta boxes then get distributed as straight PVRs with the single BBC HD channel as an HD "taster". Any other ideas?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

i agree with yu this will be the next enry for hd channels like sky hd i heard also tht samsung box will have the v+ feature without the hd aswell so two new boxes are coming

demented said...

I'm glad it's MPEG-4. However MPEG-4 just isn't needed for what cable want to do with HD. I'd say there's little business sense switching to MPEG-4 anytime soon. From a customers point of view it's a pain in the backside if there was loads to record though and the system wasn't.

Great finds these stories Nialli though. The only other thing is the HD size :-).

Anonymous said...

"However MPEG-4 just isn't needed for what cable want to do with HD."

If what they want to do is make money with a good business plan that doesn't involve paying for people to have new V+ boxes or making loyal HD-wanting customers pay "installation fees" to get new V+ boxes. That's where the transition to MPEG-4 could get messy (like the transition from analogue to digital, but without the majority of people noticing the difference).

But in general, MPEG-4 (for HD or for SD!) means more space. That space can can be used for whatever it is they want to with HD or with anything else, like more broadband bandwidth, more HD/SD channels, better quality video/audio, more VOD capacity...

demented said...

MPEG-4 could be used in some hybrid system to the headends or something. I state that MPEG-4 isn't needed at the other end as it's not. Analogue switch off will be enough to run an obscene number of HD channels and keep broadband going for a good few years. That's why Telewest went MPEG-2, as it made complete sense. It only doesn't as the merged company has fumbled the switch off plans and we still have 1 HD channel so people are saying well, we might as well go MPEG-4.

Anonymous said...

I only recently spent £150 on a V+ box purely for the HD content, understanding more channels were to become available. If Virgin expect to be able to charge again for an updated MPEG-4 box, I think they've underestimated how annoyed a lot of current customers are going to be, especially if that's the only way to recieve more HD channets.

switching said...

Completely agree with the last comment. Spent on V+ primarily for the HD content and am very dissapointed at the lack of channel additions taking place. Seriously considering a switch to freesat - got to be better with all the available HD channels - not to mention cheaper in the long-run.