March 28, 2009

The week ahead of Channel 4 HD

Despite being heralded in a press release from Virgin Media back in 2007 we still don't have the high definition simulcast of Channel 4 on cable. Over the last 15 months or so the HD output from C4 has steadily grown, albeit mainly with films and US imports. This week seems pretty typical, so here, for curiosity value only for VM customers I'm afraid, is what recipients of C4 HD can look forward to this week:

21.15 Film Brokeback Mountain
14.10 Big Bang Theory
17.30 Time Team
20.00 Come Dine With Me
22.50 Film John Q
09.50 Brothers & Sisters
18.30 Hollyoaks (and at every night at this time)
00.55 film I [heart] Huckabees
10.00 Brothers & Sisters (and at every morning at this time)
22.00 Shameless
23.05 Big Bang Theory
23.35 My Name is Earl
20.00 Relocation Relocation
22.00 Desperate Housewives
23.00 Shameless
13.50 Film Cattle Empire
20.00 A Place in the Sun: Home or USA
22.00 Film The Ringer

It's better than most weeks on ITV HD and arguably on a par with BBC HD. Whatever your view on the C4 HD programming, any additional HD on cable would be greatly appreciated after such a long wait. Surely it must be truly be "coming soon"...


the_gaffer said...

Got a letter yesterday from Customer Services informing me that the XL will be going up by a pound a month. What have they done to the service to merit this?

Anonymous said...

i received the same informing me that my xl tv would be increased by £1.
so i went to their web site and built my own bundle to compare prices,only to find out that i was paying £2 more.
when i phoned to complain i was told this was open to new customers only, so i threatend to leave and got a £10 reduction on my bill every month.

joffa81 said...

i got the same letter on thursday. the other thing i noticed is that the only thing thats getting increased is the XL tv package everything else is staying the same. it seems strange that only the Xl tv is going up yet everything else is labelled as "NO CHANGE".

Anonymous said...

'yet everything else is labelled as "NO CHANGE".'

I've seen this info (that has nothing to do with Channel 4 HD but I guess the discussion is here so I'll continue) in an email a while back. The only subscription changes are XL TV +£1 and M Broadband +£2 (and £1.25 for paper bills, and free itemised billing, and increases in some phone rates). That's a short time before M Broadband's mandatory speed upgrade to 10MB. So to everyone who thought they were getting a free upgrade of broadband speeds, you have to pay for it or switch to another provider - well it's possibly still very slightly cheaper than a new subscription to a L Broadband package. At least you know what you're paying for, unlike XL TV.

sammyjayuk said...

Well, Sky have ~30 HD channels for £10 extra per month, £1 is 10% of £10 so where are our 3 HD channels, hmm?

That's obviously a very simplistic way of looking at it, but I - like others - fail to see anything significantly new (apart from ITV Player) on VM's TV service since I joined them last October.


Anonymous said...

Ghostbusters in HD on C4 next Sunday. Now that I would like to see.

Anonymous said...

"apart from ITV Player"

Which is included on all subscriptions, not just XL.

Nialli said...

I got the letter too, and was somewhat baffled by the additional £1. It's not for ITV Player as that's mainly catch-up services and they're available to all VM TV customers. Setanta Sports maybe? It wouldn't be for additional HD services as that would be an additional cost for V+ customers rather than XL TV ones. Very odd. I wonder what the customer split is for M/L/XL TV packages.

Nialli said...

(and, of course, there aren't any additional HD services yet)

joffa81 said...

"Ghostbusters in HD on C4 next Sunday. Now that I would like to see".

well VM customers will be able to in june as its out on Blu-ray then along with Ghostbuster 2 as a special anniversary edition as i cant see VM adding HD channels anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Well my Virgin finally ends tday as my 30 day notice period ends. VM just called and AGAIN asked why I left and when I said HD. The woman asked if I realised that Virgin may have MORE HD than Sky by the end of the year!! (HAHAHAHA)
I said I'd heard some empty promises but that one was king of the lot!!!

I said IF you have more HD than SKY by the ned of the year.. I'll com back at the end of the year!!

Sniper in the Trees said...

sorry..the post above was me... I forgot my damn blog password! Almost as bad as VM forgetting to fulfil promises!! (fnar Fnar)

Anonymous said...

Sniper, that doesn't surprise me. When I left I told them it was their broken promises over HD, the lack of more than one part time HD channel (BBC HD), the paucity of VOD HD. When they phoned me up a few days before the end of the contract they had put down a completely different reason for why I left.

If this is being done for every customer who cites lack of HD channels as the reason for leaving, it is no wonder Virgin think they are completely safe to ignore HD programming.

Alexei said...

Virgin may have more HD than Sky by the end of the year? notice how it was open ended with the sense that they also may not! Crikey, VM should be open and honest and say look we not getting anything till November so that we cant stop speculating and hoping that we get more (or should that be some?) HD channels. Basically were not anytime soon especially as they signed a deal witha company to provide services over the internet, which means there probably hoping to get rid of the boxes permanetly?

MattCaffeine said...

I got $ky HD installed after my VM contract ran out on saturday, so while I didn't want to make the switch, I spent yesterday in HD heaven to be honest. Cricket looked superb, and films were stunning. I kept being asked by Vm why i was leaving and every time i said lack of HD I was told, things were changing, but still no announcements. To top it, VM were supposed to be picking up my Standard and V+ box up this morning, but no-one has turned up. Shoddy!

Sniper in the Trees said...

Haha.. They're supposed to be coming for my V+box tomorrow morning, seems I shouldn't hold my breath then??!!
The Lady tried to tell me that although Sky "advertise" 30 odd HD channels, only 3 are actually HD. Hmmm... They sure as hell look HD to me!!! And even 3 HD channels (if it were true) is 3 times more than VM are pumping out from their "tower of power"!!

Still, they seem to have left my Broadband when they said it would be off by the 30th. So that's one failed promise I salute them for!! Haha!

the_gaffer said...

What's the monthly cost for a VIP customer wanting to switch to Sky HD but retain Virgin phone and broadband?

Sky HD appears to be £55 a month for all the channels. So if phone or broadband is over £32 a month then i'll be paying more

Anonymous said...

"What's the monthly cost for a VIP customer wanting to switch to Sky HD but retain Virgin phone and broadband?" says Broadband XL and Phone XL (and TV M, which is free with the phone, might as well keep it as a spare!) is £38.95, so that's £6 a month extra, dunno if you can talk them into slightly lower price with threat of total cancellation, but you're getting 30 HD channels for minimal extra while still keeping the faster broadband so if I were an out of contract VM VIP customer I know I'd want to get Sky HD!

Anonymous said...

I pay Virgin £27.30 a month for my 10mbps Broadband and phone line (free evening and weekend calls) and I pay Sky £53.75 a month making a total of £81.05. I used to have Virgin's VIP package which worked out at £86 per month (but is now £88 per month according to Virgin's web site) - hence I am saving around £7 per month going with Sky.

What I have lost:
Setanta Sports and downgraded from 20mbps Broadband to 10mbps Broadband. As I don't download large files (except occasionally as I beta test for a large company which involves downloading latest builds which can be over 1Gb at a time). I have also lost many channels which I never watched anyway. Also the PQ of ITV channels is pretty dire on Sky

What I have gained:
My Sky subscription is for the Entertainment pack, the news pack and the Movies and Sports pack. This gives me 31 HD Channels (32 when they add Nat Geo Wild on 1st April) and also ITV HD when I get the new EPG. I am also thinking of dropping the movies and sports channels in the summer, which will cut my Sky bill down to £27.25 which will still give me over 15 HD channels. To be honest I just don't watch enough movies as I find there are just too many programs on the other HD channels which I find of more interest and with the credit crunch meaning I get so little interest on my savings, I might have to make these cuts as the State pension of £100 per week doesn't go very far these days.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention I also have Sky's HD pack (which is included in the monthly bill I mentioned above).

Chris said...

I've just done it!

After months of waiting and waiting I've decided to ditch VM for Sky.

I've stuck with their phone, broadband and 'M' TV (freeview on cable basically) for £25pm and gone for the full Sky+ HD with movies, sports and all their channels (sky world) for £55pm. The full package with Virgin was costing me £70, so it's £10 more (and I don't get Setanta) but it's worth it for the 29 more HD channels.

I'm keeping the Virgin box in the bedroom and having Sky+ downstairs.

My contract with Virgin expires in 8 months so I'll reassess the situation then. I may stay with them, or see what Sky/BT can offer me - or get rid of Sky and come back to Virgin if they pull their fingers out.

Either way, come Saturday morning I'll be basking in the glory of 30 channels of HD!!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that the Nat Geo Wild HD channel is being added to their stable this afternoon :)