June 18, 2009

Virgin premium channels go the fibre route

According to this exclusive over on broadbandtvnews.com Virgin Media TV is no longer dependent on satellite dishes to feed its premium content:
The new arrangement sees over 40 channels including Sky Sports, Sky Movies, Setanta Sports, ARY Digital, B4U Movies, Disney Cinemagic and TV5 directly fed through to Virgin’s UK headends via fibre [from Mediacenter Betzdorf in Luxembourg]. Previously Virgin has taken the signals straight from satellite.
Anyone noticed any improvement? I still personally suspect that this Luxembourg move and the setting up of the Virgin Media Entertainment subsidiary is taking advantage of some tax laws for the subscription channel services, but you never know. No word if it's to facilitate any forthcoming HD services.


redblew said...

I have noticed that Setanta Sports news is significantly better of late (not hard)I don't know if it is to do with this though. I assumed that they had just improved the feed but did think that this was strange considering the financial trouble that they're in.

Richardr said...

I thought that the Sky channels were currently picked up via a fibre link from Sky.

Sky and most other UK channels uplink to satellite from the UK. In Sky's case, the uplink to Astra is at Chilworth in Hampshire. There is no technical reason to pick up a UK originated signal by satellite in Luxemborg and then transfer it back to the UK by fibre.

It is clearly just a tax rouse, that, if anything, will lead to a degraded picture.