July 13, 2009

Comment on the new four HD channels

Given that the four additional HD channels on their way to Virgin are going to be at no extra charge to XL TV customers I can't really complain about them. In adding FX, Nat Geo, MTV and Living HD there is something there for most viewers - of course there will be complaints, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time and at least we have been spared HD "showcase" channels like Luxe...
I'm looking forward to FX and Nat Geo and will probably have a look at MTV and Living. Howeverd the continued absence of Channel 4 HD and ITV1 HD, whilst neither is full to the brim with HD, is something of a disappointment. The former would give us access to a handful of films and US imports in HD, whereas ITV1 may be a damp squib but at least it has live football in HD in the autumn. I'm hoping that these, and maybe the HD versions of Eurosport and History, will follow very soon - if that's the case then Virgin Media will have a reasonable selection of HD channels to compliment the improving On Demand HD programming, all at no extra cost. It may still pale next to Sky HD, but it is a step in the right direction at last. And if the negotiations with Sky regarding Living HD result in us getting Sky One HD in return, I'll be a happy bunny indeed.
Encore, Mr Berkett, encore!


tvsersity said...

I'm not so easily pleased. Living is the worst kind of lowest common denominator garbage - 'ghost' hunts, 'psychics' and other trash. I wouldn't dirty my HDMI cables with it.

MTV... well that is possibly even more pointless. Are music videos even shot in HD? Come to think of it, do MTV even play music videos anymore, or do they just show abysmally bad 'reality' TV shows?

Nat Geo is much better, but I'd of liked a much broader range of documantary channels. History and Discovery are obvious omissions.

And finally we have FX, a channel which I personally have never watched. US imports can be good, (Mad Men on BBC HD being an excellent example of this), but they can also be awful. I shall have to see what they have to offer.

A step in the right direction then? Well it's a step in some direction, which is better than nothing I guess, but Sky still has a massive, epic, impossibly huge lead over Virgin which this does little to address. And why on earth isn't C4HD included in this initial wave? It's a free to air channel...! Madness.

Nialli said...

Living has some strong US imports (Grey's Anatomy, CSI, Boston Legal, etc) so I wouldn't dismiss it so casually. Yes it is aimed at women rather than men, but it complements FX in the limited lineup, MTV for kids/teenagers and Nat Geo for the whole family. Ahhh....nice.
Noticed this on the VM Twitter late yesterday:
"This is just the start - we're in talks with more providers and will announce asap - we just wanted to let u know about these first!"

styl said...

Is Sky Sports ever likly to come?

Andrew said...

Yes, a good outcome all round, I think; progress with these matters (legal and negotiation nonsense) takes times. Perhaps we will see Shy 1 HD - that would be good.

Anth B said...

Overall im really pleased with this it shows Virgin are committed to HD. This again is backed up with the no additional to to XL costumers.

I've been using the VM twitter and from the majority of answers most of them say 'some more HD channels we'll be announcing' referring ITV, C4 and Sky1 HD.

It looks like VM are trying with every provider and as the ball is starting to roll we could expect more to follow after the July/August channels have been released.

the_gaffer said...

As a recent SKY+HD convert I can tell you first-hand that the MTV channel is not even worth wasting your time with.

It shows mostly SD stuff, with the occasional (and heavily repeated) HD live concert (which BBCHD already does much better).

That said FXHD is great, and even watching SD cartoons like Family Guy is much sharper.

I'd probably be fairly excited were I still on Virgin, although I agree with Nialli that c4 and ITV are a big loss

OLU said...

VIRGIN MEDIA dont care about us with HD, why? why should they?
when we are paying them right now and we dont even have a singel HD channel, hope you'll not call BBC HD a channel. they close like 12.00 or so NO movies or good thing there and we paying for HD box, so upsetting

more like they gotten away with it

funy they not saying they would taken money when they start even us HD channels