July 29, 2009

HD channels arriving July 30 - and C4 HD coming, too

Bloody hell...how's this for icing on the cake? Great news - congrats to the VM team for delivering big time. Here's the press release

Virgin Media (NASDAQ: VMED) today announced that Channel 4’s High Definition (HD) channel, 4HD, will join its HD line-up. 4HD was the first full-schedule HD channel to be launched by a UK terrestrial broadcaster and offers ground-breaking programmes including Skins, Shameless and Desperate Housewives in glorious High Definition.

4HD will be available to Virgin Media’s 3.5 million digital TV customers and joins the BBC HD channel, ESPN HD, LIVING HD, FX HD, MTV Networks International’s HD channel, MTVNHD, and National Geographic HD in Virgin Media’s linear HD line-up.

FX HD, MTVNHD and National Geographic HD are launching on Virgin Media’s TV platform tomorrow. ESPN HD will launch on 3rd August, with 4HD and LIVING HD coming soon.

Mark Schweitzer, chief commercial officer at Virgin Media, said: “Channel 4 is home to some of the UK’s most talked about and innovative TV programmes with a great mix of fantastic home grown shows and top imports, and we’re delighted to be bringing them in HD to our customers. We continue to evolve our TV service, across linear TV channels and on demand content, and our growing HD line-up offers a great choice from some of the best UK and US TV series, documentaries, comedy, sport and music.”

Sarah Rose, Head of Channel Development at Channel 4, said: “We want our viewers to be able to watch their favourite Channel 4 programmes in the format they want and across multiple platforms so we’re delighted to be launching 4HD on Virgin Media. Our catch-up service, 4oD, has been a great success on Virgin Media’s TV platform and, as we continue to invest in HD production, we’re bringing more Channel 4 programmes to more viewers in HD.”

4HD is a simulcast of the core Channel 4 schedule with a proportion of programmes produced and transmitted in the HD format. Programmes currently broadcast in HD include Ugly Betty, Come Dine With Me and Shameless as well as the best documentaries, current affairs, music and film. Channel 4 is committed to increasing its investment in HD production and the proportion of its schedule transmitted in high definition over time.

4HD will be available to all of Virgin Media’s TV customers at no extra cost, alongside the BBC HD channel. Virgin Media will make its full range of HD channels available at no extra cost to its XL TV customers.

Virgin Media customers will be able to watch FX HD on Channel 158, MTVNHD on Channel 310 and National Geographic HD on Channel 232.

Again, sorry I'm reporting this late and thanks to all those who wrote to the blog whilst I was sleeping in sunny ol' Santa Monica


lee said...

Well, I'm disgusted.

VM promised 3 channels in August and they failed to deliver....they've given us bloody MORE, and an extra channel (ESPN) with HD to boot!!

My WORD!!! Huzzah! (see, you naysayers, I said it would work out in the end ;-)

Adam said...

Great news, particularly about ESPN HD being free.
This may well be enough to keep me from switching to sky when my 12 months is up!
Unless i fall in love with HD football that much that i find it impossible to watch it unless its in HD!

mattbuk said...

I said it before and I am going to say it again. I am sure glad I decided to stick with Virgin when I nearly made the sky HD switch.

Well done Virgin and keep the HD Content coming!!!!

The ESPN Deal sealed it for me

Anth B said...

agreed, i didnt even think we would get the SD of ESPN on XL never mind the HD version! If UFC goes on ESPN i will be well and truly thrilled.

hen_broon said...

So where are they then?? ;-)

dmc5007 said...

Is there some connection between Nialli leaving the country and oodles of HD coming on to Virgin?

I'm off to put my foil hat back on and watch something in HD!

paulselby1 said...

Just been home and to be honest I was expecting the HD versions of the channels I already had as part of my (M) TV package - Living and MTVHD.

No such luck :(

Guess it's just BBCHD and CH4HD for me

Afront said...

From @virginmedia on Twitter:

HD lovers. 4HD is now available on Ch146 for customers with a V+ HD box. Enjoy!

Alexei said...

Great to have HD! Except some programmes dispalyed funny? On FX and 4HD shown in box format not widescreen even though V+ set to wide? The programmes I've seen so far like this is Family Guy, American Dad and The OC also they don't look HD?

Abhinav said...

hmm...yea, the quality so far on the HD channels has been good, but slightly underwhelming. Perhaps BBC HD had set the standards too high. However there is hardly any difference between the upscaled Channel 4 HD content and the normal Channel 4 content. Also, for some reasons my V+ box is responding very slowly to recorded HD programmes - is that happening to anyone else?

info said...

I actually worked for Channel 4 as an HD Production Company - http://www.saturnaliaproductions.com/ - I did some spots with a f900 camera in the US.

They are a good group of people and produce good HD programming.