July 08, 2009

Six HD channels now testing on Virgin Media

According to Jasmeet:
The following are now in testing
  • VMTest1 - History HD
  • VMTest2 - National Geographic Channel HD
  • VMTest3 - FX HD
  • VMTest4 - MTVNHD
  • VMTest5 - History HD
  • VMTest6 - Eurosport HD
I cannot verify this but Jasmeet's normally on the money. (Please, no quips about VMTest5 - History HD being a +1...)
If this becomes the promised channels, with C4 HD instead of a second History HD channel, then that's a pretty broad selection. ITV HD for the football would be welcome, too.

20 comments:

skullwa said...

Who is Jasmeet?

Nialli said...

"Jasmeet", aka "Jasmeet 181", is a visitor to this blog who has a pretty good record on exclusives. S/he was the person who unveiled the specs for the Samsung V+ box http://vmhd.blogspot.com/2009/01/new-samsung-v-details.html. Media Boy on Cable Forum has also noted the HD channels testing

Esther said...

Do you think all customer (even ones on XL) will be made to fork out extra dosh for the HD channels?

lee said...

Whilst I agree it's broad, I don't think it nearly represents the major areas, i.e. movies and sports (Europsport I know, but some sports on there are obscure) so a bit of a miss on this one I think.

I say that bearing in mind ANY extra channels is a great thing, and that we are still seeing Ofcom wrestle with Sky, so let's hope it's a good sign (and now the bloody Tories are saying they'd strip powers from Ofcom - oh GREAT.....)

BikeNutt said...

Given that we won't see the Sky HD channels on VM any time soon, I think that's a good selection.

Eurosport HD would be of particular interest to me because of their excellent coverage of BSB, SBK & MotoGP...

Afront said...

I'd hoped for ITV HD and C4 HD but that's not too bad a selection, all things considered. If true this is the biggest and best news to hit VMHD... ever!

FX HD could be an excellent channel but I suspect it's more like UK's Sci-Fi channel i.e. a pale imitation of the premiere US equivalent.

Nialli said...

Couple of quick respones:
Esther - Virgin has said recently that new HD channels will be at no extra cost to XL customers http://vmhd.blogspot.com/2009/04/virgin-no-extra-charge-for-additional.html
Lee - Agree with you about the OFCOM/Tories development - watch Sky spin things out until the next election!
Afront: FX HD is a simulcast and has a fair amount of upscaled SD. But if anything it has better programming than the US version as it has a lot of HBO stuff (The Wire, True Blood, etc)
I think we'll see C4 and probably ITV HD too btw.
Thanks to Jasmeet again for the tip off, and just the usual caveat that there are no guarantees until VM confirms a launch date and lineup - we've all been disappointed in the past...

lee said...

That's a point, I want SyFy in HD :(

The Little Guy said...

Nobody should be complaining we asked for HD for so long and they are finally giving it to us.

A bit surprised that Living HD isn't there?

Scopes64 said...

Much as I don't want to complain, and I really don't, as after so many years they seem to be delivering HD channels. Sadly I have to ....

Is this it!! Whilst it might be ok for a minority I feel the majority will be very disappointed. At least I was hoping for ITV HD and Channel4 HD. I can count the times I will watch these channels on one hand.

Obviously this is my personal view and I hope other are over joyed (Doubt it) .. but for me, well I was hoping for better.

Nialli said...

As I said earlier, there's nothing certain about VM and these channels until we get an official announcement.

Joe said...

In this context, what does "testing" mean for us? What do they actually have to test? Are a select few getting these before they are rolled out nationally? Going by previous tests as a benchmark, how long would we be talking about before it happens (if it happens)? No complaints about the rumoured channel listing from me.

sammyjayuk said...

I would imagine that they're testing the equipment - encoders and multiplexers - to make sure it's stable, and perhaps also to tweak things like bitrates (if they're statmuxing, to see what combinations of channels work well together, because the picture quality of one channel depends on what the others on the multiplex are doing).

They'll also need to test the frequencies of the multiplexes, to make sure they can be received across all the different networks. Cable quality in some areas is lower than in others, which affects certain frequencies, so they'd need to be quite careful about it to ensure universal reception.

VM testing HD channels probably shows that they're now fairly confident about being able to bring more HD on quite soon - certainly, more confident than they've ever been before - I don't think they'd be willing to do the infrastructure work otherwise.

Sam

Rob said...

Although some previous indicated timelines were not met, the most reliable source on time frame must surely still be the company itself and guidance in the 1Q09 investor conference call was for half a dozen HD channels by Jul/Aug '09. We've seen rumours of a more specific data of 1 August. Now tests three weeks prior to that so all seems consistent..

Jasmeet said...

4 HD channels to launch on Virgin Media

Virgin Media has confirmed that four more high definition channels will join its digital cable TV lineup.

Living HD, FX HD, National Geographic HD and MTVN HD will all become available to XL customers at no additional charge. The first channel will become available at the end of the month, but no precise date was announced and it is not known when the others will launch.

Jasmeet said...

Living HD launch confirmed

Virgin Media has confirmed that Living HD will launch at the end of this month.

Joe said...

Wooooooooo! They're here! Well, soon!

BikeNutt said...

Slightly different line-up to what was speculated last week. Do we know if the others are coming? (HistoryHD EorosportHD etc?)

bigbiff said...

I WORK FOR VIRGIN MEDIA AND THE FOUR CHANNELS ARE AVAILABLE FROM THE 1ST OF AUGUST THE PICTURE BOX NOW AVAILABLE HAS 50% HD AND WITHIN 1ST YEAR STRETCHING TO 75%HD WE ARE AWAITING CONFIRMATION ON ESPN / SETANTA AND WILL PUT THAT ON HERE ONCE RECIEVE AN INTERNAL E-MAIL IN RESPONSE TO EUROSPORT ANDHISTOY CHANNELS MORE WILL BE AVAILALE IN OCT/NOVEMBER

bigbiff said...

as some of you may now know espn is now available on virgin media launched on aug 3rd also espn in HD and again is to bee free on xl tv within virgin. Also virgin have secured a deal with espn channels like espn usa football and espn classics also free with xl tv and many more. for the first mnth it will be given to all customers free to let them see the benefits and a taster of the new service. also 2 new HD channels are to be living tv and channel 4 and itv as well as mtv national geographic fx and sky one maybe also on the way....ofcom has investigated sky to lower premium rate channels and sky have been told to lower the percentage by 14% as they charge too much and try to monopolize those channels....bbc breakfast show shown that virgins broadband is twice as fast as adsl as the maximum speed any adsl line can support is 3.5 MB,..VIRGINS average speed is 8.5MB - 9.0MB
ALSO ...all HD IS STILL FREE WITH VIRGIN ,..and finally in KENT virgin media is currently testing a braodband speed of upto 200MB
(WOW ,..When will it end ??)