August 31, 2009

Which of the new HD channels do you watch?

It's been a month (give or take a few days) since the additional HD channels launched on Virgin Media and I've found myself watching a lot more HD of late, much of it on channels I'd rarely watched previously. FX HD may repeat programming ad nauseum but in True Blood it has one of the best US imports in a long time, whilst Nat Geo HD strikes me as a little more watchable than Discovery but still short of the better BBC documentary series. MTVN HD seems limited and upscaled to me, whilst Channel 4 HD should spark into life a little more once we start the new season schedules in September.
ESPN HD has been brilliant for the footie but I still find it's BBC HD that is filling (rapidly!) my V+ each week - the recent series of River and Coast are backed up on my disc and a few episodes of Desperate Romantics have been recorded in SD just to squeeze on. If you're recording just HD it's a meagre 20 hours of recording you can store, and unfortunately the much-lauded HD on demand with iPlayer just isn't up to scratch yet, predominantly filled with kids' series and soaps (why??!).
The V+ storage is a problem Virgin will get complaints about if they can't engineer a Samsung roll out and a switch to MPeg4 soon.
Another poll then: now that we have more than one, which HD channel do you watch most?


mattbuk said...

I have someone coming out today looking at my box due to it not allowing me to have a decent picture at 1080p, therefore having to keep it at 720p.

I asked the call centre to make sure its a new sammy, they did say yes - but it was the indian call centre i got through too.

Anyway back to topic, I mainly flick between BBC HD and ESPN HD

Dan said...

4OD and BBCHD are most-watched for me. I find MTVHD has the best picture, tho. Not really tuning into many of the others, just browse occasionally. Not interested in ESPN rarely watch FX.

joff81 said...

ive found myself watching ESPN HD as of late. not so much for the football but because the baseball coverage is awesome especially now its in HD.
to be honest Baseball never interested me before but the HD coverage is so good (better than anything else image wise) its a joy to watch.

tvsersity said...

I've been watching True Blood on FX HD, and Dexter. BBC HD would normally get plenty of viewing but since Psychoville ended I don't think I've watched it once.

As for the other channels, Nat Geo has a few things from time to time that interest me, but it's too heavy on the poor CG effects for my taste. The BBC make documentaries to a far higher standard. C4 seems to be 99% upscaled, and to be frank, 99.9% of C4's output is utter dross anyway. MTV seems pointless and as I have zero interest in sport I've not seen a single second of ESPN HD, nor will I ever.

Much as I loath Sky it would be quite useful to get Sky 1 HD in time for the new seasons of Lost and Fringe.

Dan said...

Which shows on 4OD are upscaled and which are true HD? Come Dine With Me is the only shows that feels HD to me. Big Brother feels upscaled, but perhaps all the cameras aren't HD in the house?

Re: ESPN. Maybe I've been unlucky, but everytime I look at that channel, the footage doesn't look HD to me. It looks quite muddy and dull. Haven't seen any baseball, tho - but a Premiership match I caught didn't look all that colourful and sharp.

OLU said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OLU said...

2010 Coming soon and we still hoping for VIRGIN MEDIA to give us REAL HD channel NOT all this upscaled, at list we are paying 4 an HD box nota upscaled box.

guess we should forget about are HD going real (HD 720P) OR full (HD 1080P) any time soon

Funny shy going have a 3D Channel NEXT yr, i guess we VM should not even think of any thing like that yet when we only've 5 CHANNEL 23%HD 77% upscaled. Was so looking Forward to VM HAVING HD b4 and now seems like a waste of time after i spend £1,500 Plus for my SONY HD hoping for the best HD not knowing it was not all about the TV

Atticus said...

BBC HD. My BD recorder has a 500GB hard drive*, and so BBC HD (and other channels) via Freesat suits me better than via the Virgin Media XL contract - I'm probably going to cancel the latter when the minimum contract period is up because I am now paying a high price for channels I rarely watch. Most of my HD viewing is from BD sources now.

*I bought this costly unit also because I wanted a Blu-ray player, and because I needed to edit and archive my growing collection of HD camcorder material

ChrisD said...

Mostly ESPN HD but only because of the baseball which another poster mentioned is now is true HD. And it is truly beautiful to look at :-) But now I find I can't bear to watch any of the games on ESPN America because they are 4x3 blur-o-vision. Apart from that some Ch4 HD (btw it says in Digiguide what programs are HD). Also Nat Geo HD. Not really touched any of the others as they don't show anything I am interested in. Just praying now that ESPN get some NFL rights...

Square eyes said...

Hi Nialli,

Firstly I think your blog rocks - great work

Secondly I do not mean to have a go at anyone or their own opinions, each of us is entitled to them. However say that when someone make a comment about which is factually incorrect, I feel it is important to correct them.

So with that in mind...

Olu, the HD service which VM provide free of subscription is not upscalled, it is HD 720p & 1080p. The only time a programme is upscalled is when that programme is broadcast in SD, but when viewed on the HD channel through HDMI it is upscalled to 720i/1080i.

Plus VM will be carrying 7 HD channels once Living HD launches later this month.

As for Sky and 3D TV, who wants to sit at home and look like a complete idiot with 3D glasses on, like you see when you go to the cinema, I know I don't.

Nialli getting back to the question in hand - JUST WATCH THEM ALL, they all offer something of interest, and when Living HD starts, well what can one say, the best channel on TV in HD.

Alan said...

[quote]and when Living HD starts, well what can one say, the best channel on TV in HD.[/quote]

very funny... i like your sense of humour.