September 30, 2009
Virgin Media's network was suffering problems this morning with cable subscribers in south London and the South East cut off, and the firm's own website - including webmail - down.
Apparently this was due to power problems were at a former NTL site in Winnersh, Berkshire.As of lunchtime, Virgin Media said services should now be returning.
September 27, 2009
Incidentally, they are also showing the Sky channels' HD tags too, which must be an error in the feed Virgin uses.
(I also noticed the last edition of VM's Electric magazine listed certain Sky Movies as being available in HD, which of course they aren't - unless you're a Sky HD customer.)
September 25, 2009
As mentioned on this blog earlier this week, Virgin has now confirmed the launch of Living HD on October 6th. Listings for that day's programming are here, and the full press release is below.
Virgin Media today announced that LIVING will exclusively launch in High Definition (HD) on its TV platform from the 6th October.
LIVING, home to the Next Top Model franchise, cult phenomenon Most Haunted and the break out hit of the year Four Weddings, is one of the UK’s most watched digital TV channels and will now be available to viewers in HD for the first time. LIVING HD will show some of the channel’s high-profile acquisitions to maximum effect, including programmes such as Ghost Whisperer, Private Practice, Boston Legal, CSI Vegas and CSI Miami.
LIVING HD joins Virgin Media Television’s line-up of great entertainment channels, including LIVING, Virgin1, Bravo and Challenge, and will be simulcast on Virgin Media’s TV platform from Tuesday 6th October. LIVING HD will be available to Virgin Media’s XL TV tier subscribers at no extra charge.
Mark Schweitzer, chief commercial officer at Virgin Media, said: “Our customers watch LIVING more than any other digital TV channel, so I’m delighted they will exclusively be the first to watch it in spectacular HD. LIVING has a powerful brand and a breadth of programming that works so well in HD. Our TV service continues to grow as we focus on content that both complements our existing line-up and benefits most from being shown in HD.”
Jonathan Webb, managing director of Virgin Media Television, said: “LIVING’s HD launch is a significant step forward in Virgin Media Television’s cross-platform entertainment strategy. LIVING offers some of the glossiest shows around and its HD launch will showcase our line-up at its most vivid and colourful.”
September 23, 2009
September 19, 2009
Carriage negotiations with Sky over Living HD continue and, despite the war of words that's flared up again over the Ofcom report, it has also been reported that the relationship between Virgin and Sky "is better than it has ever been". Okay, so the two companies start from a particularly low point but I'm still hopefuly that there's a "Living HD for Sky 1 HD" trade in the offing.
September 17, 2009
But is it going anywhere? The big selling point initially was that it was free HD for those with a dish, but it still only has BBC HD and a few hours a week of ITV HD whereas Sky, Virgin and the imminent Freeview HD have more. More comment on Freesat on the Home Cinema Choice site.
The BBC wrote to Ofcom asking it to consider whether the digital television HD signal could be encrypted via a so-called "broadcast flag" so that only selected PVRs will be able to record over Freeview.
The actual audio and video won't be scrambled, but the standard EPG data tables that set top boxes use would be encrypted so that only manufacturers that sign up to a new licence will have access to the right code, which is needed for recording.
September 15, 2009
September 14, 2009
Disappointingly, the Saturday evening showing of Lord of the Rings part one isn't listed as being in HD :o(
September 07, 2009
Returning to the channel at weekends are Strictly Come Dancing (this time, with the results), and Antiques Roadshow. There are channel debuts for Hole in the Wall, Countryfile, Waterloo Road and political satire The Thick of It. There's a range of new comedy, from BBC Two's Home Time, and series two of Beautiful People, to BBC Three's Lunch Monkeys and How Not to Live Your Life, as well as the channel's new horror title Harper's Island.
You'll find the majority of big BBC programmes for the Autumn on the channel, including Life, the Electric Proms, Lost Land of the Volcano, Emma, and The Art of Russia. As well as the Doctor Who specials, we'll be showing the animation series Dreamland, and the next Sarah Jane Adventures, and younger viewers may also appreciate the arrival of Shaun the Sheep and new Justin Fletcher (aka Mr Tumble) series, Gigglebiz, which is a bit like Little Britain for under 6s.
September 06, 2009
September 05, 2009
A poll conducted on this blog pulled 420 votes, but only 12% of respondents thought that 3D TV was "very important" whilst over a third said they felt it was a fad and not important at all, and another third felt it a niche service at best. 16% considered it moderately important but not essential.
I have to say I remain sceptical myself - as a glasses-wearer I've found 3D in its various guises to be an uncomfortable experience at best, but even the idea of the technology in new sets not requiring glasses doesn't set my pulse racing either. Some in Hollywood may believe it's the future but frankly I can't see it happening with movies apart from the summer comic book blockbusters and kids films.
Give me quality HD over a 3D headache any day...
September 04, 2009
Here's the URL for the HD programmes available online: http://www.virginmedia.com/tvradio/ondemand/new-tvlist.php?nocatchup=1&hdonly=1
If you click on a programme title it explains where you can find it in the maze of the EPG. Unfortunately, it doesn't tell you how long a programme is going to be available or what may be coming next, but it's a damn sight more efficient than scrolling through menus on the EPG trying to find the stuff. Appears to be fully searchable and sortable, too.
(Doesn't appear to include all of the Filmflex HD films though - just one or two.)
September 01, 2009
19.05 and 20.05 ER
21.00 Film: World Trade Center
23.30 Film: Hustle & Flow
01.40 Film: Mean Creek
09.25 Hollyoaks Omnibus (and every week day at 18.30)
13.00 Teen Choice Awards
14.50 Ugly Betty
20.00 Come Dine With Me
22.40 Film: Lucky Number Slevin
23.10 Film: Straightheads
23.35 Coming Up
00.05 The Kevin Bishop Show
13.20 Film: Batman (1966)
13.25 Film: Fantastic Voyage
01.15 Film: Against the Ropes
01.10 Film: Knights of the South Bronx
It's still not brilliant (but you can't blame Virgin for that) and it's disapponting that so many of C4's new homegrown programmes are still only in SD (Jaime Oliver, Dispatches, Location Location etc) but the films are most welcome.