Nialli's unofficial blog on Virgin Media's high definition, TiVo and UK Netflix cable TV services
That should just about sum up the bargaining power of VM's basic channels.Here's how the meeting went.VM Guy:Right, here's the deal. We're offering Britain's most popular channels, Bravo, Living and some other junk, and in return we expect Sky 1 HD, Sky Sports HD and Sky Movies HD.Sky Guy:Bwaaaah-haaaah-haaah-haaaaaaaaaah-haaaaaaaaaa...15 minutes later..... haaaaaaaaa... heh, oh, man, sorry about that. That wasn't very prof... aaaaaah-haaaaaaaaaaaaah-haaaaaaaah-haaaa...another 10 minutes later... eeeeh, heh, heh... phew.Heh... OK, I think I've got it now. Sorry, but that was just about the funniest thing I've ever heard. "Britain's most popular channels"? You guys crack me up.Tell you what, I can see you guys are desperate for some HD, so I'm going to give you Sky Arts and Real Lives HD, and I'll throw in a couple of other little HD goodies for you, because I like you.Virgin Guy:Deal!The next day at the VM staff meeting.VM Customer Service guy 1:Soooo, we can tell potential new subscribers that we'll get Sky's HD channels in a few months, then?Neil Berkett:Oh yes.VM Customer Service guy 2:Haven't we been saying that for years anyway?
Virgin Media... speechless... I give up
what in God name do we meet all then funny HD 4 at this point in time?can we have HD movies and sky One HD pls ? KEEP the onther art HD and shitThanks
2 yrs HD been out and look at all this little girls CHANNELS we still haveVM keep this shit up and am moving to sky am just about done with all this shit, not like we not paying 4 HD other THINKING OF UPADTING too 3D and we still dancing around ART HD? WHAT THE FUCK DO U WANNA DO WITH THAT?that should be the last thing u should be telling us about.if i see that shit on my channel list, then am off to skywho care's if art channel is in HD or not
Calm down chaps - it is only a rumour. Nat Geo Wild is the only one I have heard is likely. I do not think we will get Sky1 HD but both Sky Sports and Movies I hope are coming this year post-OFCOM, albeit at a price.Personally, I'd quite like Sky Arts 1 in HD, but I agree it's hardly a massive audience-puller.
remember guys, sky can only deal with Sky owned HD channels.Nothing stops VM going direct to the non SKY HD channel owners as they have done so with Discovery/EuroSports etc.VM know its Sky Sports/Movies HD channels we all want and the Sky1.If VM can offer all Non Sky HD channels to XL TV/V+ customers not not extra cost then I think we have a bargin.But expect to pay for Sports/Movies HD and Sky1 - these are premium channels which will cost us - hence the Ofcom investigation into a fair price.I agree with Erich on another post VM need to get off there backside re the other non Sky HD channels - but I'm guessing its down are they really worth it.Its not like there premium channels that we all watch day in day out.Trust me its only a matter of time until VM customers get full access to all HD channels across the playforms - at a price.I have spoken to my friend who works in one of VM's area head offices and can confirm no deals have being done, the only way we and VM Staff find out is via Press Release/internal communications.He did state that we should not expect any news on Sports/Movies HD channels until Ofcom investigation is either complete or Sky come to an agreement with VM on fair price.With regards to non Sky HD channels VM are in talks with those companys but he fully expects a slow drip feed i.e. one channel every month / every other month.One thing that he did state which I believe is on other Blogs is that ESPN America will be releasing a HD channel - included in current package - but ESPN are in early stages of this.V1 HD, Vm looking into but will be more like a BBC HD channel, it will only broadcast HD programmes with the remaining time the channel closed.This all depends on the new V1 line up, alot of deals for US shows etc but like anything V1 are competing against other channels.I think I have said it before and you can ask any Sky HD customer.They pay £10 for 38 odd HD channels of which HD content is not broadcasted all day.As an ex Sky HD customer I knew what prgrammes wee in HD on a HD channel and Sky give you this option to highlight all HD content.Trust me when we have HD Sports 9/10 it was only the live programmes or repeated programmes that were recorded in HD, the rest are in SD viewing.HD movies - again simple test will show what movies come in actual HD.As a huge sports fan yes I want HD but to be honest way everything up, if we VM get all HD channels and VM end up charging £10 is it really worth it.We get a shed loads of HD VOD, it superseeds anything Sky have, hence why Sky are completly overhauling there VOD, think its being called Anytime +/plusSo do we get a good deal when it comes it HD content I think so a no extra cost.
If VM can offer all Non Sky HD channels to XL TV/V+ customers not not extra cost then I think we have a bargin.That would be a bit of a bargain, and quite a selling point for VM to be able to boast about X amount of HD channels at no extra cost.However, it's worth noting that VM slipped in a price hike recently, which just happened to coincide with the Eurosport HD announcement, so HD may technically not incur an extra subscription fee, but it seems likely that the XL package will become more expensive in itself, as more HD channels are added.I agree with Erich on another post VM need to get off there backside re the other non Sky HD channels - but I'm guessing its down are they really worth it.VM's stated goal was 20-30 HD channels by June, as I recall, but maybe it's a capacity issue, until they free up space with the analog switch-off? I think VM can currently fit 2 HD channels on a single transponder, which normally holds 10-12 SD channels, and it would have made sense to get Eurosport out there now, as sports channels are obviously very popular, and there are quite a few big events, like Tour De France and the French Open coming up in the next few months.V1 HD, Vm looking into but will be more like a BBC HD channel, it will only broadcast HD programmes with the remaining time the channel closed.This all depends on the new V1 line up, alot of deals for US shows etc but like anything V1 are competing against other channels.Much like their mismanaged, underdeveloped VOD service, it's really sad to see what has become of Virgin 1. It was off to a slow start, then it showed some promise with some interesting US shows, but now it's mostly just Bravo 2 Lite. Old Star Trek reruns, Takeshi's Castle and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Quite pathetic, and obviously not HD material. It kind of sounds like VM want out of the TV production game, and just be a service provider. Virgin 1 was only created as a half-arsed replacement for Sky 1 in the first place, so I'm not sure I see them piling too much money into this channel.As a huge sports fan yes I want HD but to be honest way everything up, if we VM get all HD channels and VM end up charging £10 is it really worth it... We get a shed loads of HD VOD, it superseeds anything Sky have, hence why Sky are completly overhauling there VOD, think its being called Anytime +/plusVM's HD content is really quite pathetic, though. Random episodes of various old TV shows and movies just doesn't really cut it, and it's obvious from VM's own statements on the matter that this isn't what most VOD users use the service for.So do we get a good deal when it comes it HD content I think so a no extra cost.There's no question VM's HD offering is a good deal. In fact, it's a bargain, as I pointed out some time ago, but it still brings us back to my somewhat uncharitable chicken vs steak comparison. VM will sell you a reasonably priced HD chicken, but you simply don't have the choice of premium HD steak, like you do with Sky, and that's why VM is still a bargain basement service.I don't think premium HD movies and sports would appeal to the majority of VM subscribers, but they would put VM in a position to steal those more demanding customers from Sky, and that would be a significant shift in the power balance between the two, which is presumably a big part of the reason why Sky have set their wholesale prices so high. However, with high speed broadband in more and more homes, Sky could start to move away from sat and deliver TV services via people's existing internet connections, including VM's own, which would enable them to deliver their own VOD content to rival VM's. They already have their internet Sky Player, which I believe is on or coming to Xbox as well, so they may not be too far away from looking into an IPTV platform of their own. It will be interesting to see how big a deal 3D becomes as well.
What's the word on ITV HD on Virgin? Will it happen before the world cup? If I buy a Freeview HD box so that I can get ITV HD, it looks like I will have to watch STV HD because I live in Scotland. If it's STV then I may not bother, as they don't show ITV dramas any more and when England games are on ITV HD I expect STV HD will show any other game at all (or maybe an old movie).
Berkett said recently that he would be "disappointed" if Virgin didn't have the channel in time for the World Cup.
Thanks for taking the time posting your detailed comments, i've found them to be very informative, Cheers
ITV still refuse to create a HD stand alone channel, it will be via the red button - they learned a lot from the BBC HD channel release i.e. saves ITV money to go via red button instead maintaining a stand alone channel.The issue VM and Sky have is Freesat is a joint venture between BBC and ITV.At the moment ITV HD channel to unique to Freesat which is and maybe only one of its selling points.If ITV released HD to VM and Sky the only market they would have would be non VM/Sky customers. - Which is not a massive amount when you think most of us have VM, Sky or Freeview?End of the day you need either a freesat box or freesat TV and a satellite already installed or pay for one to be installed.You might as well spend the money on either getting VM/Sky.Sky customers can add ITV HD via add channels on the new EPG but it’s blocked for VM customers.
"Berkett also confirmed that Virgin is set to add more HD channels including Eurosport HD and Discovery HD, as well as the ITV HD service in time for the World Cup in June." http://mediatel.co.uk/newsline/2010/02/25/virgin-posts-record-figures-for-q4-2009/
I cought up with my friend who works in one of VM area headoffices.Virgin have issued a internal newletter recently stating that ITV HD and SKY 1 HD will be coming to the VM HD line up.As most of us know from 1st April the xl tv package is increased by £1.50.I can confirm that with Discovery/EuroSports HD coming on board from April there will be no extra HD fee for any channels added from 1st April for atleast a year - (Note this does not include Sky's Premium Sports and Movies HD channels) - the £1.50 fee also included some new channel line ups It also stated that Discovery, EuroSport. ITV and Sky HD channels are just a start to get VM to its 20+ HD line up.I did ask if a copy could be issued so I can scan and post but VM have blocked all Forward/Print methods.It also states that there is no dates set in stone but agreements have being made that these will be become avaivable.Official press releases will be issued during Mar&Apr.It also goes on that VM expects Ofcom to conclude its probe into Sky's premium sports and movies wholesale prices this month allowing VM to buy these products at a cheaper price.chief executive Neil Berkett also stated that any saving would be passed back onto VM customers. - this would be from this summer (VM buy in seasons)
also for those who have not seen the New V+ Samsung Box.Looks nice and about 20 times better than the old one.http://allyours.virginmedia.com/html/existing-customer/hd-tv.htmlVM will not be giving these to excisting customer but new customers when going through order can ask for samsung v+ box which the sales memeber will add a note for the instalation person to ensure he picks up the box from store.Also if your having problems with you old box and need someone to come round it may need replacing, just by luck the person may have one on the van.Otherwise is eBay or wait for the new TIVO BOXES COMING THIS YEAR.
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