August 29, 2010

Just had this when attempting to visit - anyone know what's going on?

Safe Browsing

Diagnostic page for

What is the current listing status for
Site is listed as suspicious - visiting this website may harm your computer.
Part of this site was listed for suspicious activity 2 time(s) over the past 90 days.
What happened when Google visited this site?
Of the 115 pages that we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 49 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time that Google visited this site was on 2010-08-29, and the last time that suspicious content was found on this site was on 2010-08-29.
UPDATE: Just checked Monday evening and appears to be back to normal now.

Returning US series

Here are the dates for some of the more popular US series returning Stateside. UK screenings are likely to follow, either same week (if on Sky1) or later.
Tuesday, Sept. 7
Sons of Anarchy, (Bravo)
Sunday, Sept. 19
Boardwalk Empire, (Sky1 - the new HBO drama)
Monday, Sept. 20
House, (Sky1)
Two and a Half Men, (Comedy Central)
Hawaii Five-0, (Bravo)
Tuesday, Sept. 21
Glee, (E4)
NCIS: Los Angeles, (Sky1)
Wednesday, Sept. 22
Modern Family, (Sky1)
Criminal Minds, (Living)
Law & Order: SVU, (Hallmark)
Cougar Town, (Living)
Thursday, Sept. 23
The Big Bang Theory,  (E4)
Bones, (Sky1)
30 Rock,  (Comedy Central)
Grey’s Anatomy, (Living)
CSI, (Five)
Fringe, (Sky1)
Private Practice, (Living)
The Mentalist, (Five)
Friday, Sept. 24
Smallville, (E4)
CSI: NY, (Five)
Supernatural, (ITV2)
Sunday, Sept. 26
The Simpsons, (Sky1)
Desperate Housewives, (C4 - 2011 UK debut probably)
Family Guy, (FX)
Dexter, (FX)
Brothers & Sisters, (E4)
Tuesday, Sept. 28
The Good Wife,  (C4)
Sunday, Oct. 3
American Dad (FX)
CSI: Miami, (Five)
Wednesday, Nov. 10
Lie to Me, (Sky1)
(I don't watch the majority of these so I may be wrong with some of the the UK channels I list - please let me know of any  mistakes and I'll correct the list)
BTW, the third season of True Blood won't be screened on FX HD until C4 shows the second season.

August 28, 2010

Mad Men Season 4 - BBC HD, Wednesday September 8th at 10pm

ABC "exclusive VoD on BT Vision"

It is reported both in Saturday's Guardian and Telegraph:
"ABC TV On Demand will launch on September 15; it's ABC's first VoD service outside the US. It will feature shows including Cougar Town, with new episodes coming onto the VoD service around two and a half months after its first broadcast on Living. Archive shows including Lost and Grey's Anatomy will also be available to view on the service."
But that's playing with the truth a little: Lost, Grey's Anatomy and that other ABC mainstay Desperate Housewives have all appeared regularly in Virgin Media's VoD service over the years, the former having the first three seasons available in HD on Demand when Sky1 disappeared from our screens. Although this may be a new deal with ABC direct, the shows they mention have been available through VM On Demand before.

August 25, 2010

Mad Men season 4 arrives on BBC HD in September

Not sure of the actual date yet, but it has been confirmed that the best show on TV aka Mad Men is back on UK screens in just a couple of weeks, courtesy of BBC HD and BBC4. What is more, the BBC has also secured the rights to AMC's new conspiracy drama Rubicon which looks pretty good too. Try the trailer above - can't wait.

August 16, 2010

Bond in HD on ITV

One quick one before I fly: ITV has signed a new deal with MGM and will now be showing the Bond films in high def (rather than just upscaled SD) on ITV1 HD. More details on Digital Spy

VMHD taking a week off

I'm off on my hols for a week so there'll be no posts for a few days. If you wish to keep up with any developments I recommend Cable Forum's latest Coming Soon thread or Media Boy's own blog. I'll keep the comments open on posts - please ignore the chinese spam that will sadly appear (as it does on all Blogger sites) as I won't be able to kill them whilst I'm away.

August 12, 2010

Sky HD basics to arrive in September

According to renowned source Big Red, we'll have five Sky HD basics added to the non-subscription line up in September: Sky1, Sky News, Sky Arts 1, Sky Arts 2 and Sky Sports News. Don't know a definite date yet.

August 10, 2010

Too much HD on Virgin for the V+ !!

There's an interesting thread on Cable Forum about the limited capacity of the current V+ to accomodate HD recording now that we've got so many channels. Here's what I've just posted:
I've taken to reducing the padding at the end of HD recordings (you don't need any if recording Sky Movies as they always end earlier than the published time, and ten mins padding if HD soon adds up) but it's still a big problem.
A film like Inglourious Basterds (or however it's mis-spelled) is two and a half hours long with no padding so in HD that's taking up over ten hours on the hard disk. Eight of those and your disk is full.
No chance of recording a series in HD for later viewing so I'm not recording anything off BBC HD at the moment - I record it in SD and if it is available in HD on demand when I get around to watching it fine, if not the regular BBC channels is good enough.
The only HD recordings I'm making are of movies, and I'm keeping five or six on a sort of rotation basis. At least with Sky and Film4 films are kept in such frequent rotation it's not a matter of miss it and you have to wait an age for it to return...
How are other folk coping? It's almost like VM are daring us to do (illegal) upgrades to the discs in our V+ boxes to accomodate recordings.

August 09, 2010

Good Food and Eden HD

UKTV has confirmed plans to launch high definition versions of the Good Food and Eden channels but, despite both channels being co-owned by Virgin Media, they will be exclusively on Sky.
Virgin announced last year that Good Food HD was on its way - why it should now be a Sky exclusive is anyone's guess.
Personally, I think Sky is having to scrape the barrel somewhat to try to meet that 50 HD channels landmark - I'm sure Sky customers would rather having Living HD or Film4 HD than these new channels. Truth is, there's still very limited high def content out there (as anyone who watched 4HD or Five HD will testify) and, aside from More4 and the BBC channels, there aren't many left for Sky to add as "exclusives" that will attract more customers to the platform.

August 06, 2010

Changes to VIP 50 Bundle from 5th August 2010

From the Virgin Support forum
Following the launch of the new Sky Premium HD channels, we have some great news for new and existing VIP customers. From 5th August, all VIP 50 customers will automatically receive the new Sky HD premium channels on their main box for no extra cost! This represents an additional £7 per month worth of value included with VIP 50, making our top pack the best way to enjoy ultrafast broadband as well as our complete range of HD channels. VIP 50 customers that have already purchased the Sky Premium HD pack, will automatically see a reduction on their bills, ensuring all VIP 50 customers get the same great benefits.
The VIP 50 is the ultimate Virgin Media package, so we’re making sure loyal customers on this package get the very best of all our services. However VIP 20 customers aren’t being left out - as a special offer, VIP 20 customers looking to take advantage of extra broadband speeds and the Sky Premiums in HD can now get free installation to upgrade to VIP 50 (£20 activation still applies). Upgrading to VIP 50 will mean even faster speeds, as well as the inclusion of Sky Premium HD with no extra monthly fee.
That's me on the phone then tomorrow morning  :o)

August 05, 2010

Comedy Central HD arriving on Virgin Media September 1st

Not sure whether South Park is going to look any better in HD, but anyway, the folk over on the Digital Spy forums were right and I was wrong. Here's the official Press Release:
Comedy Central HD to launch on Virgin Media
Virgin Media’s TV customers will be able to enjoy Comedy Central in its full High Definition (HD) glory as the channel joins Virgin Media’s growing HD line-up in September.
Comedy Central HD will provide viewers with the biggest and most exciting comedies available to the UK in glorious High Definition including Two and a Half Men, 30 Rock and South Park, in addition to new UK commissions. Virgin Media will also make some popular Comedy Central HD programmes available on demand.
Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media said: “We’re delighted to be expanding our line-up with Comedy Central’s brilliant new HD channel and will be making great shows like South Park available in HD and on demand too.”
Jill Offman, Managing Director Comedy Central commented: “We’ve always been the funniest channel on TV, now we’ll be the best looking one too.”
Comedy Central HD will join Virgin Media’s line-up on 1st September on channel 133 and will be available to Virgin Media’s XL TV customers at no extra monthly fee.

Samsung V+

If, like me, you're struggling with one of the older SA V+ boxes, this video may tempt you to try to get a Samsung V+ sooner rather than later. Channel and graphic changes are instant, whereas on the SA box you can wait for ages. The SA is definitely struggling with all of the HD I'm now enjoying - four restarts this week alone.
But should you wait for a larger capacity or TiVo? That's the dilemma. And there's always the chance that Virgin will only replace your SA V+ with another, perhaps even older unit. Decisions decisions.

August 04, 2010

OFCOM takes on BSkyB over movies

"First-run Hollywood movies are particularly important to competition in the pay-TV sector," said Ofcom. "This is because they are highly attractive to a large number of consumers, who want subscription access to premium high-quality movies as close to their box office release as possible. Ofcom is concerned in particular that the way in which these movies are sold and distributed creates a situation in which Sky has the incentive and ability to distort competition."
Ofcom is also concerned that Sky will have the ability to dominate the subscription video-on-demand market for premium film when it launches such services. "In the longer term we are concerned that as Sky develops its subscription video-on-demand services, its current market power in relation to linear channels could be transferred across to these new services," the regulator said.
More on MediaGuardian. One has to question how valid a two-year investigation by the Competitions Commission will be, given the arrival of internet-enabled TVs and other IP services. In fact, will the Tories keep OFCOM around that long?

August 03, 2010

Sky Movies HD - initial verdict

It took a five minute phone call to Virgin to ensure I had them, but I'm delighted to say I have the Sky Premium HD channels in all their glory. Watched bits of Coraline, The Boat That Rocked and Night At The Museum 2 and the contrast with the standard definition channels is remarkable.
I've long thought the PQ on the SD Sky channels took a nose dive when they launched the HD versions, and some quick comparisons yesterday proved that there's a massive difference even on a 32in TV at 720p. With Film4 HD I've found that there's a less notable drop in picture quality when you watch the regular channel, but on the Sky movie channels it's incredible.
Haven't tried Sky Sports yet - saving that for the Charity Shield match on Sunday - but the movies look great and well worth £7 a month in my book.

ITV 2, 3 and 4 HD channels announced for the autumn

ITV has announced that it will launch high def versions of ITV2, 3 and 4 this autumn. The new channels will become available to Sky+ HD subscribers, starting with ITV2 in October. ITV said the deal was non-exclusive and they were in talks with "other providers", which would be Virgin Media as it is the only "other provider" with the capability for paywall HD channels at the moment.

August 02, 2010

Cisco will provide VM TiVo boxes

This news from Broadband TV (click the link for the full piece):
Virgin Media has turned to long-term supplier Cisco for its first ‘TiVo inside’ set-top when the navigation technology becomes the cableco’s prime middleware later this year. However, plans to retrofit TiVo into the operator’s existing set-top boxes have hit a stumbling block after it emerged the technology was not suitable for all of the receivers currently deployed on the network.
A new Cisco personal video recorder is due to be shipped shortly before Christmas when TiVo will soft launch. The rollout is anticipated to get underway in earnest early in 2011.

Sky Premium channels arrive on Virgin Media...for some

Today's the day for those who've decided that a dozen Sky premium HD channels are worth the extra seven quid. I signed up online, but as of 8am this morning I was still without them - it seems to be a regional rollout so I will check again this evening.
Anyone else got them?

The name's Bond, upscaled SD Bond

Somewhat disappointed to find that the V+ disc-hogging ITV1 HD version of On Her Majesty's Secret Service was only actually upscaled standard def rather than the real deal. Picture quality was good but not worth keeping - especially as it takes up almost 12 (SD) hours of my V+'s disc.