September 27, 2011

Sky Classic Movies HD, Eden HD, Dave HD, Watch HD and Good Food HD all announced

A promotional screen for Sky Classics HD has appeared on channel 441. Media Boy has also written that we can expect the following changes to accomodate Eden HD and Good Food HD:  
Yesterday +1 on Virgin Channel 204.  
Eden HD on Virgin Channel 209.
Eden +1 on Virgin Channel 210.  
Good Food HD on Virgin Channel 261.

Media Boy has published the following October activities from his sources:
Oct 1st. Virgin Media are going to move Sky Premium HD Channels from £7 per box to £7 per account.
Sky Movies Collection customers will get a £2 reduction on Virgin Media (but not to viewers who have got Sky Sports with it or just one Sky Movies Channel package).
Virgin Media customers who have Sky Movies Collection with the TV M package will see their cost being cut by £2 to £26.00.
Virgin Media customers who have Sky Movies Collection with the TV M+, L or XL package will see their cost being cut by £2 to £19.50.
Oct 4th. Sky Movies Classic HD will launch on Channel 441 today at 6am.
Oct 5th. Yesterday +1 will launch on Channel 204 today.
Eden HD will launch on Channel 209 today. 5th. Eden +1 will launch on Channel 210 today.
Good Food HD will launch on Channel 261 today.
Watch +1 to move from Virgin Channel 125 to Virgin Channel 190,
Dave Ja Vu to move from Virgin Channel 128 to Virgin Channel 191.
Virgin will put an Slate up for Watch HD on Channel 125.
Virgin will put an Slate up for Dave HD on Channel 129.
Oct 12th. Watch HD will launch on Channel 125 today.
Dave HD will launch on Channel 129 today.


Darren Taylor said...

These are not exactly highly watched channels. How about History HD, Bio HD and Sky Sports News HD. We pay just as much as Sky TV customers so don't we deserve better than this.

campbellg said...

Virgin Media declared that Sky Atlantic was not a 'must have' channel - I would like to know in which universe they think these are 'must have'.

The truth is we are getting these channels because Virgin got them for sweeties - they are nothing but cheap crap and Virgin Media knows it.

Come back when you've got Sky Atlantic or ITV 2, 3, and 4HD - the channels your customers actually want - don't serve us up dross and expect us to be excited about it.


middlefocus said...

Left Sky a while back and moved fully to Virgin. While Tivo box is very good it lacks one main feature we loved about Sky - that's being able to use an extra RF feed to use the remote eye in our bedroom. If TiVO technology is so hyped as it should be why is this not possible? Being the main advocate of the switch I also get it in the neck for no longer having Sky Atlantic. Frankly, listen up... it is a MUST HAVE channel and I'd be happy to increase subscription to get it.

Darren Taylor said...

Unless Virgin Media introduce channels like Sky Atlantic, Sky Sports HD 3+4 ITV 2,3 and 4 HD Universal HD History and Bio HD they will continue to lose customers to Sky. It's quality content that people are after not cheap dross. Good Food HD how many people will watch this channel? not many. We pay a lot of money to Virgin Media every year for what? Surely they must be able to afford some decent channels. Everything is always on the cheap, Sky must be laughing their heads off.

manu76 said...

so that`s three channels, not the five we were expecting...still, musn`t grumble, its better than nothing..

David said...

Darren cant blame vm if sky are with holding channels like they are with atlantic sky sports 3+4 HD

Krankor said...

This is great news. Thanks for the update.

tredman said...


get one of these, willallowyouto use rf and magic eye from any box

Harkaway said...


I use an RF modulator to send a signal from another PVR around the house.

You can also use a SCART splitter to send to either the RG modulator or I use an old VCR. You can use its RF feed from the source being fed by the split SCART (usually L1).

Only downside is no remote control.

martine93 said...
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martine93 said...
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campbellg said...

David, Sky aren't witholding Sky Atlantic, it was offered to VM who refused to pay the asking price, whether it was too high or VM are wanting it too cheap is the question.

Regardless, VM have made a hell of a lot of money out of flogging their channels and their share in channels and we are not seeing it invested in new content of any quality - good food, eden and a couple of + 1 channels, do me a favour, these are cheap rubbish which Virgin hope will appease an increasingly disgruntled customer base.

Meanwhile Sky customers are about to enjoy season 2 of Boardwalk Empire.

David said...

they are withhold atlantic as smallworld too asked about it check this out

post 13

Jezler said...

How do we still not have itv2 hd????

martine93 said...

smallworld have not offered it. Virgin Media have been offered it

martine93 said...

Channel has been confrim as in talks with Virgin Media by insiders:
-Sky Atlantic

howardmicks said...

Where the hell is universal HD,DisneyHD+DisneyXD HD an we end up with this crap.Roll on march when my tivo contract runs out,Sky here i come !!!!!!!!!!!!

Moroboshi said...

Surely these are just so virgin can claim they have more 'HD' channels, even if they are just upscaled archive rubbish.

Sky Atlantic is the elephant in the room but alas Virgin are still too blind to see it.

Square eyes said...


Do you not have a additional box?

reason for asking, because with Tivo you get an additional box which you do not have to pay rental for.

If you have not got a box, I would suggest contacting VM and complaining - asking the question why was one not installed or why you were not told you could have one for free at the time of getting Tivo.


Don't forget we all have different tastes so not all the channels will agree with everyone, I watch a lot of Dave, so I am looking forward to it(couldn't give a toss about Atlantic), but again more channels are going to be added so don't panic and lose your heads, just be patient.

gsituffers said...

vm xl tv 24.50 sky extra 25.00
tivo 3.00 sky hd 10.25
30mb bb 15.06 20mb bb 7.50
l/r 13.90 line rent 12.25
tu24 8.00 talk unlim 5.00
= 64.46 = 60.00
+1 room 6.50 +1 room 10.25
= 69.96 = 70.25
+2nd box 6.50 +2nd box 10.25
========£76.46 =========£80.50
hd channels or not better faster bb with vm +tivo blows sky+hd into last year-ex sky+hd sales dept employee

Glenn said...

hi virgin viewers (ITV 2 ,3,4, HD)
should arrive in november i was told

SW6Badger said...

I am happy to see more HD channels on Virgin. I would of rather had Alibi HD then Dave or Good Food.

I would also like the other ITV channels in HD.

sibod said...

As has been repeatedly told to you lot many hundreds of times, Sky Atlantic was offered to Virgin, but at an unrealistic price.

Of course, nobody has revealed what that price is, but it has to be significantly higher than would make sense for Virgin to offer it and remain competitive.
Excluding Tivo and Sky HD, there's barely 50p difference between the two top tier packages on both providers to the consumers. Given how competitive the market is between the two, I dont doubt Vrigin are running at a very low margin on those packages.

So if Sky are asking, say £5 extra per subscriber, that makes Sky seem considerably more attractive to a Virgin customer.

Sky can easily absorb the costs of a channel they won into their own platform, ESPECIALLY if they see it as a way of enticing people to their platform in the first place.

So even if Virgin give the OPTION of subscribing to Sky Atlantic on it's own, it makes them look poor value and thus people are likely to say "
Sod that I'm off to Sky coz its cheaper' and the remaining few that cant go to Sky are too few to make it viable!

Virgin are never one to shirk competitive pricing adjustments, look at the sudden drop in Tivo pricing on launch after Sky dropped the Sky+ HD pricing, and the change of terms for the HD subscription for sky movies and sport?

On top of that, sky Atlantic really is a niche channel - with only a couple of shows getting reasonable viewing figures, certainly nothing to return the £150million investment by any stretch!

If Virgin are not getting as many requests for then channel, they might see that as a reason to hold out longer, too.

So blaming Virgin for all the ills of the earth (Or 'Lack of HD" is all well and good, but Sky have a lot more to do with this.

martine93 said...

Glenn were you told by a insider or CS ? Could these be the channels testing on channels 890,891,992 ?

martine93 said...

Alibi HD launches on Sky and Virgin Media in 2012.

John Simmons said...

Glenn, can you confirm ITV2/3/4HD for November please?

martine93 said...

I have sent a email asking peter chapman asking about ITV2,3,4HD

Someone was told ITV 2,3,4 HD was coming to Virgin Media in November ? Is this true ? It would be great news if it was true.

Dear Martin
We haven't made any announcements re ITV HD channels.

Peter Chapman

Associate Director, Content Acquisition

I replied that email

Will i have to wait and see "Smile"

I'm afraid so, I cant give you any information we haven't made public

Peter Chapman

Associate Director, Content Acquisition
It looks ITV 2,3,4 HD is coming and have not made public yet

campbellg said...

Sibod - what proof do you have that Sky charged an unrealistic price? Was it just because Neil Berkett said so?

Your arguements are nothng more than conjecture.

You also go on to say if we were offered the choice to pay extra for it it would make them look bad - what, it would make them look worse than not having it at all? Hardly!

I don't blame VM for all the world's ills, I just blame them for their inability to secure quality television for their customers.

Only a couple of shows on Sky Atlantic get respectable ratings - outside the terrestial channels this is the same for most, furthermore, Sky Atlantic only has a maximum of 10 million viewers, unlike others which have a maximum of up to 16 million including VM and Freeview viewers.

Frankly, that reasoning, which VM have peddled out does not wash with me at all, it's simply trying to excuse the gaping hole in their channel content.

middlefocus said...

Thanks to Tredman Harkaway and Square eyes. You folks have opened up some possibilities there. I have an old VCR which might do the trick, will investigate the distribution system and will call Virgin. Dont recall being asked about a second box but would be interested. Thanks big time.

howardmicks said...

Not being funny matey but are universal hd,the 3 disney hd channels and itv 2,3+4 all being offered at unrealistic prices?
As for sky atlantic all the polls that i see on what channels customers want sky atlantic is top,Surely is better to rethink rather than lose customers?

lusky said...

Did sky not pay extra to ITV for exclusivity on 2,3,4 HD and do they not also have a stake in ITV? Genuine questions not sarcasm.

with regards to atlantic if we all calm down and look at from a business point of view we can kind of guess what has happened

1. Sky offered it at a fair price and Virgin think they can do better an/or don't think it would be popular enough with its own customers

2. Sky paid over the odds to ensure they got the content ahead of channel 4 etc and now want anyone who carrys it to share in this and Virgin say No chance

If it is Number 2 then I know some people might think Sky is right as fairs fair, but they would be wrong. A distributor will only pay what a channel is worth to it, e.g. Sky Living is worth a great deal and attracts a lot of viewers so virgin know they need this and pay accordingly and it is the same for Atlantic, it doesn't matter what Sky paid for these programs, it only matters what it can pull in in viewers and how many virgin customers would watch it. Now it has less viewers than Sky Living so should cost Virgin less than what they pay for that. Do you think Sky think that? probably not but until Sky can attract more viewers to Atlantic it's value is low no matter how much Sky spent on content.

People really need to start asking themselves who pays for this, Sky 1 showed the 3rd series of Glee and got half the audience than E4 which is expected and would mean they get a lot less revenue from Ads than E4 did. How can a channel that gets les Ad revenue outbid a bigger channel? simple all of us pay far to much in subscriptions.

It's not about Sky V Virgin it's about sky charging high prices so they can pay over the odds to guarantee content and then charge you more to see it. I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's time sky was broken up into two.

sibod said...

@ lusky

Bang on!

The fact is, Ofcom/Office of fair trading or whatever it is, views Sky as using it's monopoly to shut out competition - either by unrealistic pricing or by exclsuivity deals.

I would say the evidence squarely points at Option 2 in your list.

campbellg said...

Conjecture once more.

Of course Sky Atlantic gets less ratings than Sky Living, Sky Living is available to a lot more people.

Also, if Living is such a great product why didn't Virgin hold onto it and play Sky at their own game - with some exclusive channels of ther own virgin would have had a far greater hand at the negotiation table - as it is they flogged it to make a quick buck and the result is that SKy hold all the cards in terms of channels - Sky has a monopoly because VM sold it to them, and the result is VM customers suffer.

I am no lover of Sky but nor do I take virgin media at their word - I wouldn't trust Sky or Neil Berkett if they told me grass was green.

Sky charging too much, virgin media too tight - either sounds plausible.

sibod said...


You reply with the accusation of conjecture with some of your own!

The fact is that Virgin are not offering something that clearly hands their key competitor a "tick box" advantage. Either they are patently stupid or Sky are making the terms unfavourable to Virgin.

it is far more likely then, that it is the terms Sky are offering Atlantic under that make it unfeasible for Virgin, which means that either:
1. It'd push subscription fees up higher or:
2. Push their margins down so wafer thin that they cant actually make any money from the product.

As for Virgin holding on to Living, etc - well, there's a a simple answer to that: They could not afford to!

To make that option viable, Virgin would habe had to splash out millions on programming, competing directly with Sky for the likes of GLee, Fringe, HBO content etc. Sky have proven they can outbid far bigger broadcasters like Channel 4 for programming if they want to - so how could Living possibly be any better???

So far from being a 'fast buck', it was a sound business decision.

It's no secret that Sky either funds, or owns most of the UKs multi-channel output - nobody else can afford to!

When Virgin announce huge profits and massive margins on every customer on TVXL etc, then you can claim they are tight. Meanwhile Sky are waving Sky Atlantic in front of Virgin customers, and posting record profits, and facing monopoly charges from the government watchdogs.

Kevin Lloyd said...

Can I just check whether I have understood a quite separate point about the future pricing of the Sky Movies packages? Is the post from media boy saying that anyone who has both movies and sports will see no change in price but there will be reductions for people who have movies alone (in various permutations)? Or have I just misread the post?

streaky_7 said...

That's how I read it and find that more annoying than not having Atlantic!

I'm a businessman. Not in this industry but a businessman nonetheless. And I have walked away from deals that brings me nothing. VM have to make money at the end of the day.

They will not keep Atlantic from us unless it didn't mean business sense.

Yes some say people are leaving to go to Sky for Atlantic. But how many would leave VM if they put the price up another £5-10 for one extra channel as Sky would then be cheaper? How long would VM last if they take on Atlantic and make a big loss on it.

I want Atlantic as well but it's not always as simple as VM are tight or have no idea what their customers want. For example, I'm happy with the newly reported HD channels - a welcome addition to the growing HD out there. But some couldn't give a damn. Hell, their are people on this blog that don't want Atlantic. We are all different and have different views so it's not clear cut as all the customers want it so just get it.

And VM have to make money and havero judge what would bring in more money - or stop the most losses!

I want it

campbellg said...

Virgin media are losing customers due to the lack of investment in TV content, Sky invest in TV content and as a result their numbers go up. Speculate to accumulate.

It would be nice if VM could realise once in a while that customers, like shareholders, are also stakeholders in VM.

Virgin media have been making a profit despite a drop in numbers, they made a ton of cash over selling channels and what do they concentrate on?

Superfast 100mb broadband - they already have the fastest and best in the land, 100mb is overkill.

Tivo - a techy niche market product that the majority of VM customers aren't going to fork out for until the price reduces drastically and hardly any Sky customers will want to switch to as they'll lose so many channels.

Sky may be getting investigated for monopolising of sport and movies but not for monopolising of a TV studio's output (would that they could).

There might be some VM customers who aren't interested in Sky Atlantic, but on every poll I've seen (including on this board) it is the number one most wanted channel - yes, they are not official polls, but were VM to conduct one I would guess it would be the same, however VM are unwilling to engage with their customers in this respect lest it highlight their shortcomings.

The more VM fall behind in channel acquisition, the more customers will look at what they're paying in comparison to Sky and think to themselves for a few more quid I can get so much more - God knows I'd be at SKy now if I could - and the more business VM will lose.

David said...

@ campbellg
your forgeting VM as a massive massive debt and sky has not so they can outbid everyone for content they want a monopoly and if they get anywhere near one the prices will rocket up not down and sky need to stop overcharging for everything as proved by ofcom with there sports and movies ect VM BT won the case with ofcom for sky overcharging for sports and ofcom made sky lower price of movies so you cant blame VM for sky overcharging and thats what sky is doing with Atlantic knowing VM wont pay overcharged price

howardmicks said...

@ david
understand what you are saying,but as i have said before.What is there excuse for universal hd and ,disney hd channels and itv2,3+4 are they overcharged prices to,VM have placed themselves in is position selling all there channels off and now do they expect channel operators to provide them with channels for next to nothing.They should have relished all this before selling,Whilst it is great to see new hd channels coming the worry is that they have only got these(on the cheap) due to selling them and other than sky classic movies we would still be waiting for new channels.

sibod said...

@ campbellg

Virgin Media TV can only invest in the channels they are allowed to thanks to SKY funding it and making them Pay TV only...

They don't have the money to throw about that Sky does, for historical reasons, hence concentrating on the things that actually bring in decent margins like Broadband (where they operate the entire end to end business) and Telephone.

Tivo is about differentiation where they have complete control - making the user experience as fun and as interactive as they can, and offering the platform to view the content. Niche? It's the only choice now - no V+ - so you might see it as niche, but it's mass-market as far as Virgin are concerned!

You are splitting hairs about sky being investigated, the fact is that they do and always have operated in this way and bit by bit they are having their monopoly scrutinised. Movies are the first step, and I have no doubt that they will have their HBO deal under the spotlight soon if Atlantic really takes off or Virgin, BT, Smallworld, Talk Talk TV, etc, don't get a looking for much longer.

As you rightly point out, Every poll indicates that lots of people want Atlantic, and they will indeed see a customer churn to Sky if they don't correct hat, so ask yourself this - why would Virgin deliberately do that?

As I pointed out and others have, the only reason Virgin would walk away from a deal to carry Atlantic is if it is would make them EVEN LESS Competitive with Sky.

Besides, you do seem to have a complete fixation with Sky Atlantic. If your so desperate for it, subscribe to Sky's Sky player service online and you can get it over broad! Problem solved.

Ro-me-ro said...

Still only have HD channels on 1 box - do we need to call to get this arranged?

campbellg said...

I do not want to watch high quality productions on a PC monitor, thank you very much.

Whether Tivo will be successful being the only platform for new customers remains to be seen. Time will tell on Tivo. I question why a company so much in debt have invested so heavily in it when it has proved unpopular in the past. I further question why they are getting rid ov V+ when Tivo isn't even fully working yet.

Making the user experience fun? I'm sorry but who finds scrolling through pages to find your programming (on any platform) fun? Surely the fun is in the programmes themselves?

It was you who first mentioned government watchdogs, so if Sky are deliberately overpricing their channels why have VM not complained about it as they have done with Sport and Movies?

As others have pointed out it is not just Sky Atlantic that VM have failed to acquire. Tivo might be a fantastic piece of kit, but if VM continue to underperform in channel acquisition it'll simply be a fancy dinner plate without anything to eat on it.

Nialli said...

You don't need to watch them on a PC. If you download programmes (either legit or (cough splutter) not), most DVD or Blu Ray players now have DivX capability and a USB slot. Amazon has a suitable Tosh DVD player for £28.54.
I've just bought a Sony Blu Ray player, less than £100, multi region DVD playback, quality Blu-Ray performance and it plays back .AVI and .MP4 files lovely on my modest 32in TV.

sibod said...


1. Tivo didnt 'Fail' here, it was left to rot thanks to Sky who distrubted it in the early 00s in favour of promoting their own platform, the Sky+.

2. Get an XBOX, or 3view box and you have SkyPlayer on your TV.

3. "It was you who first mentioned government watchdogs, so if Sky are deliberately overpricing their channels why have VM not complained about it as they have done with Sport and Movies?"

Dont you think that protracted period when no Sky channels where carried by VM constituted to a complaint about overcharging for those channels? Or that their refusal to carry Altantic also shows that it's too expensive?

4."As others have pointed out it is not just Sky Atlantic that VM have failed to acquire. Tivo might be a fantastic piece of kit, but if VM continue to underperform in channel acquisition it'll simply be a fancy dinner plate without anything to eat on it"

And as others have also pointed out, this has as much to do with Sky locking down channel carriage to exclude Virgin as it does any other factor. I mean, it's not as if Virgin havent just announced a rash of new HD channels is it?

Serously, CampbellG - your destiny is in your hands!

If you seriously want to watch these shows as much as you say you do, you can ditch Virgin's TV services, get a XBOX or 3view box, and pay £15 a month for access to SkyPlayer. it works, it gives you what you want without having to have a dish which you said you couldn't have some time ago) - and then you can stop whinging in every thread about how crap Virgin are for not having the 2 or 3 shows you desperately want to see.

sibod said...

Oh, and:

"Tivo might be a fantastic piece of kit, but if VM continue to underperform in channel acquisition it'll simply be a fancy dinner plate without anything to eat on it""

Seriously, get over yourself. I have *PLENTY* to watch on my Tivo, even without Sky Atlantic. Yes, and in HD too! Who'd have thought that?

simo001 said...

middlefocus - there is no way that we should pay more for extra channels - No Way

Virgin should be doing more to secure content. VM should secure exclusive content like sky do.

campbellg said...

"Seriously, get over yourself. I have *PLENTY* to watch on my Tivo, even without Sky Atlantic. Yes, and in HD too! Who'd have thought that?"

Lucky you, I don't, hence my desire for a channel showing several series a year that I would watch.

David said...

well complain to sky for them overcharging for atlantic and they been proved time and time again doing that and no way they should pay overcharged price

sibod said...


Well CampbellG is more content with coming on here and moaning in every thread about it rather than getting off his arse and doing something about it.

Seriously, FetchTV or XBOX 360 are perfect if he just wants Sky Atlantic and nothing else (as he keeps protesting) and all he has to do is pay £15 a month.

Heck, with FetchTV you even get on demand HD movies as well as Freeview+ HD stations! What more could he want?