October 31, 2011

Spotify - online, on your mobile and on TiVo

Details from Virgin Media's web site:
  • Get Spotify Premium free for six months with Virgin Media 30Mb broadband and above.
  • Get Spotify Premium free for three months with Virgin Mobile.
  • And you will soon be able to enjoy Spotify on your TV too, exclusively with Virgin Media: TiVo® Service. If you’re on Spotify Premium, press Home on your TiVo remote, go to Apps and Games and you’ll (soon) find Spotify. All your playlists and favourites will be there, and you can browse for and star music as normal. 


October 30, 2011

Netflix loses 800k US customers in Q3

Some folk see soon-to-launch-in-the-UK Netflix, LoveFilm and other Smart TV services as the future, and there's been a fair bit of press speculation that the traditional cable and satellite TV services' days are numbered as folk look to "cut the cord". But it ain't all rosey in the garden with these new services.
Hot on the heels of LoveFilm's parent Amazon seeing profits fall 73% in the last quarer comes the news that Netflix reported the loss of more than 800,000 subscribers, and admitted its launch in the UK and Ireland in early 2012 will push it to a global net loss.
Whilst revenues rose a healthy 49% year on year to $822m shares in Netflix, which had been trading at $300 in mid-2010, fell 27% in trading last week to $86.84.
Short term expansion pain or a flawed product? Personally, I think these services will struggle here until broadband speeds are faster across the whole country - no-one will be happy with a buffering or pixelated TV service and HD is now a must for those with the larger panels.

New TiVo upgrade in action - video

Posted on Cable Forum by MarkyUK - goodworkfella!

October 27, 2011

Q3 2011 results

From MediaGuardian:
Virgin Media has won back 6,300 cable customers in the three months to end of September, partly making up for losses of 36,000 over the summer after students disconnected for the holidays.
Financial results on Thursday showed that revenues grew 2.2% to £1bn year on year, marking a 3.3% rise for the first nine months of the year.
Overall cable customer numbers increased on the second quarter to 4.79 million. The number of telephone customers fell by 13,300 to 4.31 million, as use of mobile phones at home gradually replaces landline phone calls. Virgin says that customer 'churn' – the proportion of customers who quit – has increased, to 1.7%, although those leaving its network spend on average £38.30 a month, 20% less than the bulk of its customers.
The strategy of selling more to its existing customers led to a steady rise in ARPU (average revenue per user), up 3.2% so far this year, to £47.86 a month, which is Virgin's highest on record and compares with around £44.58 a month at rival BSkyB.
More customers are parting with extra cash for higher speed broadband and on its latest digital video recorder from TiVo, which is being promoted on television in an advertising campaign fronted by Hustle actor Marc Warren.
Chief executive Neil Berkett said: "Our results show that we're successfully serving what is a rapidly emerging market for better quality services. The demand for superior connectivity is accelerating as more people, regardless of their circumstances, recognise the best digital technology is worth paying more for."
Virgin had sold 222,000 TiVo subscriptions as of Wednesday, up from 36,000 at the end of June. The number of on-demand TV shows watched each month reached 80m, an increase of 10% on 2010, although that figure is likely to rise as TiVo adoption spreads.
The company said just over half of new customers are opting for high speed, 30 megabits per second (Mbps) broadband, with the number rising 178,000 to over half a million. The number of households taking 50Mbps or 100Mbps was 187,000, twice as many as a year ago.
Over 1 million customers – 26% of the cable base – are now taking over 20Mbps, the lowest tier of above basic speed. Operating income increased year on year from £102m to 128m, while the company made a loss before tax on continuing operations of £74m, compared with a profit of nearly 10m the year before. Virgin still has total debt of £5.7bn.
The company announced that it would use £250m of the £348m raised from the sale of its UKTV channels during the summer to expand its share buyback programme, which Goldman Sachs believes could see Virgin acquire 12% of its outstanding shares by the end of 2012. This takes to £1.25bn the total that will have been spend on buybacks since mid 2010. Goldman Sachs analysts said: "We believe these results validate management's efforts to grow customer lifetime value, with TiVo success creating helpful ARPU tailwinds for 2012."
And from the VM Press Release, this on their TV offering:
In the quarter we started to market and sell our new TiVo service to new customers and since July have been running our first TiVo TV advertising campaign. The strong early demand for this service has exceeded our high expectations and by the end of the quarter we had 162,900 TiVo customers, more than four times the number of customers with which we entered the quarter. We are seeing this demand for TiVo from both new and existing customers, with around one third of all TiVo subscribers being new to Virgin Media. Growth has continued strongly in October, and we had 222,000 TiVo customers as of 26th October.
Widespread consumer research supports trends we see within our customer base whereby people are increasingly using multiple devices simultaneously, such as watching TV while playing with a tablet device.
As we move to make TiVo the hub for all our customers’ entertainment needs, we are introducing a companion app later this year which will complement the TiVo television experience. This will replicate the graphical interface and functionality of the service while enabling customers to browse, search and control their TV through a tablet device.
Both our new and legacy TV services stand apart from other TV platforms in the UK with advantages which include access to an unparalleled library of on demand programming. After the quarter end we introduced even more content following an agreement with BSkyB. This will increase what is the largest on demand service available in the UK by over a third, as measured by both users and hours of content. We remain on track to meet our predictions of 1bn views for 2011. Around two-thirds of our TV base regularly used our ondemand TV service during the quarter, averaging 80m views each month, which is an increase of 10% from the same period in 2010.
We currently have around 3.8m TV customers, of which 1.8m or 49% are able to experience HD after a further 165,200 customers took an HD set-top box in the quarter. We recently announced the launch of five new HD channels from UKTV, taking the total number of HD channels available up to 36. In addition, the number of customers who subscribe to our Sky premium channels increased by 7% to 775,100, which represents 21% of all TV customers.
The number of paying TV customers increased by 28,800; however churn in the lowest free “M” tier, with 34,500 net disconnections, meant the total TV customer base fell by 5,700 in the quarter.
We are also about to launch our exclusive partnership with digital music service Spotify, which will make Virgin Media the only entertainment provider able to integrate the Spotify streaming music service into all of
its consumer offerings. As well as online and on mobile, we are working to build an exclusive TV app which will make a catalogue of over 13 million music tracks available to listen to through home cinema systems.

October 24, 2011

TiVo Update comments summary

A summary of the TiVo 15.2 Update reviews:

Spotify Support:
Not launched yet

Red Button:
BBC still launches iPlayer. ITV launches ITV Net Player (not sure if it did that before).

TiVo App support:
The TiVo ports are now open and going to port 80 on the TiVo box now gives a "Not Authorised" message - so clearly there's something there. But no app visible on the App Store yet.

A new look for YouTube:
Leanback app replaces the original. It's an interesting take on browsing videos, but I'm not sure it's that useful. The items in Apps, Search and My Shows all just take you to the leanback app.
The Youtube Videos link from the Programme Info page now takes you to the same app, but having done a search on the programme name

Full BBC iPlayer integration:
You can go straight to the iPlayer content from the Programme page, however it takes a ridiculous number of presses of OK to get there, you think you're going round in a loop at one point. This might not be true for all programmes, but was for my quick test just now.

Express Series Links:
Yep, this works. As long as you're happy with the padding settings then this is a nice contrast with what it takes to get to On Demadn content.

Multi-tap text entry:
This works in search. Doesn't work in apps (eg Youtube) though.

Automatic Padding:
This is there. 1 min before, 4 mins afterwards.

Improved Parental Controls:
There is Parental Controls settings menu in the Settings menu. One of the options is "Request a PIN to watch shows recorded after 21:00". Yes/No.
And it works!

HD Upscaling:
Don't know whether there is a difference here or not as quality varies so much between channels anyway.

Connection reliability:
Haven't seen any problems here.

Info and Stop button functionality improved:
Info works in a few more places. Stop now stops playback of a recording.

Video Preview for every channel:
Yes it does.

Additional things I've noticed:
- Green button in the guide allows you to jump to a particular day/time
- Sky Anytime Movies are included if you subscribe to the channels anyway. They are presented like the rest of the On Demand content as plain alphabetical lists of movie titles which are still very slow to page through.
- Reboots are down from the previous version (which was very unreliable for us).
- Performance is better on the recordings pages I think
- Transition between Menu/Guide/Search is not perfect, but not epilepsy inducing like before.

October 23, 2011

Movies in 3D on Virgin Media

Regular visitors to this blog will know my disdain for 3D, both in the cinema and on TV, but for those with money and eyeballs to burn, here's a selection of the pay per view 3D movies you can watch on Virgin Media currently. Prices vary but peak at £6.49 for 48 hours. Ouch.
  • Cave of Forgotten Dreams
  • Drive Angry
  • Gnomeo & Juliet
  • Green Lantern
  • Hidden
  • Justin Bieber: Never Say Never
  • Steetdance
  • Thor
  • A Turtle's Tale
  • Yogi Bear

October 22, 2011

The new TiVo update - more news

It's imminent and now Virgin Media has added to their (increasingly informative) community boards with one dedicated to posts from those testing the update 15.2.
You can find it at http://community.virginmedia.com/t5/TiVo-Update-Pilot-Forum/bd-p/tivo_update but please don't flood it with questions to those with the the new software as that's not what it's for. An interesting read though: looks like boxes are faster, PQ may have improved (no real consensus on that, but then not everyone had a problem to start with) but no-one has yet mentioned any changes with PIN code requirement. I'll keep an eye on it and report anything I see of interest.
Universal padding is working but not everyone's happy with the way it has been implemented, but I've noticed that there are only a few people posting there at the moment so it may not be a representative view.

October 19, 2011

Sky increase profit but customer numbers slow

The recession strikes? Sky's Q3 2011 results suggest even the most robust business can feel the pinch in hard economic times:
BSkyB managed to add 26,000 new pay-TV customers in the quarter, taking the total subscriber base to 10.2m, well down on the almost 100,000 added in the same quarter last year.

BSkyB added 103,000 customers to its HD service, which stands at 3.9m of its total subscriber base, while broadband numbers rose 150,000 to 3.5m.
Telephony customers rose 147,000 to 3.2m, while those taking their line rental through BSkyB rose 212,000 to 2.9m.
The total number of customers taking TV, broadband and a "talk" product grew by 5% to account for 28% of BSkyB's total customer base – a 29% year-on-year increase.
The company will also be pleased that average revenue per user – a key metric for analysts and an indicator of whether the company could be facing a slowdown in the economic climate – remained relatively stable at £535, up £25 on a year ago.
Virgin Media's numbers for the same quarter are published next week.

An update on the TiVo update

From Simon Hunt, Product Director:

This week we have begun a limited pilot of our next TiVo software release. This new software includes many new improvements as well as key developments that will enable the launch of future products. We’ll be rolling it out to everyone well before Christmas. Here’s a sneak peek of what you can expect:
Spotify Support: We’ll support Spotify’s high quality streaming format, which will enable the Spotify Premium App on the TiVo platform.
Red Button: This update adds extra functionality necessary to support Red Button services developed by our channel partners, such as BBC, ITV, and Sky Sports
TiVo App support: We've enabled the connection of your TiVo box to iOS devices through your wireless router to use our fantastic TiVo app, which allows you to control the TiVo box, browse, search and manage recordings all from your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.
A new look for YouTube: We’ll support Google’s completely revamped YouTube app, which allows for a more relaxed viewing and browsing experience, and supports HD video!
Full BBC iPlayer integration: We’ve changed the way Catch-up TV through BBC iPlayer works. Every BBC iPlayer programme will now be available through Search & Browse, including much more HD content, and you’ll never use up a tuner for BBC iPlayer viewing.
Express Series Links: Create a Series Link with default settings at the click of a button.
Multi-tap text entry: Use the number keys on your remote like a mobile phone for text entry for typing into search.
Automatic Padding: We’ve had tremendous feedback from customers about clipped recordings, so we’ve installed a default level of padding for all recordings.
Improved Parental Controls: We’ve made some changes with PIN entry requirements to suit every household. In the new update, PIN challenges on pre-watershed playback of programmes in My Shows become optional. We’ve also added the ability to require PIN to access any application.
Skippable Music Playlists: Playlists on Music on Demand will be skippable by track
Live Pay-per-view Events: Live pay-per-view events become bookable with your remote control.
HD Upscaling: As promised on this forum, we’ve addressed the issue with our picture quality and this new update features better standard definition picture quality with improved upscaling.
Connection reliability: HDMI and SCART compatibility improved.
Info and Stop button functionality improved: You’ll be able to use the ‘info’ button in the TV programme guide and the mini guide, while the Stop button now works as you would expect.
Video Preview for every channel: Every channel will keep playing in the TV Guide window, including all the Sky channels.

There are plenty more updates already in the pipeline and, as ever, we will use your feedback to continue to improve our TiVo service.
We’ll be keeping you up to date on this forum


Simon Hunt
Product Director (TV)
Virgin Media

October 16, 2011

Virgin Media installation - enough to make you despair - UPDATED

Just a few weeks ago a friend of mine decided to switch from Sky/BT to Virgin Media. Her main desire was for faster broadband for her family, but was interested in the TV too. She signed up for 50Mb broadband and M+ TV.
She lives in a listed building in SE London. She called me shortly after the installation and asked if I could help with the TV as it seemed to have been set up poorly. She was right: the clowns had plugged cables in seemingly at random and had left it all connected via SCART (despite there being HDMI cables available to connect it correctly). Worse, the broadband was fluctuating between 45mb and an unusable sub 1mb speed (according to speedtest.net). She had reported this several times since installation and had been told it would be fixed "in the next few days". Three weeks later and the broadband is still erratic and seen by my friend as worse than her old BT 8Mb.
But the worse thing is the cabling outside the house. See the pictures and judge for yourself: that neat black cable in the BT and Sky cabling, the white cable, looking suspiciously like one for internal rather than external use, is Virgin Media. Have you ever seen such a botched, rushed, ugly cabling job? The box is not secured, hanging on by sheer will power alone. One strong wind and the whole lot will come down. And remember that this is on an historic building over looking the Thames.
Makes me despair.
If anyone from Virgin Media reads this, please contact me and I can put you in touch with my friend to sort this out. She's ready to switch back to Sky/BT and I can't blame her. Come on VM, you're better than this...

UPDATE: Can't fault Virgin Media's response to this posting: I had an email from Virgin Media's Head of Customer Experience at 7am on Monday morning, quickly followed by another from the Head of Services and Installs and my friend has an appointment for Thursday to rectify everything. Thanks guys!

October 14, 2011

New Virgin Media logo

They've spent all of that money that should have gone to securing Sky Atlantic* on a new logo to cash in on British fever with next year's Olympic/Royal Jubilee patriotism fiesta

* Joke.

October 12, 2011

Friends on Comedy Central HD...in HD!

Comedy Central is a funny old channel, but not necessarily in the way the programme makers always intend. For a start it has some of the worse lip sync issues I've seen on any channel - on both Virgin Media and Sky. Then there's it's scheduling, which is now seemingly entirely made up of the so-so Two and a Half Men and now repeats ad nauseum of Friends, whilst the Emmy winning first run of last year's season five of 30 Rock sits cobweb coated on some shelf in their archive. Most odd.
But hang on a minute - I've just watched an episode from the first season of Friends which looked old 4:3, dark, dingy and bedraggled on E4 and it's all sparkly, widescreen and genuinely HD! Amazing. According to Comedy Central: "Yes the rumours are also true that we’ve got Friends in HD too! Back in the 90s the peeps at Warner Bros had the cunning foresight to shoot the original episodes on film so we’ve had them re-mastered to bring you better looking Friends on our channel. Widescreen and everything." So well done CC, now please sort out the lip sync issue on some of your broadcasts and treat 30 Rock with the respect it deserves when you bring it back this month, a year late.

Sky Anytime - Virgin Media press release

Virgin Media today confirmed that thousands of hours of films, shows, sport and news will be added to its pioneering TV On Demand service with the launch of Sky Anytime on Virgin Media. The addition of Sky Anytime on Virgin Media will increase what is already the largest collection of On Demand entertainment in the UK by over a third, to provide over 6,500 hours of TV and movies On Demand, with selected content available in HD and 3D.
Virgin Media TV customers now have access to On Demand content from a range of Sky channels in line with their underlying subscriptions.* With the content bundled into their existing TV package at no extra cost, this adds even more value for customers. Virgin Media delivers an instant TV On Demand experience, through its dedicated fibre optic network.**
The arrival of Sky Anytime on Virgin Media makes Virgin Media a leading destination for movies On Demand as film fanatics can now enjoy access to over one thousand titles at the press of a button. Virgin Media TV customers subscribed to the Sky Movies Collection*** will now be able to access up to 500 titles from Sky Anytime as well as over 500 movies made available through FilmFlex, PictureBox and Virgin Media Player.
Sports fans subscribed to the Sky Sports Collection**** will also have the opportunity to catch-up on the latest sporting action, with highlights from the Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League football, international cricket and European Tour Golf.
Sky Anytime on Virgin Media has already started rolling out, initially for customers on Virgin Media’s XL TV tier who will have instant access to popular shows On Demand including Glee, Steven Spielberg’s Terra Nova and more from Sky1, Sky Living, Sky Arts and Sky News, and in HD where available. From early 2012 selected programmes from these channels will also be made available to M+ TV customers and above through Sky Anytime on Virgin Media.
A range of On Demand content from Sky’s channels will also be made available in the coming weeks online through the Virgin Media Player service.
Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said: “Virgin Media offers the most complete TV On Demand experience in the UK and is the perfect place for movie fans with over one thousand fantastic films available instantly On Demand.”
“The addition of Sky Anytime on Virgin Media forms part of our ongoing commitment to developing a compelling and complete digital entertainment service. With a growing On Demand library designed to offer range and depth, all delivered instantly, customers now have even more flexibility to enjoy whatever they want, whenever they want it.”
Virgin Media’s TV On Demand service boasts thousands of hours of high-quality content including HD and 3D. The service includes seven day catch-up TV from all public service broadcasters as well as full series and exclusives from content partners such as FX, Warner TV, Aardman Studios, Starz and Discovery Networks.

* Sky Anytime on Virgin Media is a bonus service available to customers with compatible equipment, providing TV On Demand content for Sky basic SD and HD channels included within their subscriptions.

** Virgin Media customers do not require Sky Broadband to access Sky Anytime on Virgin Media.
*** Channels include Sky Movies Modern Greats, Sky Movies Drama & Romance, Sky Movies Family, Sky Movies Classics, Sky Movies Comedy, Sky Movies Action & Adventure, Sky Movies Crime & Thriller, Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror, Sky Movies Indie, Sky Movies Premiere, Sky Movies Showcase, Sky Movies Premiere +1, Disney Cinemagic, and all HD variants excluding Disney Cinemagic and Sky Premiere +1.
**** Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2, Sky Sports 3, Sky Sports 4 and HD variants excluding Sky Sports 3 and 4.

Sky Anytime arrives

Rolling out as a soft launch, with the different categories slowly filling up region by region.
Here's what I understand is coming:
  • 'Selected content will be available HD and 3D'
  • The Sky Sports Collection will give access to highlights from Barclays Premier League, UEFA Champions League football, international cricket and European Tour Golf (for those subscribing already to the channels)
  • The total amount of VOD content on offer from Virgin Media will increase by a third to over 6,500 hours.
Sky Anytime on Virgin Media is initially for customers on Virgin Media’s big basic XL TV tier who will have instant access to programming from Sky1, Sky Living, Sky Arts and Sky News, and in HD where available.
From early 2012 selected programmes from these channels will also be made available to M+ TV customers and above through Sky Anytime on Virgin Media.
And before anyone asks, Sky Atlantic programming will not be available to VM customers on the new service. (Yet.)
And, of course, being a VM VoD service there's none of that "having to download content" first crap...

October 11, 2011

Missing the end of recordings? Maybe this will help

Jason's posted a useful tip to try if you're suffering from recordings clipped short by programme clashes. Check out his TiVo blog for details.

Boardwalk Empire on DVD and Blu Ray

Season one of HBO's Boardwalk Empire finally has a release date in the US: January 10th 2012! That's over twelve months after it concluded on the US cable network. Of course, by the time it has appeared on disc season two will have finished on HBO and Sky Atlantic. Ridiculous...and they wonder why piracy is rife...

Sky Anytime Movies imminent

This from the Virgin Media website. It appears to be posted prematurely (the service isn't live yet) but does indicate that its arrival is imminent:
So, what does the arrival of Sky Anytime on Virgin Media mean for us movie fans? The good news is that it is going to open the door to hundreds more movies fresh from the cinema that you can enjoy anytime of the day. The bad news is… er, well, there is no bad news.
Basically, if you are already a Virgin Media TV customer and you subscribe to the Sky Movies Collection, you can now access hundreds more movies from Sky Anytime at no extra cost.
If you aren't yet a Virgin Media TV customer then fear not, you can find more information and signing up for it here. If you don't have Sky Movies yet then this can be easily solved by clicking here.
So, what it means for you film fans is that, if you add the 500 movies now available through Sky Anytime to the hundreds of movies already available on FilmFlex and Picturebox, you have a pretty much unbeatable film feast that you can tuck into anytime you fancy.
No launch date yet but the video on the web page does suggest they will be available in HD, which is good news for those who still have V+'s limited capacity but want to have HD movies available on tap.

October 09, 2011

BBC Consultation - a few more details

If, like me, you want to be give some feedback to the BBC Trust on the cuts recommendations made this week, you can do it online at this site, where you will also find the full recommendations: BBC Trust Consultation
For those just interested in how the proposals will affect HD services, here are the headlines:
  • Launch full BBC One High Definition (HD) channels for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which would replicate the existing Standard Definition (SD) channel in that nation
  • In England no region specific services would be carried on BBC One HD. Ways to minimise disruption to viewers when switching between HD and SD to access programmes made for their particular area would be investigated
  • BBC Two and BBC Four would share more arts and music programmes through complementary scheduling and repeating. A small number of arts and music programmes would transfer from BBC Two to BBC Four
  • Launch a single version, with no variations in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, of BBC Two in HD in 2012 to replace the current BBC HD channel. Nations variations would continue in SD
BBC Three
  • A specific remit to act as a place to nurture and develop talent and programme content for BBC One
  • Share more programmes with BBC One, to provide additional chances to watch programmes which appeal to younger audiences 
BBC Four
  • BBC Four would play a more complementary role to BBC Two
  • BBC Four would continue to show the best of foreign language drama and film from across the world
Odd, but there's nothing I can see so far about BBC News bulletins or the channel itself moving to high definition, which is disappointing. Similarly, as children's programming is shifted to just CBeebies and CBBC there will be no more HD broadcasts of those shows either.
Also, nothing I've found yet about the future of 3D on the BBC, but I'm still reading the full report so I will let you know if I find any more.

Eden HD - quality!

Those who dismiss Virgin Media's recent HD additions as "cheap rubbish" should perhaps pay a visit to Eden HD (209) which I tuned into last night for a Brian Cox marathon.
Sure, it is wall-to-wall nature documentaries and science repeats from the BBC but they are in the main utterly fab and gorgeous in high def.
Also, the new HD channels are free to all customers not on the XL TV package until the end of October (Eden, Good Food, Watch and Dave - those last two arriving this week)

October 06, 2011

BBC HD to become BBC2 HD

Just a short while ago it was Virgin Media customers' only HD channel. Now, it's to be closed. According to the Guardian's coverage on the BBC cuts announced today:
"The BBC HD channel will be closed, replaced with a high definition broadcast of BBC2."
It's only a proposal still, but is pretty certain to happen which is not great for those who enjoy the ocassional bit of BBC4 or even BBC3 in high def. I guess it also means probably the end of the BBC's 3D coverage of live events like Wimbledon - surely they wouldn't broadcast it in 2D on one HD channel and 3D on the other one?
And as a footnote to the demise of BBC HD: last month the head of BBC HD, Danielle Nagler, left the corporation and her role was merged into other posts.

October 04, 2011

Confirmed: UKTV and Sky Classics HD channels

The official press release:
More amazing HD with no extra fee
Virgin Media today announced seven new TV channels, including five in HD, would join its digital TV service from this month. The latest line-up will extend Virgin Media’s high-definition channel offering to an impressive 37 of which 24 stunning HD channels are available to its ‘XL’ TV customers with no extra monthly HD fee. The full channel line-up includes Eden HD, Eden +1, Good Food HD, Yesterday +1, Watch HD, Dave HD, with Alibi HD due to follow in 2012. 
Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media said: “We’re thrilled to be bringing more dazzling HD channels to our TV service, offering our customers even more choice and variety. Our commitment remains to deliver and develop the most compelling digital home entertainment service available in the UK and we will continue to build on our great TV and On Demand offerings to give our customers the best range of services now and for the future.”
Keith Porritt, Executive Director, Commercial at UKTV said: “We’re delighted to become a leading supplier of Virgin Media’s HD offering. These channels show the breadth of HD content we offer on our network from jaw-dropping natural history and mouth-watering food programs to amazing magic and the best in stand-up comedy, with TV’s ultimate compendium in crime to follow, all in HD exclusive to UK Pay TV.”
According to Media Boy (and his copy of the Radio Times) the launch date for Eden HD and Good Food HD will now be October 7th, and  Dave HD will now launch on October 10th.

I've been asked about ITV2, 3, 4 HD: at the moment there is nothing official about these - Virgin Media saying that they are "still in negotiations".

October 02, 2011

Activating a second box for the Sky Premier HD channels...

...doesn't happen automatically: you need to call Virgin Media. No charge, can take an hour or two.

October 01, 2011

A few new series coming soon

A few high profile series will be appearing over the next month or so. On Monday Oct 3rd Terra Nova debuts. Never too excited about dinosaurs myself, but it will appeal to some I'm sure, and hopefully it will start better than Mr Spielberg's other recent Exec Prod series Falling Skies, which took a while to get going. Sky 1HD also has a homegrown comedy series, Spy, starting later this month. This looks quite good from the trailers they're now running. Another series coming soon is American Horror Story, a supernatural drama created by Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck, Glee) and Brad Falchuck (Glee), starring Dylan McDermott, Connie Britton and Jessica Lange. The trailer here is for the US premiere - it won't arrive here until November. And if you like that kind of thing, check out The Fades on BBCHD which started a couple of weeks ago but is still on iPlayer - creepy stuff.