March 30, 2012

Virgin Media announces new bundles called 'Collections'

Information from What HiFi:
Virgin Media announces new bundles called 'Collections', there are three tiers: 
Essential: TiVo (500GB) + M+ TV pack (6 HD channels) + 30Mb broadband £25/month
Premiere: TiVo (500GB) + V HD box + XL TV pack (23 HD channels) + 60Mb broadband + six months free Spotify £45/month + ESPN HD
VIP: TiVo (1TB0 + TiVo (500GB) + XL TV pack (36 HD channels) + 100Mb broadband + Sky Sports and Movies + ESPN HD + six months Spotify £95/month
The new Collections are available to both new and existing customers looking to update their services. Customers on the older broadband tiers such as 10Mb and 20Mb are being upgraded at no extra cost as part of Virgin Media's 'Double Speeds' programme.
(As has been commented on elsewhere, these promoted prices don't appear to include the required phone package of £13.90 a month. Naughty, although I've seen Sky do likewise in their marketing.)

March 29, 2012

Nialli on Mad Men viewing

I'm watching Mad Men s.5 via a US iTunes account. It cost me $31.99 (£21.38) for the HD season pass. In the UK store Mad Men season 4 in HD retails for £28.99 and there's no sign of season 5.

Personally I don't like using "alternative means" to obtain US programming - as Jerry Seinfeld once lamented, "I don't wanna be a pirate!" - but the media companies deny the content to those willing to pay so what do they expect? I watched Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire thanks to friends who have Sky Atlantic and recorded it for me, and have "legitimised" that viewing by buying the box sets of both once available, but I will be in the minority. I'm not taking a moral high ground though and think that the media companies (Sky, HBO, AMC et al) encourage piracy with their draconian content strategy. Did they learn nothing from the music industry's collapse??
That Sky Atlantic's initial viewing figures (which exclude timeshifted viewing) are so low for the premiere, despite the hype, is hardly a surprise as it wasn't a popular show even on BBC4. But Mad Men is an expensive show to produce and you would think the producers would want to reach as broad a paying audience as possible, rather than just find the show as minority viewing available to a limited audience.

March 28, 2012

Mad Men on Sky Atlantic and US iTunes, but not UK...

Sad to see that Virgin Media customers still don't have Sky Atlantic in time for the new seasons of Mad Men or Game of Thrones. What's odd though is that the former isn't in the UK iTunes store either, whereas in the US store it appeared the day after broadcast.
Surely Sky aren't so petty as to block the sale of the AMC show from legitimate purchase by those without a dish? And they wonder why people download illegally.
(Incidentally, viewing figures for last night's premiere of the much hyped season five notched up fewer than 100k viewers on Sky Atlantic. The previous season, shown on BBC4, attracted 355k viewers for the season opener.)

March 15, 2012

Sky Atlantic runs out of Luck

HBO has cancelled Sky Atlantic's big budget horse racing drama Luck, starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, following the deaths of three horses and criticism from animal rights' campaigners.

The broadcaster said it was with heartbreak that it was cancelling all future production on the show, produced by Transformers director Michael Bay.
But that's not to say the channel isn't still the most coveted of Sky's portfolio still not on Virgin Media: Mad Men season 5 airs later this month and the excellent Game of Thrones returns for season 2 early in April.

March 12, 2012

TiVo tablet App "ready", but...

This from PaidContent:

"I have since learned the app has been ready for months; it was submitted to and approved by Apple months ago. But Virgin Media is choosing to sit on it as it considers how to tackle a problem that will soon be shared by fellow connected TV operators…
For Virgin’s iPad app - which lets users switch channels and record shows from their sofa - to work, customers’ set-top box and iPad must be on the same home network. The problem - unlike iPad, Virgin Media’s TiVo is not WiFi-enabled.
That means customers keen to use the new wave of second screen controllers must run cable from their WiFi router to their set-top box. In many cases, consumers’ routers are not in the same room as their main TV.
And that poses a big challenge to operators - how can Virgin Media launch its fancy new app experience when it knows it will instantly disappoint thousands of consumers who can’t use it? And how does the company manage requests from customers who want its engineers to relocate their WiFi router or run extra cabling?
The problem can be solved either by manufacturers WiFi-enabling their devices or by offering bolt-on WiFi-enabling dongles separately.
Each method could be a way for Virgin and others to finally launch its TiVo and other apps. But each also adds extra expense to this new wave of products and services. And that could blunt initial adoption, at least until WiFi becomes more commonplace in them from the start."

Bearded Berkett talks TiVo

Neil Berkett: Virgin Media will bring OTT players like Netflix to TiVo from Digital TV Europe on Vimeo.
So OTT services like NetFlix or LoveFilm are definite??

March 08, 2012

TiVo iPad App - in September???!!!

According to Neil Berkett, Virgin Media TiVo customers eagerly awaiting the iPad App for their device will have to wait until September! Bloody hell...

March 07, 2012

US series updates - it lives! It dies!

New US series - how often do you start watching and then find they cancel your latest favourite show just when it gets interesting? Well, here's the latest word from on the status of some of our more popular imports.
Cancelled series:
Terra Nova (Sky1 HD)
Charlie's Angels (E4 HD)
House (Sky1 HD)
Pan Am (BBC HD)
Touch and go:
Fringe (Sky1 HD)
Cougar Town (Sky Living HD)
Alcatraz (Watch HD)
CSI: NY (Sky Living/Five HD)
CSI: Miami(Sky Living/Five HD)
Ringer (Sky Living HD)
Nikita (Sky Living HD)
Likely to be renewed:
Touch (Sky1 HD)
Grimm (Watch HD)

March 02, 2012

Battlestar Galactica in HD

The two-episode mini series and first full season of the outstanding sci fi remake Battlestar Galactica has appeared on Virgin's On Demand service. Go to On Demand > XL > HD 3D.

March 01, 2012

Sky Sports red button now on TiVo

I'm at work so can't check it myself, but folk are contacting the blog saying that they now have the Red Button on their TiVo. Sounds stable and reasonably fast, too.