September 19, 2012

"BSkyB does not have a monopoly in the UK pay-TV movie market"

According to the Competition Committee's report from August "BSkyB does not have a monopoly in the UK pay-TV movie market". Whilst that may be literally true with services like BlinkBox, LoveFilm and Netflix now available in the UK, it's not true of new movies with the announcement that Sky has now secured exclusive UK rights to new releases from all of the "big six" Hollywood studios (Warner Bros, Disney, Paramount, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures and Universal Studios).
So Sky will have the UK rights to the films for more than a year before rivals such as Netflix and Amazon-owned LoveFilm. There are exceptions such as the per per view services from BT Vision and Virgin Movies, but Sky has the subscription side 100% sewn up. It will be impossible for the fledgling services to compete.
Different game, same story...

September 15, 2012

Spotify - free Virgin Media year is up

If, like me, you signed up for a free year of Spotify Premium through Virgin Media you'll find that if you want to continue with the service you now need to pay. £9.99 a month to continue the Premium service, £4.99 for the Unlimited (no ads, but no mobile option either) or you can stick with the free service with those pesky ads every few tracks. Details at Spotify.
Which is fair enough - the original offer was last August so I have had a couple of weeks' extra at no cost. Somewhat surprised that neither VM nor Spotify emailed me about it, but the whole thing's been pretty half-hearted by Virgin Media from the start. And there are still occasional issues with the service streaming over the VM network, especially for Sonos users.

September 11, 2012

ITV2, ITV3 and ITV4 HD all on their way

Media Boy's announced on his blog that the high def versions of ITV2, 3 and 4 are all coming to Virgin shortly. He's also confirmed that talks continue to secure Sky News and Sky Sports News both in HD and Sky Atlantic too (but only in SD). We were under embargo for a few weeks but MB's confirmed we're good to publish now.

September 10, 2012

New channels to be announced Tuesday, Sept 11th

Media Boy will post on his blog on September 11th (shortly after midday) the new channels he has been told are coming to Virgin Media.

September 07, 2012

VM TV Anywhere...first pictures

TechRadar has some iPad screen shots of the forthcoming ("Autumn") TV Anywhere app from Virgin. More details on TechRadar

Here's the TiVo remote on the iPad:

And the EPG:

And On Demand service

September 03, 2012

TCM HD launches, but on Sky only (for now) UPDATED

It's the movie channel for people with old pre-widescreen tellies, but from this week it's going HD and widescreen on Sky. TCM may not be everyone's cup of tea (in my book Film4 is superior, even if it does repeat too much) but with some HBO classics (Rome and Deadwood) and an extensive back catalogue of films from the archives it would be nice to have it on VM in HD too. I'll let you know if I hear anything. UPDATE: We may not have it in HD but the good news is TCM in standard def is now, at long last, in widescreen.

September 02, 2012

"Give us Sky Atlantic!" demand the VMHD masses

Okay, so maybe 250+ votes doesn't necessarily constitute a "mass", but last week's poll topper for the HD channel you want most was indeed Sky Atlantic, with the ITV 2, 3 and 4 high def offerings coming in a close second. Between them, these two were streets ahead of the competition and captured more than two thirds of more than 650 votes.
As I said when launching the poll there are some additional channels on their way that will hopefully appease some but I'm sworn to secrecy (as is Media Boy).

September 01, 2012

New and returning series in HD

Homeland S2 - October on Channel 4HD
Dallas - Wed, September 5 at 9pm on Channel 5HD
An Idiot Abroad: The Short Way Round - December on Sky1HD
Arrow - Autumn on Sky1HD
Glee - January, 2013 on Sky1HD
Modern Family S4 - September on Sky1HD
The Middle S4 - September on Sky1HD
Touch S2 - October on Sky1HD
Elementary - Autumn on Sky Living HD
Grimm S2 - Mon, October 22 at 9pm on Watch HD
Perception - Wed, October 3 at 9pm on Watch  HD
Red Dwarf X - Thu, October 4 at 9pm on Dave HD
The Glades S1 - Tue, Sept 11 on Alibi HD
The Office S7P2 - Wed, October 17 at 10pm on Comedy Central HD
Warehouse 13 S4 - Thu, September 6 at 9pm on Syfy HD

And here's a pleasant surprise: Game of Thrones S1 - Mon, September 10 at 10pm on Sky1 HD!