December 27, 2012

The Hobbit - a Blinkered Journey

Sadly, my local Picturehouse's 2D screenings of the first of The Hobbit trilogy were few and far between, resulting in me having to yet again don the shades for the "more immersive" 3D experience.
Is it me or does watching a film through those glasses make the experience feel more blinkered than expansive?
I noticed this feeling of my vision being restricted quite markedly when seeing Thor last year and put it down to the awful retro-fitting of 3D effects on that film, but I felt it again this year, notably with The Hobbit and also with Avengers Assemble and Prometheus. I wear black rimmed glasses anyway, so you wouldn't expect the glasses themselves to be the problem, but with the 3D specs on I'm feeling like I'm seeing less movie. It's like watching a 4:3 ratio movie on a large widescreen TV - it feels like you're missing action, that the picture is being constricted and constrained. Certainly, once I saw Thor and Avengers in 2D on my TV in HD (the latter on Blu Ray) it felt a far more natural, immersive experience.
So, most definitely still not a 3D fan. Mercifully, two of the year's better (and more financially successful) blockbusters were spared the third dimension - Skyfall and Dark Knight Rises were shot in 2D and were all the better for it. (And don't get me started on Jackson's use of 48fps - just because you can do something clever doesn't mean you should.)

A happy new year to all of this blog's visitors. Hopefully VM will add some decent HD channels next year and there will be plenty to read about here. Toodle pip!

December 22, 2012

Virgin Media and social media in 2012

From Customer Services' Alex Brown's blog

New channels added - but don't get too excited now

  • CBS Drama is a new to Virgin Media in December on channel 197 and is available in the XL pack.
  • Al Jazeera English is a 24 hour international news and current affairs channel from the Middle East. It's in the M+ pack and is on channel 622
  • Al Jazeera Arabic is a 24 hour Arabic language channel providing international news and current affairs. Al Jazeera Arabic  is available on channel 836 and in the M+ pack. 
  • UMP Movies brings a touch of Bollywood on channel number 830 and in the M+ pack.
  • Sky Atlantic HD features the outstanding drama and comedy series from the US, including exclusive HBO programming, exciting new UK productions and old favourites like Mad Men. You can find it on Sky channel 108...but it still isn't on Virgin Media. You pays your money and makes your choice...

December 02, 2012

VM TiVo Net Remote application for Windows

Andy Wheeler has now updated his VM TiVo Net Remote application for Windows. 

The enhancements to this latest version (V1.00) are:

* Can maximise the application so that its easier to Navigate the TV Guide
* TV Guide now uses the new TV Anywhere TV Guide
* Button to navigate to the Manage TiVo section on the TV Anywhere website
* Minimise to system tray
* Added ability to put the box into Standby and out of Standby
* Jump directly to My Shows correctly
* Prevent more than one instance of the application running at once
* From the File Menu specify whether to start the application in a minimized state.

December 01, 2012

Virgin Media TV Anywhere

Has anyone else experienced degraded wifi performance from their router after connecting the TiVo to it? I connected my router to the TiVo via ethernet so that I could have a play with the TV Anywhere on the iPad and found my wifi coverage intermittently dropping. Unplugged the ethernet and normal service was resumed. Odd.
I quite like the App but find the limited channel playback options on the iPad annoying and the picture quality on my MacBook so-so. I don't use my iPad as the remote mainly because it doesn't control the volume on my TV. Overall I'd say it's pretty handy - good for setting and reviewing recordings and deleting older recordings  but I think Sky's Apps are superior.
What do you guys think?
No further news on extra channels except for Media Boy's reporting that there will be no channels added in December, so that December 9th rumour about the arrival of Sky Atlantic, News HD and Sports News HD looks like it's a duffer. Makes that price increase next February even harder to swallow.