September 29, 2013

New Movies on Netflix

With Netflix coming to TiVo by the end of the year, I thought I'd have a quick hunt around to see what, if any, new movies are showing on the service. Of course, Sky moved in quickly to tie up the biggest deals with all the major Hollywood studios as soon as OFCOM turned its back, but that's not to say Netflix is limited to the paltry selection of older movies that you find on VM's own Picturebox service (which at best resembles those you may find in a second-hand DVD shop).
For some curious reason the UK Netflix site tucks away its movies and (excellent) TV line up and it looks like you have to sign up before exploring, but you don't. Click on this link Netflix and have a look through the links on the left hand side to see more.
Here are some of the more recent films you can get via Netflix in the UK:

  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Hunger Games
  • Thor
  • 21 Jump Street
  • Lawless
  • Magic Mike
  • Cowboys & Aliens
  • Cabin in the Woods
  • Amour
  • Gambit
  • Hansel and Gretel
  • Hope Springs
  • Drive (the Ryan Gosling one)
  • Woman in BlacK
I can't see any clear logic on what studios are signed up with Netflix for UK movies as these seem to be from all the big studios but this selection alone features a number of movies yet to debut on Sky Movies. And word is they'll be in 1080p and 5.1 when the service hits your TiVo.
Anyone else getting excited? I watch Breaking Bad on Netflix on my laptop, iPad and on the TV via my daughter's Wii (sadly, only in SD) so its arrival on TiVo is eagerly awaited in my front room.


September 24, 2013

More4 HD on October 1st

Media Boy has posted on Cable Forum that More4 will launch on VM on Oct 1st on channel 203. Not quite the must-see channel it was when originally launched but still a worthwhile addition to the line up. Thanks, VM!

September 10, 2013

Netflix trial areas

The pilot areas for Netflix to be rolled out and trialed are:
  • Peterborough 
  • Crawley 
  • Andover 
  • Londonderry 
  • Swindon 
A full roll out is being planned for a later stage to cover other areas.

Netflix coming to Virgin Media - full press release

  • Virgin Media TiVo customers to access Netflix app via their set-top box
  • Broad variety of great series and films, including Breaking BadHouse of Cards and Arrested Development, to be available instantly
  • Pilot to 40,000 Virgin Media TiVo homes begins this week, full launch to follow

Virgin Media today announced an agreement that will bring Netflix, the world's leading Internet TV network, onto a pay-TV platform for the first time. Using the Netflix app, Virgin Media TiVo households will be able to watch award-nominated Netflix series, documentaries, comedy and kids titles through their set-top box. Netflix will be available to 1.7 million Virgin Media TiVo homes this year, starting with a pilot launching this week.

The addition of the Netflix app to Virgin Media TiVo, the fastest growing pay-TV service in the UK, will allow viewers to discover critically acclaimed Netflix original series House of Cards, Hemlock Grove, Arrested Development and Orange is the New Black and Netflix exclusives like the hit series Breaking Bad. 

The Netflix app complements Virgin Media’s ever-expanding collection of over 6,000 hours of On Demand entertainment, all ready to watch instantly. Virgin Media TiVo customers will be able to easily search and browse titles across Virgin TV’s entire collection of films and TV programmes as well as from Netflix and other content apps including BBC iPlayer.

Alongside catch-up and On Demand TV, Virgin Media viewers are already able to rent hundreds of the latest blockbusters from Virgin Movies, subscribe to Sky Movies and PictureBox and enjoy channels including Film4 and TCM, all available in HD.  

Dana Strong, Virgin Media’s chief operating officer, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing yet another groundbreaking service onto TV screens in millions of Virgin Media homes. Netflix is a fabulous addition to Virgin Media TiVo, enabling our customers to enjoy even more of their favourite shows and movies simply and easily – all through their TV set-top box and at outstanding value.

“Virgin Media TiVo offers different ways to watch, either subscription or pay per view, all seamlessly integrated for simple, intuitive viewing so there’s a world of great entertainment at your fingertips and everyone can be sure of the perfect TV moment.”

Bill Holmes, global head of business development, Netflix, said: “The UK has given Netflix a fantastic welcome and we’re excited to be partnering with Virgin Media to bring an amazing Netflix experience to Virgin Media customers.”  

The pilot begins this week with around 40,000 Virgin Media TiVo households already selected to use the Netflix app. For the pilot, the Netflix application will be available in the Apps & Games section of Virgin Media TiVo with Netflix members able to log-in using their existing Netflix credentials and new members able to sign up for Netflix via the app. Netflix will be rolled out to all Virgin Media TiVo customers following the successful completion of the pilot later this year.

Through a dedicated broadband connection built into each Virgin Media TiVo set-top box, viewers will be able to experience a brilliant, HD big screen TV Netflix experience. Virgin Media TiVo households with Virgin Media broadband can also make full use of their superfast 30Mb, 60Mb or 120Mb broadband speeds in addition to the dedicated TiVo connection.

The Netflix roll-out coincides with the latest updates to Virgin Media TiVo for all customers. From greater energy efficiency for each set-top box, to improved WishLists and recommendations, Virgin Media continues to develop the service, making Virgin Media TiVo the best way to watch TV, ever.  

September 07, 2013

Sky Atlantic, News and Sports News in HD this week?

A short while ago BomberAF posted on Cable Forum, correctly, that BT Sports and HD would launch on Virgin Media and, although he was a little out on dates, he was on the money.
So it will be interesting to see what happens this week, as the last post he left of CF said that Sky Atlantic, Sky News and Sky Sports News will all appear in HD on Virgin Media before September 14th. Which is next Saturday.
Finger's crossed. I've just found Game of Thrones information when I clicked on the "If you like this..." for Justified but that may be a hangover from when season one appeared on Sky1 a while back, but you never know.

On Demand HD error 6096

Anyone else experienced a problem with Sky Movies On Demand recently?
I recorded the movie The Constant Gardener a few weeks back on Sky Action in HD, but when I played it back I found the sound was out of sync slightly, to the point I thought it unwatchable.
Fear not, I thought, it'll be in On Demand. Sure enough, it was, but every time I tried to access the HD version I got the error 6096. I though this may be a temporary demand problem, but other HD films I tried played fine, so why this one?
In the end we gave up with HD and watched The Constant Gardener in SD - a fantastic film if you haven't seen it but some of it's visual impact is lost in standard def.
Any idea what the problem might be? Not had a problem with On Demand for some time, but I had this problem on Friday evening and still have it now trying to access the film on Saturday afternoon. Odd, especially as all the other HD movies I've looked at in the Sky collection play fine.

UPDATE: Thanks to Spiderplant for explaining that this error means that the movie at the local headend needs reloading by Virgin staff and he'll sort it. Thanks fella!

September 06, 2013

Childish VM support tweet

Sometimes Virgin's off-the-wall communications to frustrated customers can come across as too flippant, especially to new customers who are experiencing problems. A friend at work sent me this tweet they got when they experienced multiple problems with both broadband and TV services having only recently joined VM from TalkTalk. They were not impressed, and are now seriously considering leaving VM.
I'm all for a less formal communications but this perhaps oversteps the mark and comes across as childish. As the kids would say, #notimpressed