November 14, 2014

Who needs Sky Atlantic now?

Sky Atlantic is the one notable channel missing from Virgin Media these days - sure, some may hanker for Universal HD or Discovery Shed HD but we don't even have the SD version of Atlantic as Sky keeps a tight reign on its availability to non-satellite carriers by overpricing it.
But these days, if you want Sky Atlantic shows in HD you can watch via Now TV on demand for £6.99 a month (I still don't recommend the streaming channel in SD though unless you have the patience of a saint). Furthermore, although the official DVDs and Blu Rays still aren't made available until 10 months after a season has finished the online versions of HBO's finest now appear within a week or two of a show finishing on Atlantic. For example, the recent (and final) season of Boardwalk Empire ended in October and we already have it on Amazon Instant, Blinkbox and iTunes to buy in HD. (On the SmartTV-friendly Amazon Instant Video season 5 is £17.99 for HD, £13.99 for SD.)
And there's always the naughty-naughty alternative methods of watching it.
So how big a hole does the absence of Sky Atlantic leave me? None whatsoever now to be honest. And with the ending of Boardwalk and conclusion of Mad Men next spring, there's only really Game of Thrones I'll be bothered about next year, and I'll most likely catch up with that on Now TV for a couple of months or wait for the Amazon release.
Maybe now Sky will drop the price and Virgin will bite, but I'm not really fussed these days.


Tezz said...

Sky Atlantic on now TV is only 720 and not 1080 HD as on the Sky HD box, this gives it much better quality.

Nialli said...

Sky via satellite is only 1080i, so the difference from Now TV on demand's 720p is negligible.

Tezz said...

This depends on the TV, my Panasonic displays it very well. As a result, the quality of the image you see on the screen depends on the how well the TV's video processor works - some TVs do better than others. If the TV's processor does a good job, the image will display smooth edges and have no noticeable artifacts for both 720p and 1080i input sources.