March 31, 2016

New TiVo rumours

More rumours about the new TiVo on Cable Forum:
A Virgin manager I spoke with today confirmed TiVo 2.0 is launching in end of July, they will be available via QuickStart for £9.99 with no upfront fee, these boxes are rumoured to come with wifi and 4K. There will be two size options and redesigned user interface. Not forgetting a new revamped tv anywhere where recorded content can come on the move. A rumoured option to turn off SD channels where there is a HD variant and apps on test launch super fast
Nothing yet from Virgin yet of course - I would have thought they would want to get some announcement out there soonish as Sky's Q is being heavily marketed.

One thing that is for certain is that Sky Sports and Movies HD are no longer be available on the SA 8300 V+ HD boxes from today.

March 25, 2016

Sky takes F1 to 4K

Sky has announced that from the start of the 2017 F1 season every race will be shown in 4K exclusively on the new Sky Q service.
Sky will launch its 4K content service this summer.

March 24, 2016

F1 to become a Sky Sports exclusive from 2019

Sky has bought up exclusive rights to show Formula One racing from 2019 and, for the first time almost all F1 Grand Prix will only be available to Sky Sports subscribers. The current Channel 4 programmes showing ten races a year will be no more after the 2018 season.
The new Sky deal, which runs until 2024, will see Sky broadcast only the British Grand Prix on a free-to-air Sky channel available on services such as Virgin or YouView. There will also be at least two other races on the new Sky Sports Mix channel, which will only be available to Sky subscribers even if they do not take any of its sports channels.
Expect yet another painful Sky Sports price hike as we near 2019. It’s all getting very, very expensive and you have to ask yourself how the Sky/BT sports fisticuffs is in anyway benefiting customers. Nice one, OFCOM.

March 23, 2016

An end of 'mandatory landlines' - but don't expected prices to fall

The BBC has reported that customers signing up for broadband packages could be exempted from the rental charge on their landline if they don’t use it, under proposals to be discussed by the culture minister, Ed Vaizey. He wants householders to only pay for the services they use, describing the current system as an “analogue billing system in a digital world”. Apparently one in five home owners do not make fixed-line calls, but pay for landline connections.
Virgin Media’s complex ‘bundles’ (remember when they told us they were simplifying charges?) all include a mandatory landline for £17.99/m in the small print even though many of us don’t actually use it or need it. Which is deceptive advertising at best. The cheapest VM bundle is The Big Easy which averages out at £13.58/m in the 12 months of the contract, which is actually less than the mandated small print landline cost. VM does offer ‘50mbps broadband only’ and that’s £30.25/m, a nominal saving of £1.32 but that means no TV (or phone). I wouldn’t expect any serious discounts if Vaizey’s plan comes to anything, but at least things will be more transparent - you need a calculator and understanding of small print to work this out.
The advertising watchdog, ASA, and Ofcom are to introduce new rules about how such packages are marketed from May, following research that found there was widespread confusion about prices.
You don’t say...

March 19, 2016

Sky customers get Sky Sports Mix

Sky is to launch a new TV channel, Sky Sports Mix, that will make live games including Premier League matches available to non-sports satellite subscribers for the first time. “We are giving millions more people access to great moments from some of the world’s biggest sporting events at no extra cost,” said Sky Sports MD Barney Francis.
Sky said the new channel will offer a “select number” of live Premier League and Football League matches, as well as regular live football from competitions including Spain’s La Liga, the US’s MLS and the Fifa 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
I think it’s highly unlikely Virgin Media customers will see this although it may make an appearance on the Now TV platform. As to how many Premiership games will be on the new channel, I’d suggest that it will be fewer than BT Sport offer and none of the major title deciding games.

March 18, 2016

Virgin Media closes Cloud, Webspace and SmartCall services

Call me cynical, but it looks like Virgin Media continues it’s plan to charge customers a lot more for a lot less in 2016 with the following announcement:
As more of our customers are choosing to use alternative apps and services, we’ve decided to stop offering Virgin Media Cloud, Webspace and SmartCall from 28th April. If you’ve used Virgin Media Cloud, Webspace and SmartCall in the past, you should receive a letter in the post but here’s what’s happening when. 
Webspace Webspace closes on 28th April, but there’s something even better in store for you. We’ve teamed up with GoDaddy® – a world-leader in Domain Names, Websites and Web Hosting – to bring you 12 months’ free hosting services, plus a free website builder, domain name and professional email. That’s a tidy saving of £59.88 over the year, with extras including: A free domain name ( or .uk, saving you £4) A free email account connected to your domain name A clever website builder that makes it easy to upload text and images (bye-bye, HTML!) 1GB of storage (that’s more room and flexibility than Webspace) 150GB bandwidth (so if your site goes viral, it’ll stay online) To get started you’ll need to enter your unique code (which you’ll receive in your letter) (terms and conditions apply). Remember – you’ll need to save the content from your website before 28th April to avoid losing anything.
Virgin Media Cloud It’s reassuring to have somewhere safe for all your digital valuables. So before we close Virgin Media Cloud on 28th April, we recommend downloading your family photos, videos and documents to a local device to make sure you don’t lose anything. This might take a few steps if you’ve got a lot of stuff. You won’t be able to upload anything to Virgin Media Cloud after this date. If you’d like to back up your stuff again, why not try Dropbox? With 2GB of storage, Dropbox lets you back up all the stuff you currently have on Virgin Media Cloud, and even share big files. Better still, it works on all your devices – seamlessly syncing your files between them. Plus, you’ll bag an extra 3GB of storage if you link the Dropbox app to your phone camera. And when you recommend Dropbox to your nearest and dearest, you’ll get a bonus 500MB for each referral. For help downloading your stuff and setting up your Dropbox account, visit (terms and conditions apply). And don’t worry – if you’re currently paying for extra storage, we won’t charge you a penny in March and April.
SmartCall We’re planning to close SmartCall on 28th April when the contract with our technology partner ends. But don’t forget all those minutes you’ll still enjoy with your Virgin Media home phone – including unlimited landline calls and free calls to Virgin Mobile phones, 0870 numbers and our Directory Enquiries service. For more details about SmartCall closing, head to
The closure of SmartCall, which was great if you were making calls from abroad, is a major disappointment. The other two I’ve never used but pointing out alternative services such as DropBox and a sweetened deal with GoDaddy is probably a reasonable compromise, even if it does put the emphasis on the customer to do the heavy lifting.