December 29, 2014

Netflix ins and outs this January - UPDATED

Out go Roger Rabbit and the Blues Brothers and over two hundred others, many of which I had in My List, and  in come just a handful of new series and new(ish) films.
Info on what's departing can be found at
Details of what's arriving at
Hopefully there's plenty more additions on the way - to my eyes, the selection looks seriously depleted from what we enjoyed in 2014.

December 23, 2014

Buying an HD TV

Humour Hive posted the following (far too good to just appear as a Comment on a short Post). I hope newbies find it useful:

A couple of tips for those purchasing a TV and unsure what resolution they are buying. 
Most TV's have a sticker on the TV or box that states it is in High Definition (HD). 
If it says HD READY, this means it is 720 pixels. 
If it says FULL HD, this means it is 1080 (either 1080i or 1080p). 

The reason you may want to know the resolution is mainly based on the size of TV you are getting. 720 can be just as good an image as 1080 as long as you get the right screen size. 720 is best for smaller screens up to 32/36 inch TV's, whereas 42 inch and bigger would benefit with a 1080. 
If you try and get a cheap TV that is 720 on a 52 inch you will lose picture quality. Whereas paying out a lot of money for 1080 when the screen size is 22 inches is also a waste of money as the screen is too small to really appreciate the extra pixels, so the noticeable quality is hard to distinguish. 

Finally it is also worth noting that the bigger the screen size, the further away you should sit from the screen. A 32 inch screen you can sit much closer to, to get the best viewing of the image, while a 60 inch screen is better suited to large houses as you would really need to sit a good 10 - 15 feet away from the TV before you are getting the best image quality they want you to view the TV at. 

For the average UK living room a 32-42 inch TV is perfect for the distance the sofa is likely to be from the TV set. And the bigger you go, the more you want to avoid HD READY and go with FULL HD, especially over 40 inches. 

Don't worry too much about 4K TV's because they are expensive, not very many manufacturers and virtually nobody is even broadcasting in 4K yet except the occasional show on Netflix, etc. But even those shows in 4K will require you to have a beefy internet connection to stream them before you even buy the TV. 
And you could buy 4K to future proof yourself, but to be honest only the world cup final and a couple of Wimbledon matches have been shown in 4K to test the technology and is still a good 2 or 3 years before it will start to be broadcast in any regularity on a channel. It could be at least 5-7 years before it is as popular as HD channels are now, and by that time the price of 4K TV's will have dropped to a similar price as a HDTV is now, and you might be ready to upgrade again in 7 years time anyway. 
Its also worth noting that although 4K is very futuristic to the consumer, its already been outperformed by an even bigger HD technology that is starting to appear at tech shows and that broadcasters may see the investment in 4K a little pointless if the new technology is as cheap and far more advantageous for them to broadcast, it may be that 4K may end up like 3D and be a short-lived fad that is soon forgotten about. 
My advice, get a good quality FULL HD TV that suits the size of your living room. Invest in a Blu-Ray player that are really cheap now that makes full use of your new tv. Get a Netflix subscription and enjoy the next 3 or 4 years of entertainment to be had by that while 4K sorts itself out on whether it wants to be a dominant force or fades out into oblivion. 

Christmas reading: HD resolutions explained

It's a confusing world, this HD lark. Someone just commented on a post from last month that the 720p picture quality on Now TV was inferior to the "1080' on Sky via satellite. That may be true for some content, but there are two "1080" definitions at it's debatable whether 1080i (which is what Sky is broadcast in) is better than 720p.
So for those not clear on exactly what's what in high definition, here's a link to Expert Reviews' neat summary of who's who with the ol' PQ:

How TV services from Virgin Media work

I've no idea how this great article passed me by, but here's a really interesting piece from The Register (in two parts) on how Virgin Media delivers TV to its customers. It gets a wee bit techie/geeky in places, but is fascinating nevertheless. 

December 16, 2014

Liverpool FC TV returns to Virgin Media

For those feeling desperately underserved by Virgin's sports offering, an early Christmas present: Liverpool FC TV is back on channel 544. But it's now subscription only, and £7 a month. And only in SD (talks regarding HD carriage have stalled indefinitely apparently).

December 13, 2014

What would you like from Virgin Media next?

It's not been a bad year for the average Virgin Media customer, but if you check over at the various forums you'd think there were huge gaps still in the service. One chap has just posted that he'd like to see 22 missing channels, including Universal Channel hd; Life time +1 and hd; Pop Girl; Horse and Country; Nat Geo Wild hd; 5* + 1; Sony movies; +1; More movies ; + 1; True movies 2 and a host of other EPG fillers. Is it me or is that scraping a pretty shallow barrel now? Of these, only Universal HD would be added to my own list of Sky Atlantic, ITV Encore and History HD of stuff we're missing.
So I've put a quick poll together as I struggle to think of holes in the VM offering these days - what would you most like to get from Virgin Media in 2015? Let me know.

December 01, 2014

Vodafone rumours

There is a lot of speculation in the telecoms market that there are a number of huge mergers/acquisitions on the cards as the industry looks to consolidate, and it looks like Virgin Media may be swept up in the maelstrom.
BT is said to be looking to acquire O2 to give it a presence in the mobile market.
Vodafone is said to be in advanced talks to acquire Tesco's BlinkBox turkey just in time for Christmas, and is also rumoured to be looking closely at Virgin Media. Whilst a deal for Virgin Media doesn't appear to be imminent there is some synergy: Vodafone hired Cindy Rose from Virgin Media last September - Rose was a senior executive at Virgin for a number of years when Neil Berkett was the big cheese.
No doubt the rich people at the top will get richer from this kind of deal - what it would mean to the average punter is less predictable.

November 28, 2014

Sky Movies arriving on Android

Virgin Media has announced it’s making available Sky Movies on Android.
Virgin Media customers with Android devices can now access the service via the Sky Movies Android app. 
But whilst iPhone and iPad users already have access to both Sky Sports and Sky Movies on their devices, Android is only getting Sky Movies for now. Doesn't work with the Lollipop release of Android either, but apparently should do soon.
Virgin Media says it’s ‘working hard’ to bring Sky Sports to Android, however there’s no announced date yet.

TiVo growing strongly

TiVo Inc. reported growth in services and technology revenue at the upper end of expectations as the digital video recorder pioneer continued to add subscribers. For the current quarter, TiVo forecast earnings of $2 million to $5 million and service-and-technology revenue of $87 million to $90 million.
TiVo’s subscriber base has continued to expand with a boost from more distribution agreements with pay-TV providers such as Virgin Media, with total subscriptions reached more than 5.1 million, up 32% from 3.9 million a year earlier.
In an interview Chief Executive Tom Rogers said North American pay-TV subscribers climbed 69% and that the company is serving 19 of the 25 top operators in the U.S. Overall, the company added 337,000 pay-TV-carrier subscribers, an increase of 14% from a year earlier, while pay-TV carrier-related revenue rose 37%.
At the upper end of the market, the company’s $5,000 Mega TiVo for US customers “will be out probably in the second quarter of next year, “ he said.

November 21, 2014

All TiVo updates will be completed by Tuesday 25th

Virgin Media price rise

Overall customers are seeing an average 5.9% increase, the company said. This is well above the rate of inflation.
Those on its Big Daddy and Big Kahuna bundles, which include Sky Sports/Movies, unlimited calls and the fastest broadband, will pay £4.50 a month more, with some customers paying £99.50 a month, or £1,194 a year, for their service. (I'm still on the old VIP deal and suspect I can save some money by moving to one of the newer bundles - this latest price rise will prompt me to action at last.)
Unlike its rivals, Virgin Media said it would not increase its calls charges and that its 1571 ansaphone service would remain free. BT and Sky now charge for this service – £22.20 a year in BT’s case.
More info over at MediaGuardian 

November 16, 2014

Top TiVo Tips revisited

When the TiVo first appeared on Virgin Media I posted some Top Tips for getting the best out of the new box. Since then over a million further customers have the joys of the TiVo in their homes, so here are those tips, and a few others, again:
  1. To reboot the TiVo don't yank out the power lead without trying to do a soft reboot on the interface first: Thumb Down - Thumb Up - Play - Play
  2. To move up and down a list a page at a time, use the Channel Up and Down buttons
  3. To quickly delete a recording, select and press Clear
  4. To improve the picture quality of SD channels, ensure that both 720p and 1080i are selected in video out
  5. If (4) makes your TV judder too much when switching between SD and HD, just select 720p
  6. (the next few are from erstwhile mega commenter Streaky7) just press the play button when you are on a show - you don't have to go through all the options to then select play show.
  7. Remember the Tivo will pick up all the recordings but it will not record them all. It recognises when you have a programme/episode recorded so doesn't record it again 
  8. HD NUT? When you set up a wishlist, then go to Category and select HD. This will mean when the programme/film you want to record comes on, it will record the HD version = be aware though, if there is no HD version and only SD, and you have HD selected in category, then it probably wont record it in SD!
  9. Hiccups Folder - My Shows & Recordings on the main menu (home button), then select 'Recording Hiccups'. Here you can see why recordings are failing to record if you are wondering
  10. (And from Commenter Richard) Quick jumps in menus
    pressing channel up or down when in a menu with a list takes you to the top or bottom option in the menu.
    EPG to search in a single click(courtesy of CWaring)
    Pressing ‘Last CH’ (aka button on bottom right of peanut ) whilst in the full EPG will take you to the "Search All TV" page.
    Understanding the FF or Rew
    FF and Rew have 3 speeds; the more times you press the faster it goes.
    Press the 4 time and it is back to the slowest of the 3 speeds.
    FF and Rew also have a ‘reaction’ control when you press play. 
    @ speed 1, Play just starts from the point you press it. you should react fast enough when you press the play. 
    @ speed 2 and 3, when you press play it bounces back (or forward when rew) a few second. (30 at fastest I think!)
    To prevent the reaction bounce, press Pause instead and then play.
    Missed something (or I’m bored of this bit!!)
    In a recording or buffer (ie regular viewing)
    • Jump backward 8 seconds... Use the ‘back’ button (@ 7oclock from the yellow pause)
    • Jump forward 30 seconds... Use the forward button (@ 5oclock from the yellow pause)
    • Press and hold these buttons to jump to the start or finish of a recording.
    Pausing a 2nd (or 3rd turner)
    You can switch between tuners by pressing Info, then scrolling down to the bottom icons. Then you can switch between tuners and pause any of them to go back to them later. note the buffer is only an hour (I think) so if you want to pause for longer – press the record button!
    Super short cut keys (courtesy of Miker @ tivo community) 
    The good old shortcuts still work - though it's "home" and not "TiVo" button:
    • Home+Home : My recordings (now playing)
    Home+1 : Manage series links
    Home+2 : Planned recordings (todo list)
    Home+3 : Wishlists
    Home+4 : Search all TV
    Home+5 : Browse all TV
    Home+0 : full screen TV + pause ?
    • Pressing CLEAR works as a shortcut for delete on most pages - most handy on the "my shows" page
    • Press SKIP >| to quickly jump to the top or bottom of long lists , e.g. My Shows
    • Channel up/down works as page up/down in lists
    • Press and hold TEXT switches your TV AV sources - that's how I flip between VM TiVo / TiVo S1 / DVD
    • Press and hold POWER button turn turn TV on/off - a short press makes TiVo go into standby
    • Press SLOW to toggle mini TV screen at top right
    • Pressing UP while watching a recording, cycles the output through all the available video formats. e.g. 576p / 1080p
    • Pressing OK while watching Live TV or a recorded program brings up a small 3 line TV listing guide

November 14, 2014


There's a "coming soon" for this channel on 179. Someone, somewhere, will be happy. Possibly. 

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.

November 13, 2014

TiVo update updates

Spiderplant (a Virgin Media chap, possibly not his real name...) is posting regularly on the areas that are next on the schedule. For those still waiting I suggest you keep an eye on this thread for the latest news.

November 11, 2014

TiVo update from Spiderplant

Rollouts since my last post on this: 
Cambridge, Hemel, Perth, Luton, Swindon, Reading, Stafford, Manchester, Perth, Falkirk, Southport, Croydon, Teesside, Uddingston, Coventry, Warwick, Cardiff, Southampton, Manchester, Wearside, Brighton, Colchester, Andover, Ashford, Bromley, Colchester, Derby, Hemel, Kirklees, Exeter, Plymouth, Norwich, Oxford, Seven Kings, Watford, Southampton, Stafford, Stoke, Swansea, Swindon, Teesside, Uddingston, Wessex, York
Areas done today (Tuesday):

November 10, 2014 reports...

Many Virgin Media customers struggled to browse the web this weekend as the firm's filtering system broke down.

Like all big UK ISPs, Virgin uses a filtering system to help children avoid seeing inappropriate content.

However, many people found they could not visit any sites as the server behind the filtering system crashed.

Virgin apologised to customers about the content blocking and said it moved quickly to fix the problem.

Filter failure

The problems emerged on 8 November when many people suddenly found it impossible to visit almost any website.

According to tech news site The Register the cause was traced to a fault on the server behind Virgin's Websafe filtering system. This inspects requests to see websites to work out if access should be granted.

For some reason, far more traffic than normal was being routed to this server which stopped it working and meant many Virgin customers could not reach any site at all.

Many people complained on Twitter about their troubles. Many were annoyed because they had not signed up to use the filtering system at all and did not want it policing their activity.

Web expert Mark Goodwin said: "Dear @virginmedia, please turn off websafe until you know it's not breaking things for everybody. Thanks. A (rather unsatisfied) customer."

Virgin responded to many of the tweets apologising for the "hiccup".

It advised many people to turn their home router off and back on again to help resolve the problem. Virgin said it got the server behind the Websafe system fixed late on Saturday.

In a statement it said: "A small number of our customers were temporarily unable to browse the internet for a couple of hours [on] Saturday evening because of a problem with one of our servers. It was quickly fixed but we apologise for any inconvenience caused."

November 08, 2014

Virgin Media Q3 2014 results

Virgin Media's Q3 2014 results Investor Press Release:
We have built strong operational momentum during 2014. We achieved our lowest ever annual customer churn since Virgin Media was formed in 2007. Our record low annual customer churn of 14.9% has contributed to cable customer growth more than doubling to 35,000, the highest quarterly customer additions since Q4 2012.
The number of subscribers to each of our cable products increased, with 88,000 organic RGUs added YTD, including 70,000 in Q3, compared to declines of 16,000 and 7,000 in the respective prior year periods. This can be partially attributed to the successful launch of our "Big Bundles" in Q2 2014, which offer combinations of our cable products and resulted in the acquisition of more double- and triple-play customers than during the same period last year. Average Monthly Revenue per Customer Relationship increased 2% to £48.98 year-over-year. The number of internet subscribers we serve grew organically by 83,000 YTD, including 49,000 in Q3. At quarter end, 2.5 million, or 56%, of these broadband customers took super-fast speeds of 50 Mbps or faster. The 431,000 increase in subscribers taking such speeds in Q3 was bolstered by our speed upgrade. We remain the clear speed leader in the fixed broadband market in the U.K., as confirmed by the U.K. regulator, Ofcom, in their latest broadband speeds report published in October 2014. Our performance in television has improved with 5,000 additional subscribers during Q3, compared to a 13,000 loss in Q3 2013. Our television attrition of 15,000 RGUs YTD also represents a significant improvement on the 42,000 loss in the first nine months of last year. The number of households with Virgin Media TiVo increased by 148,000 in Q3 to 2.4 million or 64% of all our television subscribers. We have continued to enhance our TV offering since the end of Q2 2014 with the addition of 12 new TV channels, including four new Sky Sports HD channels and a further 21 channels for our multi-screen service Virgin TV Anywhere. Our customers can now watch up to 113 channels over WiFi on smartphones and tablets. The Big Bundles also contributed to a 16,000 telephony subscriber increase in Q3 compared to a 24,000 loss in Q3 2013. During Q3, we began upgrading some legacy network to extend our digital cable services to a further 100,000 homes in East London. When completed, this digital upgrade will enable these households to subscribe to super-fast broadband and TiVo for the first time. We have also begun small network extensions elsewhere, including Glasgow and Teesside, and we will continue to evaluate opportunities to expand our digital cable network as they arise.

November 06, 2014

TiVo updates, update

Spiderplant reports these areas updated Thursday 6th: Most of Barnsley (Barnsley, Bradford, Castleford, Doncaster, Halifax, Wakefield) Bristol Glasgow (now includes Irvine) Peterborough Teeside.
My updated TiVo did a funny yesterday when I woke it up around 7.30pm - a spinning wheel for around a minute then a "c501 error" warning when I tried to access My Shows. Pressed TV and then hit My Shows again and it was okay, albeit a little slugging for a few mins. Anyone else had this?
If you explore the menus, there's something in the Settings about "Other TiVos on this network" (or words to that effect). As my other box is an old V+ I haven't been able to check this out - has anyone else had a look?

November 04, 2014

TiVo update ahoy!

Mine's now plum-coloured and looking cool - anyone else got the software refresh? Views?
Areas updated today have been Carlisle, Coventry, Dundee, Edinburgh, Exeter, Hemel, Lewisham and Warwick. 

October 29, 2014

Liverpool FC TV in HD

Fans of mid-table Premiership football may be disappointed to hear that Liverpool is following the path trodden by Man Utd and is making its new HD channel a Sky exclusive. It's not clear yet if VM will continue with the SD version - if they do it will go subscription-only as Sky's introducing a £7 monthly charge for the scouse-dedicated HD channel.
(Some compensation for VM customers is that BT Sport continues to give Liverpool a high profile this season.)

October 18, 2014

HBO looking to cut the cable?

HBO is finally moving to confront the threat of Netflix in the US and is to offer some of its programming to customers who don't have a cable subscription via a new "OTT" (i.e. Internet) service. Is this the start of the end for the huge US cable industry and the tipping point for cord cutting? This article on The Register makes some interesting points .

October 14, 2014

BBC iPlayer HD disappears from V+

From the VM Community Boards:
The BBC is improving its iPlayer service across all platforms this year with some new features and benefits including moving to a 30 day catch up as opposed to 7 days. Our TiVo® customers will benefit from all of these new features when it rolls out on the platform later this year. For our non-TiVo TV customers, the BBC iPlayer will remain as a seven day catch-up service and HD shows [have been] removed [since] Saturday 12th July. But there is a silver lining as our non-TiVo customers will now have access to even more BBC programmes than ever before in standard definition.

"Sky America"?

Here's an odd one. There's a Virgin Media ad in the tabloid papers today and in the small print it says "Sky Atlantic, Sky 3D and Sky America not included with Virgin Media". There's been no announcement of any new channel called Sky America yet, but if it is "coming soon" for satellite customers it looks like we won't see it any time soon.

October 08, 2014

ITVBe to launch soon in HD

The new channel features reality programming from the UK and the US and is the exclusive home of ITV’s award-winning series, The Only Way is Essex. The channel also features original commissions including Seven Days with… and Dinner Date, plus US acquisitions including Ladies of London and Millionaire Matchmaker.  

ITVBe is available in SD to Virgin TV customers with the HD and +1 versions of the channel joining the line-up in the coming weeks.

Can't wait...

October 06, 2014

BBC iPlayer now has shows for 30 days rather than just seven

This from Auntie herself:
Shows will now be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days rather than seven, after the service was extended by the corporation. The move was announced in April but has now been put into effect. It has been introduced in time for the autumn schedule, which is traditionally one of the most popular times of the year for TV viewing.
Which is very good news if, like me, you go looking for something only to find it's disappearing before you have time to watch it. However if you find the iPlayer service bordering on unusable via Virgin Media (I find it good in SD but the HD playback is very unreliable) then it may prove even more frustrating.
I now use my Smart TV's iPlayer by default rather than the TiVo's. Ditto Netflix. I sometimes wonder if my TiVo is now an extravagance rather than a necessity...

October 03, 2014

BT Sport Extra arrives, via the Red button

If you are one of the few Virgin Media customers who still believes you are being short changed on the amount of sports channels we have, good news - another one is on the way.
TiVo owners with a BT Sport subscription can now get the new BT Sport Extra channel for no additional cost. (Media Boy is reporting it's now working on non-TiVo boxes too.)
The new BT Sport channel, which includes coverage of games from the Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Primera Liga and Brasileirao, can be accessed when watching either BT Sport 1 or BT Sport 2 via the Red button - you’ll need to head to BT Sport 1 and 2 at channel 547 and channel 548, BT Sport 1 HD on channel 549 and BT Sport 2 HD on channel 550 and hit the Red button.
It's not in high definition (I don't think any of the red button channels are) and the line up is hardly mass audience, but it will no doubt appeal to some.

ITV HD sync issues

This just in from Virgin Media:
We are aware that some customers may be experiencing Audio Sync issues on ITV HD, Channel 113.

Our networks department are currently in discussions with ITV regarding this.

We have discovered that changing the audio settings on your TiVo® may help with this in the short term.

To change your Audio settings just click on

Home > Help & Settings> Settings > Audio > Dolby Digital

Then select "Dolby Digital to PCM"

Should you be experiencing this, please could you reply to this post with the make and model of your TV, and if you use our TiVo® service, or another one of our set top boxes. 

September 20, 2014

Now TV Entertainment price rise

It was only a matter of time - anyone watching the last season of Boardwalk Empire or the first of Leftovers on Sky Atlantic via Now TV is in for a surprise. Sky is raising the monthly fee from £4.99 to £6.99 from October 16th. That's before those two series finish their current runs. Now you may call me a cynic but isn't that just bloody typical??

Wifi Buddy debuts for Android

What's this? A Virgin Media App that's for Android only?? Can it be true?
Apparently so. Wifi Buddy is not on Apple devices so Android fans fill your boots:
Meet your WiFi Buddy 
We all want superfast speeds when surfing the internet on our mobiles but sometimes it slows up when you’re out of a WiFi zone. That’s why we’ve created our Virgin Media WiFi Buddy app – exclusively for Virgin Mobile customers – that automatically connects you to public WiFi hotspots. It means you won’t eat into any of your mobile data and it’s much quicker than 3G, too. The app actively hooks you up to free access to tens of thousands of WiFi hotspots in the UK and more than 19 million worldwide. Sweet! It’s only available on Android handsets for now, so visit the link below to download from Google’s Play Store, and stream to your heart’s content!

September 13, 2014

TiVo update announced by Virgin Media

Today, Virgin Media has unveiled a significant update to the UKs largest connected TV platform, with a new look on its way for our 2.3 million plus Virgin Media TiVo customers.


The visual style reflects our new brand identity but also introduces HTML 5, with a higher definition interface that paves the way for better access for app developers. For example, we’re working with Opera to bring its app store to TiVo – more details will follow once the rollout is complete.


And here's a sneak peek: 




The update also includes the introduction of our new ‘What to Watch Now’ feature, which presents you with a list of shows you may enjoy that have recently started or are about to start, categorised into kids shows, movies, sports content and programmes that are popular on TV.


As we approach TiVo’s fourth birthday, it remains the most advanced service around, uniquely integrating the best of the web with entertainment such as Netflix and YouTube. TiVo’s single search and intelligent recommendation engine enables viewers to rapidly find what they want to watch and discover new shows, all within a Virgin Media environment with no need to swap remotes, leads or TV inputs. It learns what customers watch, and love, to promote more relevant content.


We'll be rolling out the new TiVo software update across few regions from next week. The full roll out for rest of our TiVo customers will start from October and will be complete by end of the year.

September 12, 2014

TiVo US announces new monster TiVo beastie

TiVo in the US has announced the TiVo Mega which has a ridiculous 24TB of storage capacity, capable of holding up to 26,000 hours of SD or 4,000 hours of HD.
The Mega also includes six tuners and in the US will have whole-home networking capability (Ethernet and MoCA); and will provide universal search capability across cable, video-on-demand and web apps (including YouTube and Netflix).
The TiVo Mega will be available in the US only early 2015 at a price that is expected to be around $5,000 (£3.2k), although final pricing is still to be determined. “Mega is TiVo’s high-end product meant for the ultra-entertainment enthusiast,” say TiVo. “Mega marries unprecedented storage with the all-in-one approach to live, recorded, on-demand television that gives consumers what they want on any screen, wherever they are.”
I think it's fair to say that this won't be standard issue from Virgin Media...

August 15, 2014

New BBC iPlayer for TiVo on its way

Marcus Parnwell, executive product manager for BBC iPlayer on TV, says on the BBC blog that they "...are working with YouView, Virgin Media and BT to bring new BBC iPlayer to these platforms. Whilst I cannot announce dates, we are targeting this year for these platforms. Similarly, other devices on our legacy version of BBC iPlayer will be migrated to the new version this year as well."
It's also been announced that iPlayer will launch on the Xbox One, but again no date was confirmed.

August 13, 2014

Sky Sports 5 HD launches

Seems to be a slight sound sync issue, but it's up and running in time for the new season on channels 516. All Sky Sports channels are free to all VM customers this coming Saturday: details here.
Sky Sports 5 is being promoted as "your home of European football" but it won't be for long: BT has the rights to the Champions League and Europa League too from the 2015/16 season and you have to wonder how Sky will spin out its smaller sports rights across five full time channels in the long run.

August 11, 2014

Now TV introduces a weekly Sky Sports pass

BSkyB's Now TV service, which first began introduced a £9.99 day pass for Sky Sports 18 months ago, has announced a Sky Sports weekly pass available from Thursday, August 14th. Now TV customers will be able to access Sky's seven sports channels for £10.99 a week. Be warned though that from 27 November this will rise to £14.99. The day pass will also be reduced to £6.99 for a limited promotional period.
Of course, they need to sort out the much-discussed service problems they have had with the internet-based service before anyone will pay anything methinks (the whole service went infamously pop during the final day of the last Premiership season due to "unforeseen" demand, ditto every live episode of Game of Thrones). The new pay-as-you-go Sky Sports may suit some folk - someone who is only interested in a particular tournament such as a Test match or golf tournament may find it cost effective- but the picture quality and reliability would need to improve dramatically before I put my money anywhere near it for live sports viewing.

August 09, 2014

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The second film of Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy has arrived on Netflix UK this week, which is a welcome addition to the limited number of newer films on the service. As Sky has secured exclusive rights to so many of first-run films, it's good to see that Netflix still has some popular new releases up its sleeve. To the best of my knowledge Sky doesn't have the rights to any of the Hobbit films.

August 07, 2014

Virgin Media Q2 2014 Financial Results

Before Liberty Global bought Virgin Media the quarterly results used to make interesting reading. Sadly, under LG they're pretty much indecipherable and you need a degree in business speak to understand them Here's the latest Liberty Global press release. Here are a few of the highlights I understood:

  • Revenue has increased 3% to £1.054 billion in Q2 and 2% to £2.098 billion in the year to date.
  • Customer losses reduced in Q2 and year to date due to higher acquisitions and lower churn year on year.
  • Strong take-up of new 50+ Mbps speeds, with an increase of 424,400 in Q2 
  • 60% of TV subscribers in Q2 have TiVo compared with 44% at the end of Q2 2013

August 03, 2014

VM survey on iPlayer and Netflix TiVo performance

If you have issues with BBC iPlayer or Netflix on the TiVo you can let Virgin know via this survey on their community boards:
Personally, I find the TiVo's iPlayer and Netflix picture quality worse than my Sony TV's own Apps, in fact iPlayer HD on the TiVo is pretty much unwatchable most evenings and I've stopped even trying it. 

July 23, 2014

Family Filters fail to make their mark

Hmmm. From the BBC:
"The vast majority of new broadband customers in the UK are opting out of "child friendly" filters when prompted to install them by service providers. The industry watchdog Ofcom found fewer than one in seven households installed the feature, which is offered by BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media. 

"In July 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron announced the major UK internet service providers (ISPs) had agreed to offer "unavoidable choice" parental control filters, which block legal pornography and other adult subjects "by default". However, the Ofcom report found users had overwhelmingly opted-out of the filter.

"The percentage of customers taking up the option for each service provider are as follows:

  • Virgin Media - 4%
  • BT - 5%
  • Sky - 8%
  • TalkTalk - 36%

"All new subscribers to the ISPs were offered the "unavoidable choice" option, with the exception of Virgin Media, which only presented the feature to 35% of customers."

What a surprise. 

July 21, 2014

He wouldn't, would he??

You may have heard that Rupert Murdoch is trying to buy media giant TimeWarner. Lots of speculation about how he would fund it but here's an interesting suggestion: Bloomberg’s Caroline Hyde reports that Rupert Murdoch is considering selling his Italian and German pay-TV assets to help boost his offer for Time Warner. If approved, a Time Warner transaction could also trigger the sale of Fox’s stake in BSkyB. (Source: Bloomberg)
A Murdoch-free BSkyB? I will believe it when I see it. 

July 20, 2014

Virgin Media's TV Anywhere streaming app comes to Kindle Fire tablets

The Amazon Appstore now has the TV Anywhere app so it now works on the Amazon Kindle Fire tablet. It'll let you watch live TV over a WiFi connection (3G/4G streaming is not currently supported), manage your set-top box recordings, browse TV listings and also serve as a remote control.
Virgin claims it's the first service of its kind to come to Amazon's marketplace in the UK.

July 19, 2014

Virgin broadband reliability poll

Just a quick word on the recent broadband poll regarding its reliability: 44% (159 voters) said that they have found VM broadband just as reliable over the last twelve months, whilst 41% said it was less reliable and only 14% thought it had improved. 
That's not great reading for Virgin as it embarks upon yet another expensive marketing campaign boasting about how great everything is for VM customers. With the big speed hike in the offing for many, let's hope VM can sort out some of the basics and give us what we are actually paying for, otherwise it will all end in tears. DNS stability would be a good start, as would Superhub 2 upgrades for those of us still struggling with the original Superhubs.

July 18, 2014

Sky Movies and Sports already working on Apple tablets and phones

They were promised for August but it's only mid-July and the Sky Sports and Movies apps are already working fine on my iPad. You need to load the Sky Apps from the App Store, and once you have them you have a button to type in your VM ID and password, you then have to set a Sky PIN, and away you go.
Nice one.

TiVo abandons Adobe Flash and Air

TiVo in the US has quietly retired the Adobe Flash and Air  code underpinning those TiVo screens with a new July update.
The new software promises a significant boost in interface navigation speed, having been re-built in the Open Source Haxe. In addition to being faster, the new user interace also adds a new "My Shows" column within which the viewer's favourite content is gathered up (see video above).
This move from Flash also opens the door to TiVo one day running Cloud services on Amazon Fire TV, Xbox One, and other platforms. More details on SlashGear.
I don't know when Virgin customers will be updated.

July 17, 2014

Liberty Global buys into ITV

After previous management quite vocally avoided investing in TV broadcasters for many years, Virgin Media's new parent company, Liberty Global, has forked out a not-inconsiderable £481m for BSkyB's 6.4% stake in ITV.
Liberty Global chief executive Mike Fries said: “This is an opportunistic and attractive investment for us in our largest cable market. ITV is the leading commercial broadcaster in the UK and we’re excited to be shareholders.” The company said that it does not intend to make an offer to buy ITV outright, but it does reserve the right to do so within the next six months.
I would hope that the HD channel, ITV Encore, doesn't remain a Sky exclusive for too much longer, but knowing how cunning Sky lawyers are I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for it to materialise on your TiVo. Maybe some prime ITV on-demand HD (e.g. Broadchurch, Downton) could appear instead?

July 15, 2014

Sky Movies and Sports on Apple iPhones etc in August

Watch Sky Movies and Sky Sports on the go – available mid-August

For your viewing pleasure, this summer you'll be able to access Sky Movies and Sky Sports through their fantastic new apps. From mid-August just download the free Sky Movies app and Sky Sports apps for iPad, for iPhone and iPod touch from the App Store. Just in time for the Barclays Premier League.
This means that instead of watching Sky Movies and Sky Sports through TV Anywhere, you’ll now be able to enjoy them on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch anywhere is the UK with a WiFi, 3G, 4G connection.
Don’t worry though – you’ll still be able to watch all your other channels on the go with TV Anywhere.
Then you can enjoy over 800 blockbusters, live movies, live sports, news clips, match highlights and in app cinema finder and loads more great features!

Sky Sports 3, 4 and F1 arrive in high definition

As previously reported, Virgin Media has shuffled the Sky channels around the EPG today bringing in the additional Sports channels (Sports 3, 4, News (date TBC), F1 and, from August 12th, 5) and aligning the movies EPG numbers to those on Sky. Here are the changes:
110. Sky 1 HD (formerly on 122)
112. Sky Living HD (110)

Sky Movies
434. Sky Movies Greats HD (440)
435. Sky Movies Disney HD (437)
437. Sky Movies Act+Adv HD (435)
438. Sky Movies Comedy HD (434)
439. Sky Movies Crime HD (441)
440. Sky Movies Drama HD (438)
441. Sky Movies Scifi HD (439)

Sky Sports
511. Sky Sports News HD (Launch date TBC)
512. Sky Sports 1 HD (517)
513. Sky Sports 2 HD (518)
514. Sky Sports 3 HD
515. Sky Sports 4 HD
516. Sky Sports 5 HD (Coming August 12th)
517. Sky Sports F1 HD

July 09, 2014

Having a problem with Virgin Media broadband?

If, like me, you're finding VM broadband someone erratic, you may like to try switching your DNS settings to either Google DNS or OpenDNS. Click the links to find out more.
Virgin admitted to a DNS issue last week and again this week and I'm not convinced they have resolved things so I switched to Google DNS - it's free and took seconds. Seems to have not just stabilised the service a bit but I'm even seeing around 10% download speed improvements, too.

MUTV HD will be a Sky exclusive

Contrary to the earlier report, MUTV's HD version will be a Sky exclusive:

MUTV is £6 or €8/month on Sky, Virgin Media or UPC. Upon HD launch, MUTV will be available in HD & SD on Sky for the same price of £6 or €8/month. MUTV will not be available in HD on Virgin Media or UPC but will still be available in SD. 

July 06, 2014

Virgin Broadband - is it less reliable these days?

Since I posted about my problems with Virgin broadband (and TV) last weekend I've received a number of emails and comments from other customers who have found the service disappointing or frustrating in recent months. Is this due to (unadvertised) engineering work for the much-promoted speed increases or a sign of something more worrying? I don't know, but top right is a quick poll to see how visitors to this blog feel Virgin Media's broadband service is fairing these days.

July 05, 2014

A couple of small things...

First, the good news: my broadband this weekend is solid as a rock. This reading's on my MacBook over the wireless from the Superhub about three metres away, which is pretty good (if I plug the laptop in direct it's around the 125mbps mark). So well done Virgin for sorting out last weekend's problems.
Now the less good: someone hacked onto this blog overnight and posted a bad link to malicious code. I don't think many saw it and I took the post down and reported it as soon as I found out, but if you see any posts on this site and that don't look genuine, please don't click on any links within.

July 04, 2014

Sky HD channels additions and moves, July 15th

Virgin Media is shuffling its Sky channels around the EPG from July 15th, bringing in the additional Sports channels (Sports 3, 4, News (date TBC), F1 and, from August 12th, 5) and aligning the movies EPG numbers to those on Sky. Here are the reported changes, which will be subject to change I would expect until they actually happen:

110. Sky 1 HD (formerly on 122)
112. Sky Living HD (110)

Sky Movies
434. Sky Movies Greats HD (440)
435. Sky Movies Disney HD (437)
437. Sky Movies Act+Adv HD (435)
438. Sky Movies Comedy HD (434)
439. Sky Movies Crime HD (441)
440. Sky Movies Drama HD (438)
441. Sky Movies Scifi HD (439)

Sky Sports
511. Sky Sports News HD (Launch date TBC)
512. Sky Sports 1 HD (517)
513. Sky Sports 2 HD (518)
514. Sky Sports 3 HD
515. Sky Sports 4 HD
516. Sky Sports 5 HD (Coming August 12th)
517. Sky Sports F1 HD

June 29, 2014

Another weekend, another Virgin Media outage

Sad to report that my house in Greenwich, south east London, is experiencing yet another weekend of Virgin Media outages. A few weeks back we had no internet for the weekend, now we more of the same. The service has been down 24 hours now with access so intermittent it's unusable, and the TV service is buggered too - nothing whatsoever on the V+ and the TiVo picture is present but unwatchable - freezing and breaking up every few seconds.
Customer Service proved to be a disappointment - I reported the problem yesterday, spent fifteen minutes reporting the TV problem, then had to go through the whole rigmarole again with the broadband guy - shouldn't this all be joined up? I reported the issues at lunchtime and it was acknowledged as an area problem as they'd had several customers call, but the Status page wasn't updated until late in the afternoon. They've booked me an engineer for Tuesday but it's a network problem, not local, as my neighbours are similarly afflicted. That's poor.
My family's losing it's patience with Virgin Media and I must admit I am too. Our broadband service has deteriorated dramatically this year, especially in the evenings and across the weekends (when we actually have it) and I've been told by the guys on 150 that the service won't be rectified until "later in the year". Strewth. We pay for high speed broadband (I'm on VIP) - we are getting under 1mb downloads.
Not at all happy. I never intended this blog to become a modern day "NTHell" site, but I fear it could be heading that way.

June 24, 2014

Additional Sky Sports channels in HD update

Media Boy on his blog is reporting that Sky Sports 3, 4 and F1 will arrive on Virgin Media in HD on July 20th, just in time for the German Grand Prix that day which is not on the BBC (unlike the British Grand Prix on the 6th).

June 21, 2014

Believe in...trying harder

Now TV emailed me this morning offering me two months of their Entertainment package for £2 a month. You can't argue that Sky don't try hard, especially the marketing department. It's a shame the infrastructure supporting the service hasn't been built sufficiently to deliver a suitable service at peak times to meet demand.
Only a few weeks back there was talk of a price rise to £8.99 a month (from £4.99 a month), so they must recognise there's been a litany of serious problems and customers are hacked off and unlikely to return for a sub standard service of buffering and availability issues.

June 17, 2014

Game of Thrones season 4

Sky Atlantic only broadcast the last episode of the current season of Game of Thrones on Monday evening, but BlinkBox, the Tesco service, already has it available for non-Sky customers on the streaming service - check out BlinkBox Game of Thrones. £17.99 for SD, £23.99 for HD. It's also available (for slightly more) on GooglePlay. That's bloody quick availability - NowTV customers probably won't get a playable version through on demand for a few more days yet!
The Blu Ray and DVD won't appear until next Spring, unless the folk at HBO have a change of heart. (I was surprised to see this year's HBO biggie True Detective out on disc earlier this month, just a few weeks after Sky finished broadcasting it.)

June 12, 2014

Sky Sports 5 HD coming to Virgin, too

Can they spread the Sky Sports coverage any thinner? Seemingly so, as the launch of Sky Sports 5 HD is confirmed for August 12th and launching on Virgin Media too.
Not sure about it being the "home of European football" for much longer - BT Sports has the rights to Champions League from summer 2015. Anyway, mustn't grumble.
More details at

June 06, 2014

BBC tests 4k with three World Cup matches

From BBC News:
Three World Cup football matches being played in Brazil this summer will be streamed in ultra high-definition (UHD), the BBC has announced.
The format, also known as 4K, offers four times the resolution of 1080p high definition video. The matches - including the quarter final and the final - mark one of the first times a live event has been streamed over the air in UHD in the UK. Previously the BBC has worked with Japanese broadcaster NHK on such trials. Rival broadcaster Sky has also run 4K trials. The live streams will be distributed via satellite, but only to a handful of UHD TV sets in selected BBC Research and Development facilities.

June 05, 2014

Updated: "Manchester United's MUTV to launch in HD in July"

Coming to Virgin Media next month, Man U fans can enjoy the good old days in HD:
UPDATE: Now confirmed as a Sky exclusive and not coming to VM

Manchester United's new beginning will coincide with a new era for MUTV this summer as it becomes the first club channel in the UK to broadcast in HD.

This exciting upgrade, effective from July, means fans will be able to watch the Reds' live pre-season games in stunning high definition for the very first time, as new managerLouis van Gaal takes the team to the United States on Tour 2014, presented by Aon.

The tour fixtures confirmed so far are as follows (UK/Ireland times in brackets):
23 July, 19:30 (24 July, 03:30) - LA Galaxy, Pasadena
26 July, 14:10 (26 July, 21:10) - AS Roma, Denver
29 July, 19:00 (30 July, 00:00) - Inter Milan, Washington DC
2 August, 16:05 (2 August, 21:05) - Real Madrid, Ann Arbor

Live coverage will continue into the new 2014/15 season as MUTV shows United's Under-21s and Under-18s in HD, giving fans the chance to spot the players who might follow Adnan Januzaj, James Wilson and Tom Lawrence into the first team.

Update on additional Sky Sports HD

Media Boy is reporting that Sky Sports 3, 4 and F1 are to launch in July. No launch date yet for Sky News or Sports News in HD.

June 03, 2014

Four million served

I don't give this blog always the close attention I used to, but I noticed just now that we've now clicked passed over four million page views served. That's pretty neat.
We've come a long way from the old days of Virgin Media having just BBC HD broadcasting in the evenings a mishmash of repeats for a few hours, so well done those who've been here since day one, and thanks to all for popping by every now and again to see what's going on. The audience for this blog is pretty regular still at 50k hits a day, so here's to the next 4m pages served!

New to Netflix

Keep an eye on the excellent MAFT blog to learn what's arrived on (or departed from) Netflix overnight. Netflix is a funny place - some complain about a second-rate film catalogue but I always find loads of great films and the TV lineup is second to none. What's really great though is they've invested in the infrastructure and the quality of the picture is out of this world. Anyone at Now TV paying attention?
So gone today is the first Hunger Games movie, which didn't strike me as anything special but then I'm not the target audience, but arriving are a couple of classics Pulp Fiction and City of God, whilst Joss Whedon fans not only have Cabin in the Woods and Avengers Assemble but also Much Ado About Nothing too. Having recently watched Ryan Gosling in Drive I was delighted to see last year's Only God Forgives appear, and Terry Gilliam's back catalogue is almost complete now. Throw in Woody Allen's better movies (Annie Hall and Manhattan) and a smattering of Spielberg (Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, Munich, War of the Worlds, Amistad) and that's me set for the summer. It's not Sky Movies, but then it's not over twenty quid a month either (or whatever the Sky Movies HD add on is these days). For me, Netflix is the future and can only get better. Great TV, a fine selection of movies, all presented in stunning 1080p.

May 23, 2014

TV Anywhere on Android update.

Virgin's TV Anywhere app on Android is being updated, allowing more subscribers to view channels on their devices.
A Virgin Media spokesperson explained that while more phones and tablets would be able to make use of Virgin TV Anywhere, not all devices can be fully supported from launch. (The list of currently supported Android devices can be found here.)
A spokesperson said: “We are always looking at new ways to make Virgin TV Anywhere available to more customers on more devices. Later this week, the most comprehensive entertainment-anywhere service of its kind will be enabled for another 25 smartphones and tablets. “Due to the volume of Android devices in the market, these have not gone through extensive testing to be classified as “supported”.”

May 12, 2014

Sky News, Sky Sports News,3, 4 and F1 all coming to Virgin in HD

From MediaGuardian:
Virgin Media has struck a five-year deal to carry BSkyB's TV channels – but once again failed to reach agreement to offer Sky Atlantic, home to big name shows including Game of Thrones. The new deal, a significant extension of the existing three-year deal the two TV companies have in place, is the latest move in the battle against BT Sport. 
Under the new deal Virgin Media will also offer customers five of BSkyB's new high definition channels – for Sky Sports 3 and 4, Sky Sports News, Sky News and its dedicated F1 channel. However, the new deal does not include Sky Atlantic, home to big-budget HBO output including Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and Mad Men. 
The two companies have never been able to agree on a price to carry Sky Atlantic, with Sky maintaining it is much more valuable than the audience levels the channel attracts. The new deal also marks the first time that Virgin Media customers will be able to access Sky's channels through smartphones and tablets using the Virgin TV Anywhere app.

May 10, 2014

Now TV On Demand off the menu

Sky Atlantic on demand on Now TV has started removing content. Here's the feeble response on the Now TV community board:
"We've received questions from customers in the past few days about the availability of Game of Thrones seasons 1-3. All three seasons have now left the service, as originally planned.

 We're really sorry if anybody didn't have the time to get through all of the episodes. We made a big thing out of when they all became available two months ago, and hoped everyone would be able to watch them all in that time.

If we'd kept Game of Thrones for longer, it'd mean that you could watch the first three seasons, but then would miss out on episode one of season four, which is also leaving the catch up service. Catch up episodes are available for 30 days from broadcast.

The NOW TV Entertainment Month Pass is designed to showcase the newest and best entertainment content Sky channels have to offer, supported by previous seasons of the same shows to let people catch up on what they've missed."

The cynics would suggest it's simply a poorly executed marketing ploy for the satellite service. Believe in Upselling...

May 09, 2014

Netflix fixes price for existing customers for two years

"In order to continue adding more films and TV programmes, we are increasing our price from £5.99 to £6.99 for new members. As a thank you for being a member of Netflix already, we guarantee that your plan and price will not change for two years.–The Netflix Team"
Unfortunately The Guardian is reporting that "Netflix will allow subscribers to continue paying £5.99 a month if they opt for a lower-resolution "SD" quality service. It also has a multiple-users service for £8.99 a month which allows four users to view programmes at the same time on a single monthly account. So that's actually a price increase of £2 for the same service (we currently have HD and multi-user access) - not sure how accurate the Grauniad is on this as I can't see any reference to this in any coverage.
Update: Netflix assure me that :
"The quality will not change at all. You will still have the same quality. It is that new members will see an increase in the price, but you will not be affected."

May 04, 2014

Farewell, Now TV

My monthly subscription to the Entertainment package on Now TV is up for renewal tomorrow and I've already cancelled. Life is too short for the nightly grief of buffering, pixelated images and service outages, and in case you think it's just me, check out the comments of woe from Now TV's own Facebook ad.
So it's back to that mate of mine who has a USB of new episodes of GoT and Mad Men every Monday evening. I don't want to go that route so hopefully one day Sky or HBO (who have similar problems with their IP service in the US) will sort out their delivery systems and give the customers what they want.
(And I seem to be cursed this week. The Nialli family sat down on Saturday night to enjoy Rush in HD via Virgin Movies, only to have the On Demand service fail during the film's big climax, just twenty minutes from the end! Worked again after a half hour break, but bloody difficult can these things be??)

May 01, 2014

Sky Atlantic on Now TV: price to soar before the end of the current season of Game of Thrones

Those of us who have shelled out £4.99 this month to watch the latest seasons of Game of Thrones and Mad Men legally on Sky Atlantic via the Now TV service are to suffer a 40% price hike before the current seasons finish. Sky is whacking up the price to a ridiculous £6.99 before the end of May. Bloody hell.
The fledgling service, which, after my initial excitement has proven to be a nightly disappointment with its appalling picture quality, buffering, and service outages, is definitely getting cancelled in my household now.
And they wonder why people use bit torrent or usenet...

more info: thinkbroadband

UPDATE: this from Now TV:
Hi Everyone,
Just want to let you know that the price rise is being put on hold.  Entertainment Month Passes will continue to be £4.99 a month, and Sky Movies Month Passes will continue to be £8.99 per month.

We're in the process of updating the entire NOW TV site with this information, but it should all be correct very soon.

Now TV investment impacts Sky's results

From MediaGuardian
Growth in BSkyB's traditional satellite TV customer base has dwindled over the past few years, but investment in Now TV is starting to pay off. "We have had a strong third quarter and continued to grow at an accelerated rate as customers respond to the quality and breadth of our offering," said Darroch. 
BSkyB's pre-tax profits for the nine months to the end of March were £793m, down 17% year on year. However, much of this is due to a non-cash write-off relating to depreciation and amortisation in investments such as Now TV and advertising service Adsmart. 
Profits were also hit by the £70m investment announced to drive its connected set-top box strategy, and a one-off increase in Premier League TV rights costs. Overall BSkyB performed solidly with revenues up 6.6% in the nine months to the end of March to £5.66bn, and adjusted profits down just slightly at 2.4% to £1.2bn
So Sky has made an investment in Now TV, but is it anywhere near enough? My recent experience suggests a service that's not really reliable enough yet to unleash on consumers. It's certainly not a patch on Netflix or BBC iPlayer.

April 29, 2014

Just received this from Now TV


We'd like to say sorry for the problems you’ve experienced with NOW TV recently.

To apologise, we'll shortly be sending you a £10 voucher which you will be able to redeem from a wide range of shops including ASDA, Morrisons, John Lewis, Sainsbury's and Boots.

Thank you for your ongoing patience at this time.


What's a little odd about this is that I hadn't actually complained to Now TV about the service problems of the last week but had mentioned it on a few posts on this blog. Either Now TV monitor this blog (which I doubt, but if they do - hi guys!) or the problems are pretty widespread and affecting all customers. I'm surprised they've gone for the voucher compensation - I would have thought an extra couple of months of the Entertainment sub I have would have been easier, but I'm not complaining. Having said that, I doubt I'll renew the service once Game of Thrones has finished its current run.