August 29, 2015

Lifetime HD to launch on Virgin Media

Apparently. It used to the Biography channel, then got re-named Bio (like some kind of washing powder) and then Lifetime. Not sure how much of the programming will be actual high definition, but just because it's not a channel I watch doesn't mean it won't have an audience of course.

Coming to Netflix UK

(Nialli recommendations in BOLD)
1st September
The Reconstruction Of William Zero (film, 2014)
Banshee Chapter (film, 2013)
Dark Summer (film, 2015)
The One (film, 2001)
Badults (TV, season 1)
Still Game (TV, season 4 and 5)
1971 (documentary, 2014)
Capital C (documentary, 2014)
Aliens On The Moon: The Truth Exposed (documentary, 2014)
Living On One Dollar (documentary, 2013)
4th September
Bad Night (film, 2015)
Entertainment (film, 2014)
Nas: Time Is Illmatic (documentary, 2014)
I Dream of Wires (documentary, 2014)
5th September
Left Behind (film, 2014)
6th September
All Things to All Men (film, 2013)
9th September
Starry Eyes (film, 2014)
11th September
Monsters University (film, 2013)
Toy Story (film, 1995)
13th September
Still Life (film, 2013)
Promised Land (film, 2012)
The Wise Kids (film, 2011)
15th September
Only Fools and Horses (TV, seasons 1 and 2)
16th September
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (film, 2014)
Swing Vote (film, 2008)
The Odessa File (film, 1974)
18th September
Return to Oz (film, 1985)
Toy Story 2 (film, 1999)
Keith Richards: Under The Influence (documentary, 2015)
20th September
R.I.P.D. (film, 2013)
23rd September
From Beyond (film, 1986)
Night of the Comet (film, 1984)
Stargate: The Ark of Truth (film, 2008)
Stephen King's Thinner (film, 1996)
The Kite Runner (film, 2007)
24th September
Thor: The Dark World (film, 2013)
Iris (documentary, 2015)
28th September
Planes (film, 2013)
Housebound (film, 2014)
Spring (film, 2014)

August 13, 2015

Curzon Home Cinema App launched on Virgin Media TiVo

If you're tired if the constant overloud battering of Hollywood's blockbusters, you may be pleased to hear that Curzon Home Cinema has launched a new App on Virgin Media's TiVo.
The pay-per-view VOD platform, which offers independent and art house films to rent, is operated by the Curzon Cinemas chain and offers smaller titles that may not receive a wide theatrical release in UK.
David Bouchier, Chief Digital Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media, says: “We’re delighted to bring Curzon Home Cinema’s films and curated selections to our customers across the country. We’re passionate about keeping people entertained with an ever increasing movie offering which is why TiVo is the perfect home for Curzon’s app.”
A quick look at the Curzon Home Cinema site will give you an idea if this is for you. Current cinema releases are £10, older releases £2. Streams are usually in 720p.

August 12, 2015

AMC Global heading to Virgin Media?

There's a rumour over on Cable Forum that Virgin Media will be getting the new AMC Global channel this  month, in time for the launch of the Fear The Walking Dead first season. Nothing official yet, but the source is pretty well connected. No word if it will be SD or HD. BT were touting the channel as a BT "exclusive", so let's see what happens.

August 11, 2015

When TiVo die

I knew it was coming, but the failure of all my attempted recordings this weekend and the noises from within my TiVo not dissimilar to a washing machine going into the spin cycle were the final death throes of my original TiVo.
VM have quickly replaced the ailing relic from 2010 with a new box (Samsung, for those who keep notes on these things). Very efficient, all done within 24 hours of me calling 150.
But (and it's a big but) I've lost over 500gb of recordings as they couldn't be copied over to the new box, including some series I was halfway through watching (notably Humans and Wayward Pines) and others I hadn't started yet. Frustrating.
Now I'm somewhat naive about the technology inside a TiVo, but presumably it's not too dissimilar from a computer, so surely in this day and age copying data from one disc to another is not that difficult? Or am I missing something? Sure, it would take a while, but couldn't an engineer do this whilst he's filling in the paperwork (that seems to take an age)?
As it is, I will finish watching series using the 4 and Fox catch up services, but it is strange that in this day and age when 1Tb isn't a massive amount of data any more that a transfer process still isn't on offer.

August 07, 2015

New Now TV box: 1080p capable, but the service remains at 720p for now

There's a new, £14.99 Now TV box launched this month that boasts a faster processor, ethernet port  (if you find that more reliable) and is 1080p capable. (There are also USB and MicroSD slots, but apparently these aren't active at launch according to the Now online help.)
It's price leaps up 50% to £15, but I'm not sure if it's worth it as Sky is keeping the service at 720p for now. Still no Netflix on it either of course. Here are a couple of reviews:
Pocket Lint
Trusted Reviews
And thanks to Stephen Young for directing me to this review of the new box on TNW.
The v1 white box appears to be no more: the Now website is only offering the new model (which is black):

Virgin Media Q2 results: TV subscribers take a tumble but overall numbers are up

First the good news: more people are signing up to Virgin Media’s broadband and mobile phone bundles, helping the company makes its highest number of customers in five years, with an extra 19,000 taken out.
Now the bad: the number of its TV subscribers continued to fall in the UK (and Ireland) down 19,400 in the second quarter. Whilst the broadband service grows the TV service appears to be floundering, with the imminent XL price hike in September likely to further the customer drift to Sky or other services. I'm probably not alone in questioning the value I'm getting for my £119 a month cost, especially as Now TV seems to have sorted out its act and is a viable service at last for a reasonable cost. If the new Now TV full HD box launches this month then I will weigh up my options come the autumn.
Back to the results: the rate of people deserting Virgin Media fell to 14.1 per cent in the second quarter, down from 15.3 per cent a year earlier. Overall VM added another 106,000 customers on a net basis - those joining less those leaving - in the second quarter, giving it a total of 5.02 million UK customers. Overall UK revenues of £2.1billion for the first half of 2015 were reported, up 3.1 per cent on a year earlier.
Sky last month reported an 18 per cent jump in profits and an extra half a million customers in the UK and Ireland over the past year.