Recent Posts

  • Virgin Media to roll out IPTV

    Virgin Media to roll out IPTV

    In an effort to unify the mix of cable networks that Virgin Media took on as part of the merger between NTL, Telewest and Virgin Mobile, it has announced a plan to roll out a new IP based TV content delivery platform.

    Based on Cisco Digital Video Headend technology it will enable the provider to speed up the content distribution from head office to the localised head ends around the country, it will also enable the easier introduction of new SD and HD content channels as well as saving the operator money in the operation costs of the network.

    Upon completetion, the system should allow Virgin Media to provide more advanced services to the customers.

    Moving to an IPTV based solution could also mean in the future that off net subscribers (those on ADSL) could potentially get ‘cable’ via their internet connection. Currently Virgin Media has 2 types of network, on net, those connected directly to cable. And Off net, those who aren’t. Being able to unify services between the 2 would allow more customers to be able to receive cable tv.

  • Freeview Retuning Campaign

    Freeview Retuning Campaign

    While it doesn’t sound very exciting, Freeview are to launch a ‘Retuning Campaign’ to try and get users into the habit of retuning or rescanning their set top boxes or TV’s regularly.

    On Freeview, users need to request their TV does a rescan to pic up new channels that are added, or when channels move about. Unlike Sky or Cable, where these changes are sent to the boxes automatically, with the larger range of set top boxes or Freeview receiving equipment this cannot be done so they user needs to do it themselves.

    While the retune doesn’t need to happen right away, there will be changes made during September to improve the performance and signal quality of the various Freeview channels, also users will need to be aware that they will have to retune during the digital switchover which is now underway. The next area later this year is that using Winterhill, this will be changed over during October.

    It is a simple procedure to complete, but anyone needing any help retuning their box can get support on the Freeview website at

  • ISPs versus On Demand TV

    ISPs versus On Demand TV

    With more and more content going on various on demand online services and the higher bandwidth requirements for these, ISPs are being forced to take actions to try and control their costs.

    It is known that BT controls traffic for the BBC’s iPlayer on certain of their internet packages. Net Neutrality is the principle that the ISPs and network managers should not effect how certain providers or system should run. However, with the high bandwidth requirements for streaming media, some ISPs have gone against this and are controlling traffic to reduce the effect it has on their network. For the end user, this may appear as a lot of buffering during the streaming of video content, or slower than normal downloads from certain content providers.

    With the recent announcement by Channel 4 to start offering more HD content via their on demand system, 4oD, there is a worry the problem with only get worse.

    How would you feel if you knew your provider was trying to control how you use the internet to releave load across their network even though its harming what you are trying to do. Should they be forced to upgrade their networks to cope with the needed demand?

    Personally, I believe they should invest in the networks so that the UK is leading the way, not playing constant catch up.

  • Sky may be forced to share!

    Sky may be forced to share!

    Ofcom are proposing Sky should be forced to share certain of its premium content channels with competing broadcasting companies.

    Ofcome is proposing that Sky would have to offer premium channels to its rival broadcasters at regulated prices.

    While users of Virgin’s cable TV service can subscribe to some of Sky’s premium channels, opening up the access would make it more feasible for other broadcasters to also show Sky’s content.

    Sky are against this idea, and have threatened legal action against Ofcom. I would have thought they’d want more viewers to see the premium content. With the collapse of Setanta, Sky currently broadcasts the majority of English Premiership matches, Ofcom would like to see this spread out more so others can access and broadcast without requiring Sky TV.

    Ofcom is also talking with the English Premier League about putting more limitations on the packages of matches. This would allow more broadcasters to show some of the matches.