After surveying nearly 10,000 people, the BVA ( British Video Association) found out that a many people don’t realise quite what is needed to actually watch High Def TV.
It found that a lot of people have spent hundreds of pounds on HD capable sets, but then actually have no way to recieve or playback any HD content. There are many ways to watch high definition broadcasts, currently Freeview are trialing it but this will require an alternative set top box rather than the often built in tuner. Also Sky and Virgin Media both offer a HD subscription service. Equally, owners of a PS3 or Xbox 360 can play or download full HD content.
However, even with the ability to play the content in HD, the devices need to be connected up using certain cables, this isn’t always clear in the documentation that comes with the various devices.
Are you fully high def enabled?
Samsung have announced the start of 3D TV at home is here, they are going to start selling their new range of 3D enabled sets by the end of March.
These sets work by the viewer wearing a special pair of 3d glasses, the sets start with 2 pairs but it should be easy to get more glasses for viewing.
Currently expect the sets to start quite expensive, but as the technology matures and becomes more readily available the price will fall.
A lot of films are due to be presented in 3D this year, following the huge success of Avatar last year. Combining this with Sky announcing trials of sports events in 3D, and Sony and FIFA coming to an agreement to film 25 world cup games in 3D, 2010 is the year for 3D to take off.
With the acquisition of Tiscali by the Carphone Warehouse, they have started the process of rebranding their products. This includes dropping the Tiscali name.
From today, all Tiscali products have been merged under the TalkTalk brand, this will see Tiscali as a name disappear from the UK. Existing customers will not notice any major changes beyond the name, but will be shifted onto the TalkTalk network to save money by merging resources.
As part of the merge, current Tiscali customers will have their packages and tarrifs modified to fit in line with TalkTalk’s current package offerings, however they will not lose services.
This will add the ability for TalkTalk to sell TV services using the IPTV infrastructure put in place by Tiscali. Tiscali bought this service during 2006 from Video Networks.
In the ever changing world of broadband internet, being able to offer a triple, or quadruple play service seems to be becoming more of the norm now. With the perchase of Tiscali, TalkTalk is closer to being able to offer all services now.
The rumour mill has been churning that Channel 4 are currently in discussions with Sony about the possiblility of bringing 4oD to the Playstation 3. If the move goes ahead Channel 4 will be the first commercial station to have a presence on the Sony Platform.
4oD is not afriad of being first, they were the first to bring full length programmes to Youtube in addition to already having their 4oD service, and programmes accessible via other platforms including Virgin Media’s on demand system.
The move would give Sony an advantage when it came to positioning the Playstation 3 at the centre of a home media system, having already got the BBC’s iPlayer, this would give it another streaming system.
Currently the Xbox 360 has the ability to play content from Sky Player (via Xbox live gold and a Sky subscription). Both the Wii and Playstation 3 have the BBC’s iPlayer, but as yet, no console has ITV Player, 4oD or Five on demand.
Major TV manufacturers, LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony have all revealed plans to support Sky’s upcoming 3D TV channel with new ranges of 3D-ready TV sets. While 3D TV currently isn’t anywhere near ready for the masses, the technology exists and can be used now.
With James Camerons Avatar film being such a big success at the box offices in 3D, it looks like this year could be the year for 3D uptake. Sony have already announced plans to update the Playstation 3’s firmware with support for 3D in games, this will again require a 3D-ready TV.
Sky’s service will run over their current HD infrastructure so will already be available to a large number of subscribers who will only need to upgrade their TV to watch in full 3D. They plan to show specially produced films that have been shot in 3D along with sports and other content filmed in 3D.
Not only is Sky looking at moving into 3D this year in the UK, over the other side of the pond they are announcing plans to start broadcsating in 3D on the TV networks there. With the broadcasters taking the first step, this should help drive 3D uptake from the start.
Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on it… I’ve tried gaming on 3D screens in the past and thought it worked quite well and avatar was visually impressive in 3D.
Sky has bought Virgin Media TV, this includes the Virgin1, Bravo, Challenge and Living channels, this is NOT the cable platform, just the channels that Virgin Media produce and manage.
As part of a £160 million deal, Virgin Media will be able to offer some of Sky’s high definition channels for the first time on the cable platform. This deal include the Sky Sports HD channels and all Sky Movies HD, as well as access to Sky TV content via the on demand service.
This agreement is good for both parties, no longer will Sky have to pay to broadcast Virgin Channels, and it will bring Sky’s HD service to more viewers. Sky is currently battling with Ofcom over its dominance in the premium sports and film channel market, this new deal should ease this issue.
Virgin Media have enjoyed a massive increase in traffic to their on demand service over the past 12 months. Posting a staggering 750 million tv and movie requests during the 12 months of 2009.
This is a 50% increase on the previous years figures, which just backs up how crucial on demand services are going to be during the coming years.
Virgin Media helped to pioneer on demand TV as we have it now in the UK, driving the service to their customer base via their cable infrastructure and set top boxes. This allows users to watch the content without the need for a computer near by, a major advantage as users like the big screen experience.
However, Virgin is currently limited in that it can only supply on demand content to users on its cable network, it was rumored they have been looking into an IPTV based system that could potentially be brought to any UK household.
It has now been revealed to the world, this is the first picture of the new set to box that will be in use on the Virgin Media TV network shortly. This is the new, triple tuner TiVo powered TV Box. Set to be released later this month, it comes with a large 1TB drive for recording TV and 3 tuners (though the 3rd isn’t enabled at launch).
Not only will the new box be able to record TV for you, it will also have access to the catch up service provided by Virgin Media through its built in cable modem so users will be able to watch their catchup TV without effecting their internet access.
Currently, its looking like the new box will cost £199 at launch, with a £40 installation charge.
For more information visit the website, http://tivo.virginmedia.com/
Just in time for the start of the new Premiership football season, Sky is bringing Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 to the Freeview platform via TopupTV
Viewers will be able to subscribe to Sky Sports 1 for £22.99 per month, or a bundle of Sky Sports 1 and 2 for £31.99 a month. Finally a bundle of Sky Sports 1, 2 and ESPN is available for £39.99 a month.
With no contract to sign up to, TopupTV is the quickest and easiest way to get Sky Sports currently, and if users sign up now before Sept 6th, they will get their first month’s subscription free.
The regulator, Ofcom, has blocked plans by the BBC to increase the level of Digital Rights Management (or DRM) used for the upcoming HD broadcasts on the Freeview platform.
The reasoning behind the move being blocked is down to the potential issues relating to ‘fair use’, i.e. being able to record it to set top recorders for watching later. However the BBC said “it remains commited to the launch of HD on Freeview” so they will have to think about their plans again for the platform.
This does not stop the BBC amending their plans and introducing some form of DRM in the future, but it delays it for now. There is limited time to get the plans sorted however, as Freeview plans to launch its first HD service during December from the Winter Hill transmitter which covers the Granada region (North West England).