Thursday, 1 March 2012

Now on Virgin Media's TiVo: Sky Anytime HD content & Sky Sports Red Buttton

Reminders, Sky Sports Anytime HD & Sky Sports Red Button!
After the announcement of price rises for both the XL TV pack and the TiVo Monthly fee (for new customers only from April), we're due some good news from Virgin. First we had the confirmation that reminders are on the way, and now:
  • HD content for Sky Anytime has arrived on the Virgin platform for TiVo - and TiVo only. That's because the Sky Anytime HD content is encoded in MPEG 4, the audio-visual codec which is used by every other UK Digital TV platform for HD content. MPEG 4 can deliver comparable if not superior HD picture quality compared to MPEG 2, while using less bandwidth.

    All TiVo boxes can play back content MPEG 4 content, but not all V+ HD boxes can (the Samsung boxes can, the Scientific Atlanta boxes can't). Eventually, as previously posted, Virgin will switch all of the HD content for the linear TV channels from MPEG 2 to MPEG 4, freeing up precious bandwidth for more channels and perhaps even faster broadband. Don't expect this to happen until the vast majority of Virgin's 3.7 million TV customers have MPEG 4 capable boxes in their homes.
  • The red button service for Sky Sports appears to be live for TiVo. Along with the lack of reminders, the lack of red button for Sky Sports was viewed as a glaring omission in TiVo's feature set, especially when compared to the legacy V+ HD boxes, so its arrival on TiVo is welcome news for Sports fans.

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