Webometric Thoughts

July 30, 2008

When will ITV.com join Virgin Catch Up TV?

Filed under: 4OD,BBC,ITV.com,Virgin Media,iPlayer — admin @ 8:26 am

Whilst having a look at the new Blinx Remote this morning (via The Guardian), I suddenly realised that I no longer watch ITV (with the exception of watching the over-paid tax-dodging Formula 1 drivers). Over the last couple of years my TV habits have changed beyond all recognition, and ITV has failed to keep pace.

First I started watching TV programmes online. Whilst 4OD and the iPlayer both offered downloads, ITV offered streaming which was not particularly practical as I started to suffer from my old ISP’s throttling measures.

Then I subscribed to Virgin TV which has given me the iPlayer and 4OD programmes on my TV with Virgin’s TV Catchup: Anytime with no download problems. Unfortunately ITV hasn’t signed up, and despite my best efforts I couldn’t find any indication online that they plan to.

Whilst I find myself streaming the BBC on my Eee PC whilst doing the cooking, catching up on the TV, and even watching live for those can’t wait programmes (such as last night’s Summer Heights High), ITV has been relegated to point where I don’t even know what is on anymore.

Whilst I have never been a fan of ITV, it is important to have a competitive domestic market, so they need to start catching up!

June 9, 2008

Virgin Media Warnings

Filed under: Virgin Media,piracy — admin @ 2:31 pm

It turns out that on the same day I was having my new Virgin Media services installed (last Friday), it was being reported in the Telegraph that Virgin Media has agreed to send out warning letters to the thousands of users downloading and sharing music illegally online in a 10-week trial. This can be seen as the first step in the British Phonographic Industry’s desired three strikes process. Whilst I am not bothered by the move, it will be interesting to see how other customers react.

The Telegraph’s story places teenagers at the centre of their story:

Teenagers building vast music collections by downloading songs illegally from the internet should beware. Their access to free music faces being cut off by irate parents.

But the illegal downloading of music is obviously not restricted to teenagers, the broadband bill payers are just as likely to be stealing music, and it seems unlikely that they will welcome Virgin’s helpful reminders about the illegal nature of their activities. How many annoying letters will make the average broadband customer jump ship? Virgin is obviously in a stronger position than some other broadband providers, as the broadband is just one part of a larger package of services which will tempt customers to stay, however, it may encourage people to start keeping an eye open for alternative suppliers.

The only definite outcome of Virgin Media’s move is that it has tempted me to download some music illegally, just so I can see exactly what the letter says. Luckily, however, I know some rather unsavoury Virgin Media customers who seem likely to be in the first bundle of warnings, so I will continue to polish my halo instead.

June 7, 2008

Virgin TV…extremely tempting

Filed under: Virgin Media,iPlayer — admin @ 4:00 pm

After finally having enough of my old broadband provider, I got Virgin Media installed yesterday. However, the free Virgin TV has quickly become very expensive. Whilst you can theoretically get the medium package installed for free, it was only a matter of hours before I had convinced myself to upgrade to the XL package!

Whilst I have previously managed to resist the temptation of subscription TV, when it was made so easily accessible I quickly succumbed, especially with all the added bits and pieces:
-TV Choice On Demand- a lot of TV series that you can watch as and when you want.
-Music On Demand- the important leverage in persuading my girlfriend that she needed the XL package too.

Access to the BBC’s iPlayer makes Virgin TV a great service, but unless you have better self control than me, you’re better-off accessing it online.

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