Virgin Media expands hi-def channel line-up with Sky Sports HD & Film4 HD

From July 20, Film4 HD is exclusively available on Virgin Media (currently in slot 429). The channel, which shows both high definition (1080i) versions of movies and upscaled classic films, is a simulcast service than runs alongside its standard definition counterpart.

Movies expected to be shown in HD this week include Fight Club, the superb French parkour flick District 13, and Die Hard, while there are also previews of cinema releases The A-Team and Inception.

Red Bee Media has been chosen to provide the content management and delivery services for the HD side of the channel, as it already provides the media workflow for Channel 4 HD and E4 HD.

As well as this addition to Virgin Media's HD channel line-up, the provider has also revealed the date Sky's HD programming will be available on its V+ HD and V HD boxes - part of the deal when it sold its broadcasting arm to BSkyB.

On 2 August, for a premium of £7 per month extra, Virgin Media customers will have access to Sky Sports HD1, Sky Sports HD2, and ten Sky Movies HD channels. However, you will need to subscribe to the corresponding standard-def sports or movies pack too. The £7 fee adds the HD versions to those packs.

For example, if you only subscribe to the Sky Sports pack, your £7 will add the sports HD channels. But if you subscribe to both, the same £7 adds all HD options.

Sky One HD and Sky Arts HD will also become available, but will be part of Virgin Media's free high definition line-up.

Thankfully, the company has created a microsite to explain all at virginmedia.com.

Certainly, it seems the age of HD is now gathering apace.



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