Sky Sports 3, 4 and F1 HD channels arrive on Virgin Media as it reshuffles EPG to cope
Virgin Media has rejigged its EPG to fit in the high definition versions of the Sky Sports channels it has started to introduce.
The TV service had previously announced that, in a groundbreaking deal with Sky, it was to add the HD versions of Sky Sports 3, 4, F1 and Sky Sports News to its line-up. Soon after it revealed that it too will carry the new Sky Sports 5 HD from launch - not just Sky itself. The new channel will predominantly show action from football leagues around Europe.
From yesterday, Sky Sports 3, 4 and F1 HD have all been added to the EPG and are available for Virgin Media subscribers to the Sky Sports service. They will be joined shortly by Sky Sports News HD (exact launch date to be confirmed) and Sky Sports 5 HD, which launches on 12 August.
To squeeze the HD channels in and put them in logical order, Virgin Media has moved some of the Sky Sports channels. The standard definition version of Sky Sports News, for example, can now be found at 501 - previously, 515 where Sky Sports 4 HD now lives.
In addition, as it was pushing an EPG refresh anyway, Virgin Media has renumbered some of the other Sky channels to match their Sky EPG counterparts. The Sky Movies HD channels have all been shifted, as have Sky 1 HD and Sky Living HD.
It might take a while to get used to their new homes on Virgin Media set-top-boxes, including TiVo, but is doable for customers. However, we have noticed here at Pocket-lint that until Microsoft pushes a OneGuide update for the Xbox One, it mucks about with our well-tuned voice control functionality. When we now say "Xbox watch Sky Sports News" we end up on Sky Sports 4 HD. The other moved channels are also affected.
We're unsure when Microsoft will fix that. We do know that there is an August update in-bound though.
Virgin Media has also announced that its customers will be able to watch Sky Sports and Sky Movies through the new iPad, iPhone and iPod touch applications coming in mid-August. They will need to be a subscriber to the respective services, but the apps will be free to download. The apps will be extra to the existing TV Anywhere service.
And Sky has also announced that NOW TV Sports Pass customers will also be able to view the new Sky Sports 5 from its launch date of 12 August.