Can I get HD on Virgin Media?
This guide outlines the various questions such as the number of HD channels, equipment and costs involved in getting HD on a Virgin Media Digital TV package.
The high definition (HD) revolution is still happening in the UK, with many people splashing out on HD TVs ready to enjoy HD broadcasts as they become available across the country.
There are various methods for receiving HD and you may be wondering whether or not cable TV provider Virgin Media offers HD services. The answer is a definite 'yes' and we'll have a look at how Virgin Media customers can get HD and what kind of HD services they offer.
What Do I Need?
To get access to Virgin Media's HD service you'll need two things. The first is an HD ready TV and the second is a V HD or V+HD set top box. The boxes are provided by Virgin Media to new or existing customers at a small cost, with the rest of the price built into the subscription, the same idea as with many mobile phone packages.
If you choose the most expensive Virgin Media TV package then Virgin will give you the V+HD box for free, which will save you a bit of cash but you'll pay a higher monthly cost. It could be worth it though as you'll have many more channels to choose from.
The cheaper V HD box comes without the ability to record TV and this is a good choice if you just want to get HD channels without paying out the extra for the most expensive set top box. With all of Virgin Media's services, you need to live in a cabled area to access the HD channels.
What About Other Costs?
Virgin Media doesn't charge a separate fee for its HD channels. Instead the number of HD channels you get will depend on the TV package you choose.
This is different to Sky, where there is an extra monthly fee if you want the Sky HD channels, whichever Sky package you've chosen. You may have to pay a one-off installation fee, but this is not only charged for people signing up to Virgin Media's HD service.
What HD Channels Can I Get?
There are already 13 HD channels available on Virgin Media. These include channels from the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, as well as documentaries on Discovery HD, sport on ESPN HD and music on MTV Networks HD.
The HD channels from BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are all included in Virgin's standard size M package if you have one of the HD set top boxes, but you'll need to have Virgin's XL package if you want the rest of the HD channels.
The BBC generally uses its HD channel for special HD programs although it sometimes matches the output on the BBC HD channel with an important programme on BBC 1 or 2.
Channel 4 HD shows exactly the same programmes as on the regular version of Channel 4, with non-HD content "upscaled" to make it work on the HD channel. This basically means that the older standard definition shows, like reruns of Friends, are cleverly processed to make them look close to HD programs.
Channel 4's high definition content includes news, TV shows and movies. Popular programs including Come Dine With Me, Peep Show and many more are all amongst Channel 4's HD broadcasts.
ITV1 HD has live sport, live shows and other programmes in HD and in the last few months it has given its service a bit of a make-over, with the live shows from Britain's Got Talent getting the HD treatment.
What about subscription HD channels?
Additional HD channels include SyFy HD, which is great for fans of science fiction and Living HD, which is filled with lifestyle programmes for people of all ages. Virgin Media has recently added E4 HD to the list of premium HD channels available on its XL package and this includes the latest American shows.
Fans of sport can tune into Eurosport HD if they sign up to the XL package and Virgin Media is planning to add more HD channels later, including Film4 HD.
Movie buffs will really be able to get their teeth into the content that will come to this channel and if you don't want to splash out on a Blu-Ray player and pay for your whole movie collection all over again, this will be the perfect substitute.
Virgin Media is also looking into creating an HD version of its Virgin 1 channel, so there is plenty on the HD horizon for Virgin Media customer.
Is Virgin Media HD worth getting?
The HD bandwagon is really beginning to pick up speed, particularly as the 2010 World Cup in South Africa will be the first to be broadcast in high definition on the main HD channels BBC HD and ITV1 HD.
Thousands of people have HD ready TVs sitting in their living rooms performing at a fraction of their potential because they don't have access to HD content. If this sounds like your situation, then now is a great time to start up your first HD service.
People praise the ability of HD to make live sport more engaging, but it's just as impressive when you see it in action on shows such as David Attenborough's Life, which took a breathtaking look at nature as you've never seen it before.
It was great in standard definition, but a whole new level of detail and involvement was offered to anyone who saw it in HD. It really feels as though you can reach out and touch what you're watching and Virgin Media's HD service is the perfect way to get this experience in your own home.
Why do we need your postcode?
Once you enter your postcode, Cable.co.uk will perform a live lookup and check all the available providers in your area.
This ensures you receive accurate information on the availability of providers and packages in your area.
Your information is safe with us. We won't share your postcode with anyone. Guaranteed.