« Topics
123
gottago2,674 posts since 26 Aug 2004
London London
Why please?

My mum's only just got Sky and isn't blown away by the choice on offer but then I suppose it is early day with the + service and no doubt it will eventually have the edge over Virgin.
Last edited by gottago on 29 April 2012 1:39pm
Mike W4,784 posts since 30 Apr 2006
Spark debate or war? I'd side with Virgin Media catchup because of the methods of streaming but in a way it's like comparing apples and oranges, on the face of it two similar systems, but very different ways of working.
Oh it's such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you...
UKnews646 posts since 26 Apr 2011
Spark debate or war? I'd side with Virgin Media catchup because of the methods of streaming but in a way it's like comparing apples and oranges, on the face of it two similar systems, but very different ways of working.

Indeed- I've very limited experience with the Virgin Media platform- the last time I did use it (at least a couple of years ago) I thought the selection was excellent, but the interface (much like the rest of the box) was sluggish compared to Sky+. The initial 'Sky Anytime' was a reasonable selection (with lots in HD) but very limited. Since 'Anytime+' has come along, its much more even- especially now that Anytime+ is available to any Sky customer with broadband, whether or not its Sky's broadband service they have.

In terms of 'catch up' the Virgin Media definitely have the edge at the moment with BBC iPlayer and 4OD, however with iPlayer and ITV Player coming soon to Sky that will be a much closer call. In terms of archive Sky are getting there slowly- the selection of archive programmes is getting better bit by bit. They could do with more Warner and Universal TV content that Virgin has, but they've got some good stuff from BBC Worldwide, Fox and others. The big omission from Sky is Channel 4 archive content- which I seem to remember Virgin having a huge selection of. Where Sky do have the advantage is if you're a movie subscriber- the selection of films is huge, the only problem is not enough of them are in HD.

The fact that Anytime+ is delivered over ADSL isn't an issue for me- an SD programme is available to play almost instantly and an HD one very quickly.

Both services are very good- Virgin probably still has the edge because its been running a lot longer, but Sky are catching up fast even if theres still a few omissions.
chris4,094 posts since 6 Jul 2005
Granada North West Today
The Virgin Media selection is quite vast, particularly if you have a TiVo box, but as has been said, it's bloody slow and quite frustrating to navigate (particularly the TiVo, on which you have to go through about ten menus before you can play something). The iPlayer app is also irritating compared to the standard Virgin Catchup on their other platforms.
Orry Verducci1,577 posts since 1 Feb 2005
Anglia (West) Look East
I haven't used Virgin's service myself, but I think at the moment they have the edge when it comes to content from the terrestrial broadcasters. The only service from the terrestrials Sky has so far is ITV Player, and it seems to only have old ITV programming, although I expect this to change. I believe BBC iPlayer is on the way for Sky, not sure about 4oD or Demand 5.

A key factor in deciding for me would be your internet speed. Sky Anytime+ is only as good as the internet connection it is given, whereas Virgin's network can guarrantee the box a certain speed. This is particularly important for HD content.

Personally provided the connection is fast enough, I'd go with Sky Anytime+ as it's the simpler service to use, the content from the Sky broadcasters is very good, and the terrestrials are on the way.
natewilson51 posts since 21 Apr 2008
Having used both Sky & Virgin, personally for me Vigin Media catch up & on demand services are far better than Sky, with more selection. I have never had a problem with BBC iplayer on TiVo either & you can watch some shows in HD on it too.
Stuart7,004 posts since 13 Oct 2003
Westcountry Spotlight
It seems rather unfair to compare the VM and Sky Anytime+ services when they are not even claiming to be the same.

Sky Anytime+ has only just been offered to other ISPs, and have already announced that the existing ITV Player service will improve, together with the addition of BBC iPlayer later this year. To attempt judgement when a service isn't fully running smacks of kicking something before it's even off the ground.

We don't even know how BBC iPlayer will interface with the new Enhanced Sky Programme Guide, let alone whether it will offer their full service.
Last edited by Stuart on 29 April 2012 7:33pm
noggin13,483 posts since 26 Jun 2001
Be interesting to see if iPlayer on Sky Anytime+ has the same picture quality as the rest of the Anytime+ stuff. It's streets ahead of the streamed iPlayer stuff on PC, Playstation 3, Connected TVs etc. (Haven't seen the V+ iPlayer or Tivo iPlayer stuff)

The SD and HD content on Anytime+ is properly interlaced, and appears to be full 576i or 1080i resolution with just a little bit of softening compared to Live TV and the Anytime Showcase stuff (which is delivered via PVR automatic recording of 'hidden' channels).

In contrast the PC/Connected TV iPlayer is permanently 25p (Strictly 3D was 50p and an exception) and maxes out at 720p - and although watchable, it isn't a patch on the broadcast stuff.
Orry Verducci1,577 posts since 1 Feb 2005
Anglia (West) Look East
In contrast the PC/Connected TV iPlayer is permanently 25p (Strictly 3D was 50p and an exception) and maxes out at 720p - and although watchable, it isn't a patch on the broadcast stuff.

iPlayer does have 576i streams as my Sony connected TV uses them, but that is the only place I've seen them used, and the quality isn't brilliant.