Virgin confirms HD line-up

By Julian Clover

July 13, 2009 00.01 UK

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Virgin Media has announced the details of its long awaited HD line-up. Four channels, Living HD, FX HD, MTVNHD and National Geographic HD will join the cablenet with the first channel due to launch before the end of July. BBC HD is already available on the Virgin platform.

Unless a further announcement is forthcoming before launch, Living HD will be exclusive to Virgin Media. The one-time lifestyle channel, part of Virgin Media Television, has developed into a home for entertainment, drama and the paranormal.

“As more homes become HD Ready, the launch of four new HD channels marks the next stage in the evolution of our pioneering TV service,” said Virgin Media CEO Neil Berkett. “Our line-up of HD channels and hugely popular on demand content is a unique and winning combination and we’ll continue to bring more sport, films, entertainment and documentaries to our customers.”

Although Virgin’s initial line-up is considerably less in breadth than the 30+ channels available on the Sky platform, it will significantly not charge any additional monthly fee, making the HD bouquet available to anyone who subscribes the big basic XL pack. The HD compatible V+ personal video recorder is also required, although this does not attract an additional fee at the XL level, there is a £99 (€115) installation charge.

Virgin has confirmed it is in active talks with UKTV, in which it owns 50%, with a view to a launch of the popular Good Food Channel.