HDTV – Is It That Good?



HDTVSo after my recent marriage we purchased a new HDTV, I wasn’t expecting much from it but I have to say the improvement in picture is amazing, even on non HD channels.  I watched a Euro 2008 match the other night on the BBC HD channel and it really does have to be seen to be believed just how crisp the picture is.

I do have some issues with the new HD services though.  Firstly the HD cable was extremely expensive with a decent one starting at £50.  Some people may say you can get one off of eBay for £10 but many articles confirm just how bad the picture is with these sorts of cables.  Also if you’re going to spend £400+ on a TV why scrimp on the cable which could reduce the quality of the TV output.

My second and main problem with the HD channels is availability.  As a Virgin Media customer I thought great, I have a V+ box which is already HD compatible.  Whilst I do get brilliantly improved picture quality for all of the normal channels through the box there is only one HD channel available which is BBCHD.  Yes Virgin does offer some HD programs on-demand but these are very lacking and from what I have seen are just old TV programs that I have already seen.  They do also have some HD films on their film flex service but at £1 extra than the normal versions of the films.  I also believe that other than Films and Sports, Sky offer the same few channels too.

With this all in mind I looked on the internet to find out if any new HD channels were coming.  ITVHD was the first I came across which I thought would be good however the descriptions of it says “exclusive to freesat” the new satellite service which has just been released.  I find it strange that it wouldn’t be available on Sky or Virgin but “exclusively” does make me wonder.  Channel 4 also is offering an HD service but again this is not currently available on Virgin and there is no information about whether it will be.

This is all a great shame as from what I’ve seen so far, HDTV is amazing, fingers crossed the channels will come as HD take-up increases and it hasn’t all just been hype about one or two channels!


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