|Original author(s)||Channel Four Television Corporation|
|Developer(s)||Channel Four Television Corporation|
|Initial release||November 2006|
|Operating system||Windows (XP, Vista, 7,8)
Mac OS X
|Platform||Channel4.com (30 days + archive)
Virgin Media (7 days + archive)
YouView including BT TV and TalkTalk Plus TV (30 days)
Sky (30 days + archive)
PlayStation 3 (30 days + archive)
iOS (30 days + archive and watch offline)
Android (30 days + archive and watch offline)
Samsung TV (30 days + archive)
Freesat (30 days + archive)
Windows 8 (30 days + archive)
Xbox 360 (30 days + archive)
Windows Phone 8
4oD is a video on demand service from Channel Four Television Corporation. Shorthand for 4 on Demand, the service launched in November 2006. The service offers a variety of programmes recently shown on Channel 4, E4, More4 or from their archives. However some programmes and movies are not available due to rights issues.
The cable and IPTV versions are operated through an appropriate set-top box whilst the internet variant can be accessed via websites such as Channel4.com. 4oD generated around 215 million long-form video views on all platforms where it is available in the first half of 2011, making Channel 4 the biggest commercial UK broadcaster in the video on-demand market during the period.
- 1 Web platforms
- 2 Television platforms
- 3 Game consoles
- 4 Mobile platforms
- 5 Computer platforms
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
4oD is the main source of on demand programmes from Channel 4, E4, and More4, the catch up service currently lasts 30 days and the archive has thousands of hours of programming.
The "catch-up" service offers content free of charge a programme for thirty days after its broadcast on Channel 4. At this time,[when?] not all content is available to Irish users, due to licensing restrictions, however the majority of the programming is available.
Channel 4 relaunched 4oD on 31 August 2011. At the heart of the changes is 'My 4oD', allowing registered users to build playlists, schedule shows, maintain a record of what they have watched, save their favourites in a single place and receive in-page reminders from Channel 4 whenever a new episode is available for them to watch. Other features include better full-page viewing and optimised site navigation during viewing.
Blinkbox has acquired licenses for a number of programmes to be access on its website, although 4oD itself is not available. Some TV series are available for free such as Shameless, Skins, Embarrassing Bodies, and Balls of Steel, while others, for example The Big Bang Theory, Shameless US, and ER have to be bought to be able to watch.
Netflix has a bought the rights to a number of Channel 4 shows such as the The Inbetweeners, Father Ted, and IT Crowd and are shown without adverts. The majority of these shows are set to be removed from Netflix on 15 February 2014
4oD on SeeSaw had access to 4oD archive of shows such as the The IT Crowd, Skins, The Inbetweeners, Bo' Selecta!, and many more. In August 2011, all 4oD content was removed from SeeSaw, following SeeSaw's failure to renegotiate its deal with Channel 4.
4oD launched on YouTube in the UK in late 2009 with seven genre dedicated channels for 4oD, additional to separate channels Channel 4 and E4. However, it was announced on 7 January 2014 that Channel 4 had removed all its long-form programming from YouTube in order to focus on the 4oD platform itself, although programming from 4Shorts and Mashed would remain available.
4oD is available as part of Freesat's second generation Free Time guide since 27 June 2013, offering the last seven days of programming integrated to the TV guide and access to the 4oD archive via the on demand section.
Televisions and Blu-ray players
4oD is available on Virgin Media's cable television service. This platform offers programmes for 7 days after broadcast and Virgin has exclusive use of most of Channel 4 archive which is free on XL package. In 2007, Virgin Media announced plans to offer high definition programming through 4oD but as of 2012[update] no further information has been released.
4oD was one of four service available at the launch of YouView in July 2012. At launch the 4oD app contained options to resume watching recent programmes and browse by most popular, categories, collections and A-to-Z, but lacked a search function and contained non-skippable adverts. It is also available for BT TV and TalkTalk Plus TV customers as these services run on YouView.
4oD was released on 14 December 2010 on PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network. This service was accessible through ps3.channel4.com, but has now been replaced with a native app. The app version of 4oD for PlayStation 3 was released on 20 June 2013, allowing access to the full 4oD library. 4oD on PS3 is free and ad-funded with pre-, mid- and post-roll video ads being sold and served by Channel 4.
On 5 October 2011, it was announced that 4oD would be made available Xbox Live Gold members. The service also integrates with the Xbox 360’s Kinect controller. 4oD was added to the Xbox Live on 21 December 2011. All content on Xbox Live contains ads which cannot be skipped.
A 4oD app for the Android operating system was released on 5 February 2013. However the app is missing the previously promised feature to watch TV live channels, in addition it's limited to Wi-Fi connections and doesn't support rooted devices. An updated version was released on 25 July 2013 providing download and watch offline support.
A 4oD iPad app launched on 3 May 2011, the app offers a 30-day catch-up service. The current requirements to run this app is a compatible with iPad with iOS 3.2 or later. The design of the app was elegant and intuitive but received negative reviews around technical issues and its use of commercial breaks.
A 4oD app for the iPhone and iPod Touch allowing a 30-day catch-up was released on 2 September 2011, along with an update to the iPad app. Both apps now feature enhanced search functionality to enable users to more easily navigate the catch-up and archive content. They can both be browsed in 3G, but video playback is still only available with a Wi-Fi signal to "ensure the quality of the viewing experience isn't affected". The apps also feature a link to Channel 4's content on iTunes, offering the chance to purchase shows.
An updated version was released on 25 July 2013 providing download and watch offline support.
The service was originally available as a Windows-only desktop program for downloading shows similar to BBC iPlayer Desktop. Following the launch of the web version of 4oD in April 2009, the desktop client continued to allow content from outside the catch-up window to be downloaded. The Kontiki based program which offered Windows Media Video downloads was closed in July 2009.
The desktop client offered programming from other broadcasters such as FX and National Geographic as well as movies from 20th Century Fox. A Download To Own (DTO) or "Buy" feature was also available on selected content, allowing users to purchase a programme and keep it for as long as they wish.
On 17 December 2012, Channel 4 and Microsoft release a dedicated 4oD application for Windows 8. The move saw Channel 4 become the first major UK broadcaster to support the operating system with a native app.
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- "4oD catch up on the web goes live". Digital Spy. 2 April 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- "All 4oD content moves to web". Digital Spy. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- "No more WMV downloads from 4oD". Digital Spy. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- "4oD agrees rights deal with FX". Digital Spy. 26 October 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- "Channel 4 signs VoD deal with Nat Geo". Digital Spy. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- "4oD to carry 20th Century Fox films". Digital Spy. 7 November 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
- Langshaw, Mark (17 December 2012). "Windows 8 gets 4oD application". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 December 2012.