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Channel 4 (VoD service)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Channel 4
Original author(s)Channel Four Television Corporation
Developer(s)Channel Four Television Corporation
Initial release16 November 2006
Stable release
30 March 2015
Available inEnglish
TypeTelevision catch-up Edit this on Wikidata

Channel 4 (previously 4oD and All 4) is a video on demand service from Channel Four Television Corporation,[1] free of charge for most content and funded by advertising.[2] The service is available in the UK and Ireland; viewers are not required to have a TV licence—required for live viewing and the BBC iPlayer on-demand service—when watching on-demand services.[2] The service launched on 16 November 2006 as 4oD (for "4 on Demand").[3] The service offers a variety of programmes recently shown on Channel 4, E4, More4, Film4 and E4 Extra and shorts, alongside exclusive content such as programming from Adult Swim.[4] However some programmes and movies are not available due to rights issues. The service was originally available without registration, but free registration was later required.[5] The service is available without advertising (except for live viewing) on payment of a subscription, under the name Channel 4+ (previously All 4+).[6]

The cable and IPTV versions are operated through an appropriate set-top box, the Internet variant can be accessed via their website, and there are apps for mobile devices. All 4 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.[7]

On 30 March 2015, 4oD was merged into and renamed All 4.[8] (References below to "All 4" before that date should be understood as including 4oD.)

On 28 February 2019, All 4 was rebranded with a new logo, website design and app design.[9]

On 17 April 2023, All 4 rebranded as Channel 4, becoming the "first UK broadcaster to adopt one brand identity across its digital and linear channels".[10]

Web platforms

All 4 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.[4]

By April 2009, the Internet version was fully available to Mac and Windows users with Adobe Flash Player installed.[11]

The "catch-up" service offers content free of charge for 30 days after a programme's broadcast on Channel 4. As of 2011, not all content is available to Irish users, due to licensing restrictions; however, the majority of the programming is available.[12] Live streaming of Channel 4 and its sister channels is not available outside the UK.

Channel 4 relaunched 4oD on 31 August 2011.[13] 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.[14] Other features include better full-page viewing and optimised site navigation during viewing.

Since 2014, the service stops users with ad blocking software from watching videos on All 4.[citation needed]

Other providers of Channel 4 content

Amazon Instant Video

Amazon Instant Video has a content deal with Channel 4, giving its members streaming access to All 4's archive in a specially branded All 4 collection.[15]


Blinkbox previously acquired licenses for a number of programmes to be accessed on its website, although All 4 itself is not available. Some TV series are available free of charge, such as Balls of Steel, Embarrassing Bodies, Shameless UK, and Skins, while others, for example ER, Shameless US, and The Big Bang Theory, are charged for.


Netflix bought the rights to a number of Channel 4 shows, such as Father Ted, The IT Crowd, and The Inbetweeners, which were shown without adverts.[16][17][18] These shows were removed from Netflix in the UK on 15 February 2014.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed] 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.[19] On May 11, 2022, Channel 4 announced that a select amount of shows would be made available on YouTube and selected programmes would be made available on YouTube 30 days after being broadcast on Channel 4 and E4.[20]

Third party "box-set" content

During 2020 Channel 4 entered a new licensing deal with the Walt Disney Company for distributing a variety of older 20th Century Fox programming as part of All 4's expanding "box set" feature. In June, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was introduced,[21] followed by Angel in September 2020,[22] and Malcolm in the Middle in October 2020.[23]

2023 rebrand

On 2 November 2022, Channel 4 announced plans to rebrand its on-demand service, All 4, as Channel 4. In a statement released by Channel 4, the change enabled it to become "the first UK broadcaster to adopt one brand identity across its digital and linear channels".[24][25] It was also announced that their portfolio of channels will also align with the Channel 4 branding. It took place in Spring 2023.

Television platforms

Blu-ray players and televisions

An All 4 app for the Samsung Smart TV service was released on 22 March 2013.[26]


All 4 became available as part of Freesat's second generation Free Time guide on 27 June 2013, offering the last seven days of programming integrated to the TV guide and access to the All 4 archive via the on demand section.[27] As of 22 February 2018 All 4 will no longer be available on Freesat services.[28]


All 4 was added to Sky's On Demand service on 18 March 2013.[29]

Virgin Media

All 4 is available on Virgin Media's cable television service.[30] 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 All 4 but as of 2012 no further information has been released.[31]


All 4 was one of four services available at the launch of YouView in July 2012. At launch, the All 4 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.[32] It is also available for EE TV and TalkTalk Plus TV customers, as these services run on YouView.

Game consoles

PlayStation 3

All 4 was released on 14 December 2010 on PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network.[33] This service was accessible through,[34] but has now been replaced with a native app. The app version of All 4 for PlayStation 3 was released on 20 June 2013, allowing access to the full All 4 library.[35] All 4 on PS3 is free and ad-funded with pre-, mid- and post-roll video ads being sold and served by Channel 4. The service closed on PS3 systems on 31 January 2021.

PlayStation 4

The All 4 app was launched on PlayStation 4 on 23 December 2015.

PlayStation 5

All 4 is now available on the PlayStation 5.[36]

Xbox 360

On 5 October 2011, it was announced that All 4 would be made available to all Xbox Live Gold members.[37][38][39] The service also integrates with the Xbox 360's Kinect controller. All 4 was added to the Xbox Live on 21 December 2011.[40] All content on Xbox Live contains ads which cannot be skipped.

Xbox One

On 8 November 2013, Channel 4 announced that the All 4 app would be available on Xbox One when it launched on 22 November 2013.[41] In August 2019, the app was removed from the Microsoft Store.

Mobile platforms

Android devices

An All 4 app for the Android operating system was released on 5 February 2013. As of 2020 Android version 5.0 or greater is required.[42] The service does not support devices it detects as rooted.[42]

iOS devices

An All 4 iPad app launched on 3 May 2011, offering a 30-day catch-up service.[43] As of 2011, this app was compatible with iPad with iOS 3.2 or later.[44] The design of the app was elegant and intuitive but received unfavourable reviews because of technical issues and its use of commercial breaks. Since 2013, download and offline watching is supported.[45]

An All 4 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.[46] Both apps support search functionality to enable users to 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 app also links to Channel 4's content on iTunes, allowing programmes to be purchased.

Windows Phone

On 13 November 2013, a native All 4 app was launched for mobile phones running the Windows Phone 8 platform.[47]

Computer platforms

The service was originally available as a Windows-only desktop program for downloading shows similar to BBC iPlayer Desktop.[3] 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.[48] The Kontiki based program which offered Windows Media Video downloads was closed in July 2009.[49][50]

The desktop client offered programming from other broadcasters such as FX[51] and National Geographic[52] as well as movies from 20th Century Fox.[53] 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 released a dedicated All 4 application for Windows 8.[54] The move saw Channel 4 become the first major UK broadcaster to support the operating system with a native app.[54]

Exclusive programming

See also


  1. ^ "4 On Demand". Channel 4. Archived from the original on 1 July 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Terms of use". Channel 4. 4 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Channel 4 Launches 4oD Video-On-Demand Service". Channel 4. 16 November 2006. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012.
  4. ^ a b "What content can I find on 4oD?". Channel 4. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  5. ^ Clover, Julian (3 March 2017). "Mandatory sign-in for All4 content". Broadband TV News.
  6. ^ "All 4+". Channel 4. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  7. ^ "Channel 4 to launch revamped 4oD on web". Digital Spy. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  8. ^ "Channel 4 Trades in 4OD for 'All 4' Rebrand, New Apps and Timed O2 Programme Exclusives". Gizmodo. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  9. ^ "Channel 4 relaunches All 4 with a new visual identity, new iOS app and a trial ad-free service | Channel 4". Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Channel 4 transforms brand to help viewers navigate crowded digital world | Channel 4". Retrieved 2 November 2022.
  11. ^ "Can I use 4oD using Mac and Linux?". Channel 4. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Can I watch 4oD in another country?". Channel 4. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  13. ^ "Channel 4 gets personal with 4oD relaunch". TechRadar. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  14. ^ "Channel 4 is set to relaunch 4oD, its video-on-demand service". TNW UK. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  15. ^ "Amazon's LOVEFiLM and 4oD announce new content deal". Channel 4. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  16. ^ "The Inbetweeners". Retrieved 23 June 2013.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Father Ted". Retrieved 23 June 2013.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "The IT Crowd". Retrieved 23 June 2013.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ Farber, Alex (7 January 2014). "C4 removes all shows from YouTube". Broadcast. Retrieved 7 January 2014. (subscription required)
  20. ^ "Channel 4 and YouTube strike pioneering content and commercial partnership | Channel 4". Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  21. ^ "Buffy the Vampire Slayer Free to Stream in the UK on All4 from June". Den of Geek. 20 May 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  22. ^ "Buffy spin-off Angel is returning to UK TV – here's how to watch". Digital Spy. 2 September 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  23. ^ "Malcolm in the Middle coming to UK streaming next month – here's how to watch". Digital Spy. 16 September 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  24. ^ "Channel 4 to rebrand All4 player as simply 'Channel 4'". Radio Times. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
  25. ^ "Channel 4 to rebrand All4 to just 'Channel 4'". 2 November 2022. Retrieved 17 November 2022.
  26. ^ Chambers, Jo (5 February 2013). "4oD Review". Eye on Demand. Archived from the original on 27 April 2013. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  27. ^ "Channel 4 launches 4oD on Freesat's FreeTime". Recombu. 27 June 2013.
  28. ^ "All4 and 4HD to leave Freesat". Freesat. 20 February 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  29. ^ "Sky adds Channel 4's 4oD to create the UK's most complete catch-up TV service". BSkyB. 15 March 2013. Archived from the original on 18 March 2013. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  30. ^ Thomson, Stuart (12 June 2020). "Virgin Media takes STV nationwide and adds All 4". Digital TV Europe. Archived from the original on 15 June 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  31. ^ "Virgin to show Channel 4 content in HD". Digital Spy. 8 October 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  32. ^ "Humax YouView DTR-T1000 review". Expert Reviews. 24 July 2012.
  33. ^ "What is 4oD". PlayStation. Archived from the original on 26 August 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  34. ^ "4oD to Launch on PlayStation 3". Channel 4. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  35. ^ Langshaw, Mark (25 June 2013). "Channel 4 to launch revamped 4oD on web". Digital Spy. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  36. ^ Staff, P. S. U. "All PS5 Apps, Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Spotify Twitch, YouTube, Peacock More". PlayStation Universe. Retrieved 26 October 2022.
  37. ^ "Xbox 360 Teams Up With Entertainment Leaders to Transform TV". Microsoft. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  38. ^ "Xbox 360 to launch new TV and film services". The Daily Telegraph. 7 October 2011. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
  39. ^ "Why do I need Xbox Gold Membership to watch 4oD?". Channel 4. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  40. ^ "Xbox LIVE gets 4oD, Demand 5 in new update". TechRadar. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
  41. ^ "4oD to be available on the new Xbox One". Channel 4. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  42. ^ a b "FAQ Main". Channel 4. Retrieved 4 February 2020.
  43. ^ "4oD Catch up Launches on iPad". Channel 4. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  44. ^ "4oD Catch Up By Channel 4". Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  45. ^ "News | Channel 4".
  46. ^ "Channel 4 bringing 4oD to iPhone next month". Digital Spy. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  47. ^ "Official 4oD app streams on to Windows Phone to help you never miss another show". Windows Central. 13 November 2013.
  48. ^ "4oD catch up on the web goes live". Digital Spy. 2 April 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  49. ^ "All 4oD content moves to web". Digital Spy. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  50. ^ "No more WMV downloads from 4oD". Digital Spy. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  51. ^ "4oD agrees rights deal with FX". Digital Spy. 26 October 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  52. ^ "Channel 4 signs VoD deal with Nat Geo". Digital Spy. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  53. ^ "4oD to carry 20th Century Fox films". Digital Spy. 7 November 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  54. ^ a b Langshaw, Mark (17 December 2012). "Windows 8 gets 4oD application". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 December 2012.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 June 2024, at 19:10
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