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4oD homepage
Original author(s) Channel Four Television Corporation
Developer(s) Channel Four Television Corporation
Initial release 16 November 2006
Operating system Windows (XP, Vista, 7,8)
Mac OS X
Platform (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
Available in English
Type Television catch-up

4oD is a video on demand service from Channel Four Television Corporation.[1] Shorthand for 4 on Demand, the service launched on 16 November 2006.[2] The service offers a variety of programmes recently shown on Channel 4, E4, More4 or from their archives.[3] 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 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.[4]

In 2015, 4oD will be merged into a new "All 4" online service.[5]


  • Web platforms 1
    • 1.1
    • Blinkbox 1.2
    • LoveFilm 1.3
    • Netflix 1.4
    • SeeSaw 1.5
    • YouTube 1.6
  • Television platforms 2
    • Freesat 2.1
    • Televisions and Blu-ray players 2.2
    • Sky 2.3
    • Virgin Media 2.4
    • YouView 2.5
  • Game consoles 3
    • PlayStation 3 3.1
    • Xbox 360 3.2
    • Xbox One 3.3
  • Mobile platforms 4
    • Android devices 4.1
    • iOS devices 4.2
    • Windows Phone 4.3
  • Computer platforms 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Web platforms

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.[3]

As of April 2009, the internet version is fully available to Windows, Mac and Linux users with Adobe Flash Player installed.[6]

The "catch-up" service offers content free of charge a programme for thirty days after its broadcast on Channel 4. At this time, not all content is available to Irish users, due to licensing restrictions, however the majority of the programming is available.[7]

Channel 4 relaunched 4oD on 31 August 2011.[8] 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.[9] Other features include better full-page viewing and optimised site navigation during viewing.

Since 2014, it stops users with ad-blocking software from watching videos on 4oD as it detects if ad blockers are being used


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.


LoveFilm has a content deal with Channel 4, giving its members streaming access to 4oD's archive in a specially-branded 4oD collection.[10]


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.[11][12][13] The majority of these shows are set to be removed from Netflix on 15 February 2014[14]


4oD on SeeSaw had access to 4oD archive of shows such as the The IT Crowd, Skins, The Inbetweeners, Bo' Selecta!, and many more.[15] In August 2011, all 4oD content was removed from SeeSaw, following SeeSaw's failure to renegotiate its deal with Channel 4.[16]


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.[17]

Television platforms


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.[18]

Televisions and Blu-ray players

A 4oD app for the Samsung Smart TV service was released on 22 March 2013.[19]


4oD was added to Sky's On Demand service on 18 March 2013.[20]

Virgin Media

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 no further information has been released.[21]


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.[22] It is also available for BT TV and TalkTalk Plus TV customers as these services run on YouView.

Game consoles

PlayStation 3

4oD was released on 14 December 2010 on PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network.[23] This service was accessible through,[24] 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.[25] 4oD on PS3 is free and ad-funded with pre-, mid- and post-roll video ads being sold and served by Channel 4.

Xbox 360

On 5 October 2011, it was announced that 4oD would be made available Xbox Live Gold members.[26][27][28] The service also integrates with the Xbox 360’s Kinect controller. 4oD was added to the Xbox Live on 21 December 2011.[29] All content on Xbox Live contains ads which cannot be skipped.

Xbox One

On 8 November 2013, Channel 4 announced that the 4OD app would be available on Xbox One when it launches on November 22, 2013.[30]

Mobile platforms

Android devices

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,[31] in addition it's limited to Wi-Fi connections and doesn't support rooted devices.[32][33] An updated version was released on 25 July 2013 providing download and watch offline support.[34]

iOS devices

A 4oD iPad app launched on 3 May 2011, the app offers a 30-day catch-up service.[35] The current requirements to run this app is a compatible with iPad with iOS 3.2 or later.[36] 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.[37] 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.[34]

Windows Phone

On the 13th November 2013, a native 4oD app was launched for mobile phones running the Windows Phone 8 platform.[38]

Computer platforms

The service was originally available as a Windows-only desktop program for downloading shows similar to BBC iPlayer Desktop.[2] 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.[39] The Kontiki based program which offered Windows Media Video downloads was closed in July 2009.[40][41]

The desktop client offered programming from other broadcasters such as FX[42] and National Geographic[43] as well as movies from 20th Century Fox.[44] 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 4oD application for Windows 8.[45] The move saw Channel 4 become the first major UK broadcaster to support the operating system with a native app.[45]

See also


  1. ^ "4 On Demand".  
  2. ^ a b "Channel 4 Launches 4oD Video-On-Demand Service".  
  3. ^ a b "What content can I find on 4oD?".  
  4. ^ "Channel 4 to launch revamped 4oD on web".  
  5. ^ BBC News,
  6. ^ "Can I use 4oD using Mac and Linux?".  
  7. ^ "Can I watch 4oD in another country?".  
  8. ^ "Channel 4 gets personal with 4oD relaunch". TechRadar. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "Channel 4 is set to relaunch 4oD, its video-on-demand service". TNW UK. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "Amazon's LOVEFiLM and 4oD announce new content deal".  
  11. ^ "The Inbetweeners". Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  12. ^ "Father Ted". Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  13. ^ "The IT Crowd". Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  14. ^ "New On Netflix UK - Expiry Dates". Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  15. ^ "Seesaw - iPlayer's backcatalogue with adverts plus 4OD and Demand Five". UKFree. 31 January 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2011. 
  16. ^ "SeeSaw loses Channel 4 shows in funding hitch". The Guardian. 1 September 2011. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  17. ^ Farber, Alex (7 January 2014). "C4 removes all shows from YouTube". Broadcast. Retrieved 7 January 2014.  (subscription required)
  18. ^ "Channel 4 launches 4oD on Freesat’s FreeTime". Recombu. 27 June 2013. 
  19. ^ Chambers, Jo (5 February 2013). "4oD Review". Eye on Demand. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "Sky adds Channel 4’s 4oD to create the UK’s most complete catch-up TV service". BSkyB. 15 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "Virgin to show Channel 4 content in HD".  
  22. ^ "Humax YouView DTR-T1000 review". Expert Reviews. 24 July 2012. 
  23. ^ "What is 4oD".  
  24. ^ "4oD to Launch on PlayStation 3".  
  25. ^ Langshaw, Mark (25 June 2013). "Channel 4 to launch revamped 4oD on web".  
  26. ^ "Xbox 360 Teams Up With Entertainment Leaders to Transform TV". Microsoft. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  27. ^ "Xbox 360 to launch new TV and film services". The Daily Telegraph. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  28. ^ "Why do I need Xbox Gold Membership to watch 4oD?". Channel 4. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  29. ^ "Xbox LIVE gets 4oD, Demand 5 in new update". TechRadar. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  30. ^ "4oD to be available on the new Xbox One".  
  31. ^ "Major New Digital Innovations announced at Channel 4 Upfront". Channel 4. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  32. ^ "'"Channel 4 releases 4oD app for Android, pair no longer 'Undateable. TechRadar. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  33. ^ "4oD app lands on Android: Mobile Utopia". Pocket-lint. 5 February 2013. Retrieved 6 February 2013. 
  34. ^ a b
  35. ^ "4oD Catch up Launches on iPad".  
  36. ^ "4oD Catch Up By Channel 4".  
  37. ^ "Channel 4 bringing 4oD to iPhone next month".  
  38. ^
  39. ^ "4oD catch up on the web goes live".  
  40. ^ "All 4oD content moves to web".  
  41. ^ "No more WMV downloads from 4oD".  
  42. ^ "4oD agrees rights deal with FX".  
  43. ^ "Channel 4 signs VoD deal with Nat Geo".  
  44. ^ "4oD to carry 20th Century Fox films".  
  45. ^ a b Langshaw, Mark (17 December 2012). "Windows 8 gets 4oD application".  

External links

  • Official website
  • 4oD Device Apps
  • 4oD's channel on YouTube
  • 4oD Virgin Media listings
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