Channel 4 puts back catalogue online, free to viewers

Channel 4 is set to become the first UK broadcaster to make all its archived programming available on its website completely free of charge to Mac, Linux and PC users.

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Following the introduction of a Mac compatible 4oD Catch-Up service in April, Channel 4 is set to become the first UK broadcaster to make all its archived programming available on its Web site completely free of charge.

Previously Mac and Linux users have had limited access to archived programming, missing out on Channel 4's 25-year plus extensive archive. From July archived content will be added to the service including groundbreaking shows such as Queer As Folk, Trigger Happy TV and Drop The Dead Donkey.

Channel 4 will scrap the PC only desktop application needed to watch archived content when the service is opened up to all. The relaunched 4oD service on Channel4.com means Channel 4 is the only UK broadcaster to make all its archived content available to Mac, PC and Linux users on a free, streamed basis using Adobe Flash player.

"We are using an Adobe Flash player to deliver the content, meaning you’ll now be able to view our programmes on any platform so long as you’ve got Flash (version 9.0.124 or higher) installed, meaning Apple Mac and Linux OS users should now be able to join the party," Channel 4 said in a blog post back in April.

Since its re-launch on 1 April 2009, Channel 4 has seen a 111 per cent increase in viewing compared to the previous month, with shows such as The Inbetweeners, Hollyoaks and Come Dine With Me proving a hit with viewers.

Interestingly, Mac users are driving 15 per cent of the viewing says Channel 4.

"We were the first broadcaster to launch a comprehensive video-on-demand service in 2006 and since that time 4oD has become one of the UK’s most popular VOD brands," Jon Gisby, Director of Future Media & Technology at Channel 4.

"The addition of archived content to 4oD on channel4.com means we will be the only UK broadcaster to have all of our content available online. We are extremely proud of the new and improved service and think the combination of fantastic content that’s easy to find and view will prove a compelling service for all users."