So, Channel 4 has beaten the BBC to the first UK-based ‘full’ Video-On-Demand service, which even uses crafty tech like peer-to-peer file sharing to push the infrastructure costs out to the punters and their poor ISPs. But respect — the legals on content must have been a killer to negotiate. We thought we’d give it a bit of a test-drive.
Visit the website, click the install link, computer says no, as the installer thinks my PC doesn’t meet the requirements:
- Windows XP
- A broadband internet connection (well, d’oh)
- Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher
- Windows Media Player 10
- Macromedia Flash 9
- Microsoft.net Framework 2.0
Well, lucky I wasn’t expecting to watch Big Brother on my Mac…
Anyway, I do have all that software, I just choose to not use Internet Explorer unless coerced. So, quit out of Firefox, start up Internet Explorer 7, click the link to install. Nice pop-up saying ‘Error reading initialization [sic] file’ (what — Channel 4 couldn’t find British programmers to write this thing?), of which nothing in their FAQs. Life’s too short, people.
Bored now. In the interim, we suggest spending some quality time with the open-source Democracy player: you can probably find everything you want from 4OD on BitTorrent anyway. Not that that’s legal.