back to article Channel 4 fails to open archives to Mac, Linux fans

Broadcaster Channel 4 has admitted the archive section of its web-based service will remain unavailable to Mac and Linux users. The terrestrial TV company’s popular 4oD service, which offers viewers thousands of hours of archive TV shows and films to stream, download or rent, remains a Windows XP and Vista-only domain, C4 told …

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  1. Michael
    Linux

    I'I'm reading this on a company computer

    ......running Ubuntu "heron". These people don't listen to their own news department then.(Credit Crunch etc)

    My TV licence is also up for renewal this month , and there's a bit about viewing tv programs on a computer (I forget the exact text), so maybe this isn't a bad thing . The requirement for a tuner no longer applies.

    So, if you run linux, can you kill off this bloated cash cow?

  2. Wokstation

    Given that C4 receives public money..

    ..isn't it their duty to ensure all can use their service? Even moreso with the Beeb.

    Heck, one could petition that Mac and Linux users are a minority, thus need extra assurance that they'll be catered for equally :D

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Sod Channel 4 anyway

    I remember the days when Channel 4 used to be interestingly subversive and worthwhile. That was a long time ago now. Nowdays they've sold out, as evidenced by their requirement that people have to use Microsoft products to view their online content. Who cares anyway? All they show nowadays is trashy reality TV featuring cooped-up imbeciles, and nasty exploitation shows about people with deformities. Fuck them.

  4. Eddie Edwards
    Flame

    Michael Grade is a cunt

    Yeah, I know he's not there any more, but I'm sure this is his fault somehow.

  5. Andy

    self-proclaimed public service broadcaster

    <quote src="http://www.channel4.com/about4/overview.html">

    The Channel's primary purpose is the fulfilment of its public service remit, which was most recently defined in the 2003 Communications Act.

    </quote>

    So proclaimed by statute, then.

    -A.

  6. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Why do they have to make their own software?

    There are plenty of free video players around. The porn shops don't insist I wait for them to develop their own players. Even Google/youtube do not insist that I use flash.

    Get a clue BBC/CH4/...: stick to making and broadcasting content and leave the custom software disasters to the NHS.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Begging Bowl

    Ok, let me get this right. The 4 group are facing financial difficulties, and there is consideration of them getting funding with part of the licence fee and so on.

    However, even though there are a wealth of free codecs and servers out there, 4 want to tie their service to a commercial system (Windows Media). If my licence fee might be going towards supporting 4, I'm also paying Microsoft?

    Sorry 4, though you have funded some great films and do some great programming, I'm not going to support you paying for a locked-in service.

  8. Avi

    Much as C4's not one of the channels I miss...

    I do wish Project Kangaroo hadn't died.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    I blame the competition commision....

    ...it WAS in the public interest, but was killed by a rival, you know that guy that owns most of the media around, you know, the one with the vested interest in making the BBC and C4 look bad.

    Guess the kickbacks were sufficently high....

  11. james
    Linux

    @michael

    the TV license has nothing to do with channel4, it pays for the BBC no money is forwarded to any other channel which is why they all use advertising for funding.

    anyhoo... mplayer and the wmp codecs (not entirely sure of the legality but bugger em i own several windows licenses and dont use half of them might as well get my moneys worth) play it fine in linux, all you really need is the firefox plugin that makes it masquerade as ie

  12. Fruitloop
    Coat

    Typo at Channel 4

    I think they meant to call it "Channel 4 No Demand"

  13. Havin_it
    Flame

    (Channel 4) News to me

    Back when 4oD was launched I wrote to C4 to ask when they planned on supporting Linux. The curt reply in the negative was so snotty it could only have come from someone who wasn't the slightest bit accountable to me (y'know, like a member of the government or a policeman, that sort).

    I'd no idea at the time that C4 were after a slice of the public funding. The idea of that person and their mates getting a chunk of my license fee (not to mention kicking some of it back to Redmond) fills me with disgust nearly as much as yet another summer of Big Brother.

    If they want our money, treat 'em like the banks: take a majority share in the company, fire the top execs and sequester their pension pots (well, try to). As for whichever fuckwit commissioned Big Brother and its ilk, I suggest they be treated the way China treats dodgy baby-milk sellers.

    /vent

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    If the beeb can do it

    Why not channel 4 as they are both owned by the government and subsidised by me the licence fee/tax payer. Bloody UK government in the pockets of MS. If that's the way they want to play it then it's torrents all the way. Bye bye CH4 you did do some good stuff once but it's all crap now and we won't miss you and take that big brother shit with you when you sink.

    Reminds me I must get a copy of that great Ealing comedy Gordon Brown FO. OOps meant Carlton Brown FO

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    If the beeb can do it

    Why not channel 4 as they are both owned by the government and subsidised by me the licence fee/tax payer. Bloody UK government in the pockets of MS. If that's the way they want to play it then it's torrents all the way. Windows media player - URRRRHH shit malware infested software alert.

    Reminds me I must get a copy of that great Ealing comedy Gordon Brown FO. OOps meant Carlton Brown FO

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Linux

    @james

    They were after licence fee money and are making a loss, see this:

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/99c48e86-e34c-11dd-a5cf-0000779fd2ac.html

    @ typo LMAO

  17. Pierre Silver badge

    Chan. 4

    Just went to Channel 4 archives, all the movies there play fine on my linux box. Wait, the adress is 4chan.org, right?

  18. Paul Powell
    Boffin

    TV License

    There is enough FUD spread about the tv licence by TV Licensing - here is the authoritative answer:

    http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/help/about_iplayer/tvlicence

    You only need a TV Licence to get programmes whilst they are being broadcast.

    Also, check out this site: http://www.bbctvlicence.com/

  19. Michael
    Linux

    @james

    You're right, the licence fee has nothing to do with channel 4, BUT, (and it's a big weasel) , they DO produce TV programs, and if you can view UK tv programs on a PC , you MUST have a licence.

    Even if you have no tv.

    I'll repeat that

    Even if you have no tv.

    I'm glad there is an OS restriction on their content, and i'd prefer it on the bbc too, just so I could tell Capita et al to "bend it backwards and keep it in house" (f-u, in other words)

  20. Chris
    Linux

    @james

    <bzzt> Wrong!

    A small proportion of the licence fee does go to other broadcasters than the BBC, but far from enough to fund them exclusively. That's why they have advertising.

    Also, what about DRM'd wmp files, eh? 'Normal' wmps yes but DRM'd ones don't work on Linux without some hackery...

  21. Luis Ogando
    Thumb Up

    @ Eddie Edwards

    Come off the wall and teall us what you REALLY think, Eddie!!

    LMFAO!!!

  22. Steve
    Stop

    Did they have something worth watching?

    This is no great loss, their target audience wont be people using "Alternative" OS's like OSX and Linux, C4 isn't that kind of company any more. They seem to be under the impression that they provide some kind of 3rd choice, but they have slipped into the Dave/Bravo/Living genre and they aint coming back.

    Channel 4 is no longer doing it's job, lets kill it and start again!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Michael

    The TV licence only applies to watching or recording live TV. Watching the archives such as 4OD and iPlayer is not covered by the licence, yet.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    And ITV

    I found myself on www.itv.com the other day (first time ever!). One of their links caught my eye, so I delved into their on-demand section to see if there was anything I might like to sample, and you need bloody Silverlight installing to see ANYTHING!

    Like, fuck that >:-(

  25. Pete
    Thumb Up

    lol

    Sod all you linux zealots

  26. Michael

    Watching the archives

    such as 4OD and iPlayer is not covered by the licence,

    ...............yet.

    The government has no plans to introduce road pricing

    ...............yet

    The councils have no plans to introduce bin taxes

    ..............yet

    until someone changes their minds, and the ground rules slowly start changing.

  27. WonkoTheSane
    Linux

    Fail 4OD is made of fail

    Nothing worth watching on C4 anyway.

  28. raving angry loony

    Microsoft needs to die.

    This is why the EU attempt to unbundle IE is the wrong approach. They should be charging all these companies that insist on forcing people to use Microsoft, thereby continuing its monopoly. Until these asshats are thumped with a big enough LART they will continue to make these kind of decisions. Besides, I'm curious as to what incentives Microsoft offers to large organisations like this in order for them to piss off a not-insignificant portion of their potential clients.

  29. Darren Bell

    HTML 5?

    Don't these people listen to standards. Even Ogg Vorbis and Theora are mandated in that standard. They don't have to write anything and it'll even be support natively in the browser with no plugins. Hmm, except if you're on IE.

  30. Gilbert Wham

    Tried 4OD...

    ...it was so fucking annoying that I gave up & went back to torrenting anything they produced that I wanted to see.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    Linux and Mac users *are* catered for

    http://thepiratebay.org

    Ha-harrrr! It be the universal client!

    The question be: are the pieces of eight being dug up more than those being buried on this "internet TV" venture?

  32. Richard Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    I've "no demand" for typical Channel 4 progs

    The problem now is that Channel 4 is barely worth watching any more. US shows are available "elsewhere" months earlier, ditto movies they show and the vast majority of homegrown stuff (Big Brother particularly) is pretty shoddy quality. Yes, they might have the odd one-off drama worth watching, but they are so few and far between that if C4 went off-air right now, I just wouldn't miss it one iota.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    so you install IE 6 on linux by wine-doors or such and you're good to go. cheers !

    no more text needed, is there.....(?)

  34. Wize

    There are ways round it...

    The other half was having proplems trying to play it on IE, so I had to fiddle about, on her machine, with the page source to find something I could cut'n'paste into media player.

    Not tried it yet, but it may be possible to load the player page in firefox (I have a plugin at home to fake your operating system and browser) and if its not playing, to paste the link to the source for the media file into another player.

    Something for me to do when I go back to mine and feel bored.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Don't tell the advertisers...

    Well if I just happened to be one of 4's shrinking band of advertisers, I'd want to know why so many people don't get to see my ad because they're locked out of the system. Anyways, as Mac and Linux users tend to be smarter than the rest of the great unwashed, perhaps 4's revenue-providing advertisers don't actually want smarter folks to watch Channel Four's piss-poor output. Yeah, that's it: maybe advertisers only wish to appeal to the MS hive-mind masses.

    You will be assimilated! Resistance is... etc

    Mwa-ha-ha!

    Paris, because she always wanted to be in movies.

  36. Ascylto

    Oh, the irony!

    Channel 4 blame the desire not to create a monopoly on scrapping their plans. So they'll have to remain wedded to the Windows ... monopoly!

    And they want licence fee payers' money.

    Fuck off!

  37. George Shaw

    @Don't tell the advertisers...

    On Demand programmes don't have adverts.... much better way to watch C4 (well on Virgin Cable anyway) :)

    the choice is piss poor, but alas so is C4 now.... and it started off so promising...

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 0853

    "...as Mac and Linux users tend to be smarter than the rest of the great unwashed..."

    Using your OS of choice to make yourself feel more intelligent than other people?

    Just like the girl at the Muse gig with a banner saying "Muse: Intelligent music for intelligent people"

    I pity you.

  39. andy gibson

    Double standards

    I see a few comments on here about people getting video files from torrents.

    Yet, as soon as The Reg publishes a story about an ISP throttling P2P the commenters all start crying and say that all they download is "Linux ISOs". Yeah, right.

  40. paul
    IT Angle

    oh well

    At least the E4 lineup and Film4 etc are on free sat away from the encryption of the sky platform (that was trying to kill the internet in 1996)

    Cant believe Kangaroo was cancelled. That man murdoch is such a evil little bastard - I hope satan gives him a good roasting when his time is up.

  41. Stuart Castle

    RE: Why do they have to make their own software?

    "There are plenty of free video players around. The porn shops don't insist I wait for them to develop their own players. Even Google/youtube do not insist that I use flash.

    Get a clue BBC/CH4/...: stick to making and broadcasting content and leave the custom software disasters to the NHS"

    The problem for all of the channels is simply copyright. Most Channels (especially Channel 4 which actually has no production facilities) rely on other companies to produce their programmes. These companies often insist that their output is protected against illegal copying/downloading. The best way for the channel to do this is use some form of DRM. You may argue about whether DRM is right or not all you want, but the fact remains that the programme producers are actually within their rights to insist on it, and they will.

    How many opensource or free codecs or video player support a full DRM system that is easily distributed to thousands of users? WMP has it's faults, but DRM is piss easy on it. (as long as you are running Windows).

    Google/Youtube does not have that problem. Where they did have content from certain producers (on Google Video), they did use a system with DRM, but 98% of their content is not licenced..

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    @Stuart Castle

    "...but the fact remains that the programme producers are actually within their rights to insist on it, and they will."

    But that doesn't mean that anyone will want their product. If all the broadcasters refused to transmit DRM infested output, the production company would have its bluff called and have to decide if it actually had a viable business model.

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