All 4

All 4
Original author(s) Channel Four Television Corporation
Developer(s) Channel Four Television Corporation
Initial release 16 November 2006
Stable release
30 March 2015
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, PlayStation 4 (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
Now TV
Available in English
Type Television catch-up

All 4 is a video on demand service from Channel Four Television Corporation.[1] The service launched on 16 November 2006 as 4oD (shorthand for 4 on Demand).[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 their website. 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.[4]

On 30 March 2015, 4oD was merged into and renamed All 4.[5]

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.[3]

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

The "catch-up" service offers content free of charge for 30 days after a programme's 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] Live streaming of Channel 4 and its sister channels is not available outside the UK.

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, the service stops users with ad-blocking software from watching videos on All 4.

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.[10]


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


Netflix has a bought the rights to a number of Channel 4 shows, such as the Father Ted, IT Crowd, and The Inbetweeners, 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

Blu-ray players and televisions

An All 4 app for the Samsung Smart TV service was released on 22 March 2013.[18]


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.[19]


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

Virgin Media

All 4 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 All 4 but as of 2012 no further information has been released.[21]


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.[22] It is also available for BT 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.[23] This service was accessible through,[24] 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.[25] All 4 on PS3 is free and ad-funded with pre-, mid- and post-roll video ads being sold and served by Channel 4.

PlayStation 4

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

Xbox 360

On 5 October 2011, it was announced that All 4 would be made available Xbox Live Gold members.[26][27][28] The service also integrates with the Xbox 360’s Kinect controller. All 4 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 All 4 app would be available on Xbox One when it launches on 22 November 2013.[30]

Mobile platforms

Android devices

An All 4 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] Users are frustrated that the adverts stream properly but that the programme content shows as a black screen with audio only. All4's technical support's explanation that this is to do with limited bandwidth seems unlikely to users who have no problems with other services such as Netflix.

iOS devices

An All 4 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.

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.[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 13 November 2013, a native All 4 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 All 4 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]

List of Programmes on All4

Four Rooms Four in a bed

Exclusive programming

See also


  1. "4 On Demand". Channel 4. Archived from the original on 1 July 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  2. 1 2 "Channel 4 Launches 4oD Video-On-Demand Service". Channel 4. 16 November 2006. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  3. 1 2 "What content can I find on 4oD?". Channel 4. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  4. "Channel 4 to launch revamped 4oD on web". Digital Spy. 25 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  5. "Channel 4 Trades in 4OD for 'All 4' Rebrand, New Apps and Timed O2 Programme Exclusives". Gizmodo. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2015.
  6. "Can I use 4oD using Mac and Linux?". Channel 4. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  7. "Can I watch 4oD in another country?". Channel 4. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  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". Channel 4. 21 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  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. Chambers, Jo (5 February 2013). "4oD Review". Eye on Demand. Retrieved 22 March 2013.
  19. "Channel 4 launches 4oD on Freesat's FreeTime". Recombu. 27 June 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". Digital Spy. 8 October 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  22. "Humax YouView DTR-T1000 review". Expert Reviews. 24 July 2012.
  23. "What is 4oD". PlayStation. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
  24. "4oD to Launch on PlayStation 3". Channel 4. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  25. Langshaw, Mark (25 June 2013). "Channel 4 to launch revamped 4oD on web". Digital Spy. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
  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". Channel 4. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2014.
  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. 1 2
  35. "4oD Catch up Launches on iPad". Channel 4. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  36. "4oD Catch Up By Channel 4". Retrieved 7 August 2011.
  37. "Channel 4 bringing 4oD to iPhone next month". Digital Spy. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  38. "Official 4oD app streams on to Windows Phone to help you never miss another show". Windows Central.
  39. "4oD catch up on the web goes live". Digital Spy. 2 April 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  40. "All 4oD content moves to web". Digital Spy. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  41. "No more WMV downloads from 4oD". Digital Spy. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  42. "4oD agrees rights deal with FX". Digital Spy. 26 October 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  43. "Channel 4 signs VoD deal with Nat Geo". Digital Spy. 8 June 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  44. "4oD to carry 20th Century Fox films". Digital Spy. 7 November 2007. Retrieved 11 August 2011.
  45. 1 2 Langshaw, Mark (17 December 2012). "Windows 8 gets 4oD application". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 December 2012.

External links

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