TVCatchup: Wikis

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TVCatchup
Current TVCatchup logo (as of May 2009).
Developer(s) TVCatchup Limited
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Internet Television
License Proprietary
Website www.TVCatchup.com

TVCatchup is an internet television service for viewing certain UK channels from free-to-air digital terrestrial and satellite broadcasters live without the use of a television receiver. The service re-broadcasts BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five and free to air Sky channels. Initially the legality of the service was questioned causing it to be suspended. The service was relaunched minus the network PVR functionality offering a roster of TV channels upon free registration. As the service permits the viewing of live television channels a TV licence is required. The service is only accessible in the United Kingdom. The service is funded by advertising, with a pre-roll advertisements preceding the live channel stream.

Contents

History

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2007-2008

Previous TVCatchup logo, showing its beta status.

Launched in late 2007, the site was initially conceived as an online PVR service, where users could select shows from one of 30 free-to-air channels to record up to one week in advance of their broadcast[1]. These online recordings could not be legally downloaded by the user, merely viewed online. They could however be temporarily lent to other users who had not recorded the show, for a period of up to 60 days after their broadcast, when they were then removed from the site. The site differed from broadcaster services such as the BBC iPlayer, 4oD and Demand Five in that content was not instantly available to users, but had to be recorded in advance or requested. Just like a physical PVR, users were also able to create a series-link so that all future broadcasts of, for example, their favourite soap or documentary, would automatically be recorded.

Following concerns from broadcasters about the functionality of the site itself, TVCatchup took it upon itself to withdraw its service on 14 February 2008 pending clarification of points of law, and visitors to the site were presented with a message to this effect[2][3].

2008-present

TVCatchup's redesigned look, as of 30th May 2009.

The site remained offline until 10 October 2008 when it relaunched in beta status. The site currently offers users the ability to watch some Freeview channels live but has disabled earlier PVR functionality. It also operates a policy to encourage development of third party applications for uses such as recording shows, transcoding to allow storage/viewing on mobile applications and PVR like functions on the user's PC.

Opinion that the website is lawful has been given by prominent copyright experts Hamlins LLP of London and Robert Engleheart QC of Blackstone Chambers. Broadcasters have further participated in assessing the website prior to launch, and have been reported as having identified no legal cause to oppose the service.

The service makes it abundantly clear that users should be in possession of a UK TV licence to watch television as it is being broadcast and has tried to introduce strict geographical blocking and encryption measures to prevent direct access by those not entitled to use the service. It is known that there are many ways to circumvent these measures by use of a VPN and thus bypass the security of the website by making the user appear to be situated within the UK. The website has stringent IP monitoring facilities that they use to detect and block multiple accesses from the same IP as well as all proxy and VPN access.

Since late April 2009, the site has been blocking access from many proxy servers, rendering it impossible to view without meeting the original criteria, that users should be UK based. TVCatchup does not verify if users have a TV licence; however, users are advised on registration to TVCatchup that one is needed.

On 30 May 2009 the site launched a redesigned look and several new channels. However, they temporarily withdrew access to some new channels and their desktop application pending network improvements. They also removed their new FLEX web player and use the old player temporarily. After a complete re-write of their new system and a quadrupling of network capacity, at the beginning of August, the FLEX player was re-introduced along with numerous additional channels, including those from satellite sources. The desktop application is still disabled pending release of a new PVR application.

Following on the heels of their successful launch of their iTVC web application for iPhone users, allowing them to view live streamed broadcast TV for free for the first time on a phone, TVCatchup have announced that they are preparing to launch a full PVR application for download by users that will allow them to enjoy full Sky+ functionality on their PCs. This is scheduled for launch in 2010, along with an official iPhone application. TVCatchup have also now released their radio streams, however only some work as it is in beta.

Ways to watch the service

The website is constantly expanding with other web TV applications being introduced. At the moment the service can be viewed on any average computer with a web browser with Adobe Flash installed. As it is in Flash 10 format, it can also be viewed on a PS3[4]. The service can also be viewed on the Windows Media Center Functions of Windows Vista[5] (Home Premium and Ultimate) and Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.[6] There was also an Adobe AIR desktop application released in Beta mode on 28 April 2009, which was to be gradually updated to include features such as a full TV guide and PVR[7] with a feature to enable iPhone owners to use the service also in Beta. iPhone users can now access the service by navigating to http://iphone.tvcatchup.com in their Safari mobile browser.

Television channels

TVCatchup allows users to watch from a choice of forty-eight free-to-air channels all of which are preceded by streamed commercials.

No. Channel Name Owner/parent company Shows Commercial Advertising iPhone Availability Broadcast hours
1 BBC One (London) BBC No Yes 24 hours
2 BBC Two (England) BBC No Yes 24 hours
3 ITV1 (London) ITV plc Yes Yes 24 hours
4 Channel 4 Channel Four Television Corporation Yes Yes 24 hours
5 Five Channel 5 Broadcasting (RTL Group) Yes Yes 24 hours
6 ITV2 ITV Digital Channels Ltd (ITV plc) Yes Yes 24 hours
7 Five USA Channel 5 Broadcasting (RTL Group) Yes Yes 24 hours
8 E4 Channel Four Television Corporation Yes Yes 24 hours
9 ITV3 ITV Digital Channels Ltd (ITV plc) Yes Yes 24 hours
10 ITV4 ITV Digital Channels Ltd (ITV plc) Yes Yes 24 hours
11 More4 Channel Four Television Corporation Yes Yes 24 hours
12 BBC Three BBC No Yes 19:00 - 07:00
13 BBC Four BBC No Yes 19:00 - 06:00
14 Dave UKTV Network (BBC Worldwide/Virgin Media Television) Yes No 07:00 - 03:00
15 Fiver Channel 5 Broadcasting (RTL Group) Yes Yes 06:00 - 23:00
16 Film4 Channel Four Television Corporation Yes Yes 12:45 - 08:45
17 BBC News BBC No Yes 24 hours
18 CBBC Channel BBC No Yes 07:00 - 19:00
19 CITV ITV Digital Channels Ltd (ITV plc) Yes Yes 06:00 - 18:00
20 Channel 4 +1 Channel Four Television Corporation Yes Yes 24 hours
21 E4 +1 Channel Four Television Corporation Yes Yes 24 hours
22 Dave ja vu UKTV Network (BBC Worldwide/Virgin Media Television) Yes No 07:00 - 05:00
23 ITV2 +1 ITV Digital Channels Ltd (ITV plc) Yes No 06:00 - 04:00
24 CBeebies BBC No Yes 07:00 - 19:00
25 4Music Box Television (Bauer Group/Channel Four Television Corporation) Yes Yes 24 hours
26 Yesterday UKTV Network (BBC Worldwide/Virgin Media Television) Yes No 06:00 - 18:00
27 More4 +1 Channel 4 Television Corporation Yes Yes 24 hours
28 ITV3 +1 ITV Digital Channels Ltd (ITV plc) Yes Yes 24 hours
29 ITV4 +1 ITV Digital Channels Ltd (ITV plc) Yes Yes 24 hours
30 Film4 +1 Channel 4 Television Corporation Yes Yes 12:45 - 08:45
31 BBC Parliament BBC No Yes 24 hours
32 QVC QVC (Liberty Media) Yes No 24 hours
33 Sky News British Sky Broadcasting Yes No 24 hours
34 Sky Sports News British Sky Broadcasting Yes No 24 hours
35 Sky3 British Sky Broadcasting Yes No 24 hours
36 VIVA MTV Networks Europe Yes No 24 hours
37 Virgin1 Virgin Media Television Yes No 09:00 - 03:00
38 Virgin1 +1 Virgin Media Television Yes No 18:00 - 06:00
39 Men & Motors ITV Digital Channels Ltd (ITV plc) Yes Yes 11:00 - 04:00
40 Movies4Men Dolphin Broadcast Services Ltd. Yes No 24 Hours

Radio channels

No. Channel Name Owner/parent company
1 95.8 Capital FM Global Radio
2 Absolute 80s TIML Radio Limited
3 Absolute Classic Rock TIML Radio Limited
4 Absolute Radio TIML Radio Limited
5 Akash Radio Akash Radio
6 Amrit Bani Amrit Bani Radio
7 BBC Radio 1Xtra BBC
8 BBC 6 Music BBC
9 BBC Asian Network BBC
10 BBC London 94.9 BBC
11 BBC Radio 5 Live BBC
12 BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra BBC
13 BBC Radio 1 BBC
14 BBC Radio 2 BBC
15 BBC Radio 3 BBC
16 BBC Radio 4 BBC
17 BBC Radio 7 BBC
18 BBC Radio Cymru BBC
19 BBC Radio nan Gàidheal BBC
20 BBC Radio Scotland BBC
21 BBC Radio Ulster BBC
22 BBC Radio Wales BBC
23 BBC World Service BBC
24 BFBS Radio British Forces Broadcasting Service
25 Camden Community Radio Denis Glaser
26 Chill Global Radio
27 Choice FM Global Radio
28 Classic FM Global Radio
29 CNN Radio Turner Broadcasting System Europe (Time Warner)
30 Desi Radio The Panjabi Centre Ltd
31 EWTN Europe Eternal Word Television Network
32 Family Radio Family Stations Inc.
33 Galaxy Yorkshire Global Radio
34 Gaydar Radio QSoft Consulting
35 Gold Global Radio
36 Heart Global Radio
37 Heart London Global Radio
38 Heat Bauer Radio
39 Ignition Radio World Radio Network
40 ILM Radio UK Asia Media Solutions Ltd
41 Insight Radio Royal National Institute of Blind People
42 Jazz FM Jazz FM Investments Ltd.
43 Kerrang! 105.2 Bauer Radio
44 Kismat Radio Sunrise Radio Group
45 Kiss Bauer Radio
46 Kiss 100 London Bauer Radio
47 LBC 97.3 Global Radio
48 Liberty Radio Liberty Radio Limited
49 Magic Bauer Radio
50 Magic 105.4 FM Bauer Radio
51 My Best Radio
52 Newstalk Communicorp
53 NME Radio IPC Media
54 NPower Radio NPower Radio & Television Limited
55 Panjab Radio Panjab Radio
56 Planet Rock Rock Show
57 Premier Christian Radio Premier Christian Media Trust
58 Premier Radio
59 Q Bauer Radio
60 Rabbi Radio Rabbi Radio
61 Radio Caroline Radio Caroline Ltd.
62 Radio Khuskhkhabri Zorawar Singh Gakhal
63 Radio Record
64 Radio Shepherd God's Loght Ministry Int.
65 Rainbow Radio Rainbow Radio Ltd
66 Real Radio Wales GMG Radio
67 RTÉ lyric fm Radio Telefís Éireann
68 RTÉ Radio 1 Radio Telefís Éireann
69 RTÉ 2fm Radio Telefís Éireann
70 RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta Radio Telefís Éireann
71 Sky News Radio British Sky Broadcasting
72 Smash Hits! Radio Bauer Radio
73 Solar Radio Solar Broadcasting Ltd
74 Spectrum Radio Spectrum Radio Ltd
75 Sukh Sagar Radio Zorawar Singh Gakhal
76 Sunrise Radio Sunrise Radio Group
77 talkSPORT UTV Radio
78 The Hits Radio Bauer Radio
79 TWR UK Trans World Radio
80 Voice of Truth Radio VOT Radio Ltd
81 WRN Europe World Radio Network
82 Xfm London Global Radio
83 Yorkshire Radio Leeds United A.F.C.

See also

References

External links


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