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New 4oD iOS app update today


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Old 04-07-2012, 19:55
ovbg
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As per title, there has been an update on the 4oD iOS app today.

Cool.

Though I am a little hesitant to update. Can someone who has updated already confirm if 4oD still airplays to appletv at full screen?

The full screen bit is important as often when mirroring TV shows, there are ugly black bars around the video. Until now, 4oD were unofficially allowing the video to stretch to full screen when mirrored over AirPlay, so no black borders.

My fear is that on the new update they have stopped this as their websit still says they don't actually support AirPlay officially.

Full screen AirPlay is terribly important to us as this is the only way we watch channel 4. If they top this there is no point in upgrading.
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Old 04-07-2012, 20:16
Gormond
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No it doesn't work, just tried it.
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Old 04-07-2012, 20:27
dvs
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I also tried it and can't get it to mirror at all. A screen says its not compatible but the sound still go through.
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Old 04-07-2012, 20:29
Gormond
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I also tried it and can't get it to mirror at all. A screen says its not compatible but the sound still go through.
Yeah same issue as me.

If you jailbreak your AppleTV and install XBMC you can install 4od on that.
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Old 04-07-2012, 21:01
ovbg
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Thanks for the info. So, 4oD have blocked the airplaying function completely.

That set's them aside from the other FTA players. One can fullscreen Mirror on iPlayer and now ITV (added with the last ITV update) and 5on Demand can mirror with black borders.

But 4oD can not at all.

Anyway, I appreciate all your help. Such a pity and now the annoying fact of having the 4oD app always wanting an update ;O)

I seriously can't believe channel 4 have done this. What a step backwards.


Unfortunately Gormond, I can not jailbreak my Apple TV as I have the 3rd incarnation.
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Old 05-07-2012, 00:17
Colin_London
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Nothing to do with C4 wanting you to use Youview to watch 4oD on a large screen of course.......
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:38
ovbg
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^^ Interesting point Colin due to the timing, but somehow I find that unlikely. There is no good business case for killing Airplay because of the upcoming Youview. Especially since it is also on the XBOX and Playstation on the big screen.

First of all, it goes against what the other channels have been doing. BBC have offered Airplay for a while now and ITV just a few weeks ago upgraded theirs to work with full screen.

With Channel 5 offering standard mirroring with borders still, this makes Channel 4 the only one who has gone backwards and removed Airplay all together. Actively removing this function. Why would they go backwards when their competition is going forwards? What they have done is take their channel literally "off the air" for many people like myself that watch catchup in that way.

What benefit would they get? People who use airplay to watch catchup will not suddenly go out and get a Youview box when they already have satellite and an Apple TV just to get one extra channel on their main TV. They will either stop watching it or watch on a computer.

I only have one real guess why this could be. Although they had an unofficial Airplay working before, it was full of bugs. I had to start the Airplay after the video had started otherwise after the first ad, the TV show would simply go straight to the end. Even then, when playing, the ads would not be synced well and start a few seconds before the actual break. Maybe they have not yet worked on this issue and decided in the meantime to block Airplay altogether until they get time to work on this issue.

Seriously though, if you are running a businesses, the one thing you want is your product to be available to as many people as possible. You don't want to restrict your product to be at a disadvantage to other competitors. And finally, channel 4 is a television station, a television station that has just removed it's television from my television.

As I can't be arsed to hook up a laptop to my TV just to watch the one TV channel, nor can we be bothered to go to another room to watch on a computer (and a smaller screen), I guess channel 4 is off air in our house until they get around to fixing this... At Channel 4's rate in App updates, I may have a long wait.
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Old 05-07-2012, 13:29
monty77
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..I'm hoping this is just a bug in the new version and they'll fix it soon enough - I doubt it is intentional if the audio works (sort of).

M
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Old 05-07-2012, 14:36
The Phazer
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Nothing to do with C4 wanting you to use Youview to watch 4oD on a large screen of course.......
Nope, it's because the DRM on Airplay is completely borked.
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Old 05-07-2012, 14:42
ovbg
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..I'm hoping this is just a bug in the new version and they'll fix it soon enough - I doubt it is intentional if the audio works (sort of).

M
Sadly Sky have been doing this for a long time now, fully blocking mirroring (with only sound). The general idea people have is that they want to protect their multi-room subscription package which sounds fair enough.

That said, 4oD don't have subscription packages for their free offerings, so this reason shouldn't apply to them.

No, I think it was deliberate and intentional.

One thing though, if you are as pissed off as I am, write to 4oD and complain and let them know that the competition (all other free television catchup services) allow Airplay of one sort or another. Here is a direct link to the contact form for 4oD. Maybe the more people that complain, the more chance they will listen:
http://www.channel4.com/4viewers/contact-us
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Old 05-07-2012, 14:44
ovbg
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Nope, it's because the DRM on Airplay is completely borked.
Interesting theory, but it falls apart as the BBC's iPlayer, ITV and Channel 5 don't seem to have any problems in the UK with Airplay, and plenty of other TV services around the world also have either standard Airplay or via Mirroring.

In fact, Channel 4 is the only free catchup service I know of globally that has actively barred Airplay or Mirroring. And I have used quite a few from different countries.
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Old 05-07-2012, 15:02
monty77
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Sadly Sky have been doing this for a long time now, fully blocking mirroring (with only sound). The general idea people have is that they want to protect their multi-room subscription package which sounds fair enough.

That said, 4oD don't have subscription packages for their free offerings, so this reason shouldn't apply to them.

No, I think it was deliberate and intentional.

One thing though, if you are as pissed off as I am, write to 4oD and complain and let them know that the competition (all other free television catchup services) allow Airplay of one sort or another. Here is a direct link to the contact form for 4oD. Maybe the more people that complain, the more chance they will listen:
http://www.channel4.com/4viewers/contact-us
They have mail.

..perhaps they've pulled it as Apple are about to launch the App store on Apple TV at long last where a 'proper' 4od app will be released.

M
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Old 05-07-2012, 15:05
ovbg
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^^ Now that is sort of logical.

Considering their Airplay was buggy, it could be that they have an App ready for the AppleTV and decide to just block the Airplay route since this will be ready soon on Apple TV and they don't want to waste resources fixing it on the iPad. Hmmm...

I can believe this one. But at the same time, even the BBC doesn't have an Apple TV app (which is a bit weird really when they have apps for almost every other device)

Still, you bring hope to me monty number 77.
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Old 05-07-2012, 15:45
Gormond
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^^ Now that is sort of logical.

Considering their Airplay was buggy, it could be that they have an App ready for the AppleTV and decide to just block the Airplay route since this will be ready soon on Apple TV and they don't want to waste resources fixing it on the iPad. Hmmm...

I can believe this one. But at the same time, even the BBC doesn't have an Apple TV app (which is a bit weird really when they have apps for almost every other device)

Still, you bring hope to me monty number 77.
There is no app store for the Apple TV so there is no way the BBC can add iPlayer to it. Netflix is on it because it was a special arrangement made in the US which is why Lovefilm isn't on it.
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Old 05-07-2012, 15:49
ovbg
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There is no app store for the Apple TV so there is no way the BBC can add iPlayer to it. Netflix is on it because it was a special arrangement made in the US which is why Lovefilm isn't on it.
Well, I was actually referring to a "Hard wired" app like Netflix etc. If the US can have some apps offered by the 3rd parties working with Apple there is no real reason why the UK can't either.
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Old 05-07-2012, 19:01
monty77
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I don't think 4od (or iPlayer) for that matter would get a dedicated Apple TV app like Netflix at this time - a) they're too small and the product is very much USA focussed and b) it'd mean people wouldn't buy the BBC/C4 content in the iTunes store (not UK people anyway)

Apple TV app store is coming, just nobody knows when, it'd be madness not to. ATV app store using iOS device as the control device - the possibilities are vast and it'd kick every other TV set top media player into touch in moments.

..got my response from C4 re: the 4od app. I'll summarise. We never supported it in the first place - nothing to see here.

M
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Old 05-07-2012, 22:53
ovbg
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Yeap, I got the same response from them as well. I wrote back and said there is a big difference between "not supporting" and blocking.

I don't eat Brussel sprouts, but I don't actively block them from being eaten by others ;O)

They did write back again with their stock "your view has been noted..."

I suggest you write back and tell them you want Airplay. Tell them you want to watch television on a television not just a small screen. And remind them you are a valued customer who pays by watching their forced ads and the license fee at the same time (and yes, unlike ITV, channel 4 is not a fully private company and partly funded by the license fee.) And by all means, remind them that their competition is doing what their customers want, rather than the opposite.

If no one writes to them, they will do nothing. They may still do nothing if people write but at least there is a chance.

And I say this to all reading. This thread has had almost 500 views since I posted yesterday. If everyone wrote to channel 4 who is reading this forum, it would certainly reach their management. What they do with this is anyone's guess but nothing happens by just staying quiet.

Here again is the direct link to their contact form for others.
http://www.channel4.com/4viewers/contact-us
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:41
Gormond
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I'm not lazy to write an email by but if you post the template you used i will also use it.
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:37
The Phazer
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Interesting theory,
Not a theory.

but it falls apart as the BBC's iPlayer, ITV and Channel 5 don't seem to have any problems in the UK with Airplay, and plenty of other TV services around the world also have either standard Airplay or via Mirroring.
One would note the reason why some don't use standard airplay is because there are DRM differences between the two.

I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the others pull it shortly.

In fact, Channel 4 is the only free catchup service I know of globally that has actively barred Airplay or Mirroring. And I have used quite a few from different countries.
"Free" isn't really relevant. Sky block it for example, and have stated it's due to DRM concerns.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:38
ovbg
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Not a theory.

One would note the reason why some don't use standard airplay is because there are DRM differences between the two.

I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the others pull it shortly.
I'm not terribly sure there. Why would ITV in the last month or so "add" full screen Airplay if they were considering to pull it. Surely, even if they were considering it but not acting on pulling it, they would have left it at the very least as it was, like Ch5 with black borders.

But instead they have actively added the feature of full screen Airplay.

The BBC added it to iPlayer a while ago, so why is Channel 4 so concerned about this and DRM.

Why are the BBC not so concerned about DRM? They are considerably bigger than Channel 4? What about the large US networks, ABC, NBC, Fox, even paid services like Huluplus, all much larger than Channel4. They all allow mirroring or Airplay? And Channel 4 is still a public service channel, unlike the main commercial ones that still allow Airplay.

The only exceptions I know of globally are some of the cable or satellite operators and only the ones that offer "multi-room" packages. It seems pretty clear it's not DRM that is the concern, but loss of money from people accessing the content in multiple rooms on a subscription package... something that is a non issue with channel 4.

And again, exactly what DRM concerns are there? How many people do you know that can intercept an airplay video stream and copy it? It's a damn sight easier to just do this on a PC from their browser service. Enormously easier.

Please explain how DRM is at threat here? But not at threat on a PC?
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:36
ovbg
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Just wanted to put this back into perspective.

Whilst 4oD took this odd and rather silly big step backwards with Airplay, yet again another service is moving forward.

iView, ABC's version of iPlayer has just updated their iPad app. Previously it offered Airplay but only with mirroring (a bit like 4oD before) but now they have updated Airplay support to full standard support. That is, no mirroring required, simply the usual Airplay button and full screen on your big tele.

The funny part is, there are the odd channel 4 shows on the ABC which via iView can be Airplayed but not via channel 4 itself.
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