NEWS: Channel 4 to join Britbox

Discussion in 'Film & TV On Demand Streaming Services' started by Phil Hinton, Mar 12, 2019.


    1. Andy Bassett

      Andy Bassett
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    2. dante01

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      While I cannot say that the BBC's and ITV's decision to join forces and make their archived and long term presence a subscription based service, I am rather annoyed at Channel 4 also wanting to align themselves with this. Unlike the BBC and ITV, Channel 4 already makes much of its back catalogue available via it existing free to access All 4 service.

      Channel 4 wanting in on the act may in fact result in those consumers not wanting to pay a subscription losing something that they already had access to for free?
       
    3. Clem_Dye

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      All4, in my opinion, is unusable, because of the poor picture and sound quality, but for most for the unskippable ad. breaks. In one episode of the third series of Professor T SWMBO and I timed a break that lasted over five minutes. C4 must realise this, because they are trialling All4+, the subscription version of All4, which is ad. break free. I only use All4 as a last resort, as in the case of being able to watch the second and third series of Professor T (absolutely brilliant, BTW) because I couldn’t find it elsewhere. There’s a lot of stuff under the Walter Presents banner that we’d love to watch, but certainly won’t be bothering whilst All4 remains the unpleasant mess that it is.

      Thinking about Britbox, to my mind, it would be better if it replaced the various catch-up services already in play, offering two levels of service: free, you get ad. breaks, subscribe and you don’t. It also needs to offer the ability to binge on series yet to be broadcast, and it it needs to offer HD picture quality (at a minimum) and multi-channel audio, where available. Obviously, that would depend on the content, but if the BBC can offer this to its linear broadcasts (Batiste being an example), then Britbox should deliver it too.

      What I suspect that we’ll get is something that at best offers iPlayer like picture quality, stereo audio, ad. breaks, and a hefty subscription fee to boot. I really want to be proved wrong here, but if I were a betting man I’d be reasonably confident that my money was safe.

      Clem
       
    4. dante01

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      Britbox will not replace All 4. What will happen is that the vast amount of already freely available content made available by Channel 4 via All 4 will be removed from All 4. This will then require you to subscribe to Britbox if wanting to access it.

      As far as the audio and video quality goes then it may not be comparable to Netflix, but is no worse than you'd get via the BBC's iPLayer (excluding the very limited 4K and HLG encoded content) or via iTV's Hub.

      Channel 4's actual content that it currently makes available via its All 4 service is better than what you'd get via either iPLayer or the ITV Hub. Why? Because Channel 4 make available archived content and do not just use the All 4 service as a catch up service. You'd unfortunately lose access to most if not all of the archived content if All 4 does align itself with the BBC and ITV and become another channel participating in the Britbox service. All 4 already provide what Britbox will in relation to Channel 4's archived back catalogue, but for free.
       
    5. crashcris

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      You're wrong. At present only BBC iplayer and Channel 5 (MY5) offer their programmes in lower quality HD (720). The ITV Hub and Channel 4 (All4) are only in diabolical sub SD quality.
       
    6. Clem_Dye

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      In 2019 it’s unacceptable in my book to have the likes of the BBC complain about services like Netflix, when iPlayer doesn’t even match it on either picture or sound quality. For many, me included, watching stuff in what is clearly a sub-standard level just doesn’t fly. Sure, for some it’s not important, but for many it is, more so when having to pay for the privilege.

      Clem
       
    7. Buckster666

      Buckster666
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      Would only get this if the picture quality is HD.
       
    8. pressure

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      As others have mentioned it’s all about the quality level.
       
    9. MikeTheBike2010

      MikeTheBike2010
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      Be nice if C4 would respect their viewers and return HD picture and sound with catch up to Freesat as I’m still sore about loosing that!
       
    10. dante01

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      It has nothing at all to do with the quality. Whether All 4's video and audio isn't up to standard has nothing to do with whether or not channel 4 stop making some of their content available via their All 4 service and start subsequently charging for it via the Britbox subscription only service. The video and or audio quality of the ALL 4 service is an entirely different subject matter and of no relevance what so ever.

      The video quality of ALL 4 is an entirely different topic to that of Channel 4 wanting to be part of Britbox.
       
      Last edited: Mar 14, 2019 at 11:19 AM
    11. Chinstroke

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      How do you know this? Do you work for channel 4? Shouldn't this say "What I Think Will Happen is This"

      What I think will happen is All 4 will remain as it is as an ad funded service and Britbox will offer that content Ad free, within 1 app alongside the BBC and ITV content and likely at a higher quality.
       
    12. Clem_Dye

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      It is relevant to the discussion, IMHO. If, on linear TV, the BBC and C4 can offer HD picture quality and multichannel audio, it’s not unreasonable to expect that to be delivered by Britbox, especially as it’s being positioned by some as a UK Netflix. Netflix delivers HD-level service, for a price, admittedly, so it can be done. That our existing UK catch-up services are largely still SD quality says much about how TV companies respect their audiences. Even on linear TV, ITVHD and C5HD transmit films with just a stereo audio track. Really?

      Clem
       
    13. dante01

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      If you want better video via ALL 4 then wouldn't you be better addressing this directly to Channel 4 under that heading? Applauding Channel 4 for potentially giving you better video via an entirely different streaming services isn't exactly going to improve the video you get via ALL 4. Plus the fact that you'll have to pay for Britbox while ALL 4 is free.

      These 2 topics are NOT mutually the one and the same!
       
    14. JabbaNut

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      I suspect it will be more like a on demand Now TV service. Also aimed at people watching on Phones, Tablets, basic Android TV box with limited DRM level., Smart TV.
       
    15. Clem_Dye

      Clem_Dye
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      I’ve reported the rubbish quality of All4 several times now to C4, to be deafened by the silence of their replies. As I said above, I think that UK TV companies treat viewers as an inconvenience, so deliver the bare minimum possible. I suspect that Britbox will offer the same cr*p quality. That said, having an expectation that Britbox might offer something better is certainly a valid dimension to the discussion here, so it’s not unreasonable to expect that discussion to touch on the existing catch-up services by way of comparison.

      Clem
       

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