TVCatchup V.S. Filmon

TVCatchup is an web site television watching platform in the UK. It re-broadcasts BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Channel Five and Sky channels. The web site was suspended due to the legality of brodcasting. It was restarted without PVR functionality with TV channels with free registration. The system is only accessible in the UK and is funded by primarilly by advertising. It is different than Filmon.

In 2007, the site was only a online PVR service.

People could program channels to record in advance. However, viewers are not legally allowed to downloaded shows, only view them online. They could be viewed to other users for Sixty days after their broadcast. TVCatchup is different from broadcaster services such as the BBC iPlayer in that shows were not instantly viewable by users. Filmon also has tha ability to record your favorite shows.

The programs had to be recorded in advance. Like a physical PVR, customers were also able to create a recording shedule so that future broadcasts of their favourite shows would automatically be recorded.

The servive remained offline until 10 October 2008 when it relaunched. The site has disabled the PVR functionality. It encourages development of third party applications for recording shows and PVR like functions on the viewers's desktop PC.

Since late April 2009, the TVCatchup has blocked access from many servers, rendering it impossible to view having a licence. 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 took out their new FLEX web player and used the old player temporarily. After a complete re-write the FLEX player was re-introduced with additional channels, including those from satellite providers. The desktop PC application is still disabled awating the release of a new PVR application.

Image of TVCatchup

TVCatchup created an iTVC web application for iPhone users.

It is an alternative to BBC iPlayer for viewing live streamed broadcast TV. TVCatchup has said that they are preparing to launch a large PVR application allowing viewers to watch full Sky+ functionality on their PCs. This was scheduled for launch in 2010, along with an official iPhone application. Android versions are able to download programmes from the BBC iPlayer for later viewing, the Apple iPhone cannot do this at present. They have released an iPad version including 48 of their channels.

In June 2010, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel Five issued legal proceedings against TVCatchup. As of November 2010, the service can be viewed on any average computer with a web browser with Adobe Flash installed and it can also be viewed on a PS3. The service can also be viewed on the Windows Media Center Functions of Windows Vista. There was also an Adobe AIR desktop application released in Beta mode on 28 April 2009 for Ubuntu and a feature to enable iPhone customers to use the service.