Sky TV on an Xbox 360 – not long to wait now

The service will deliver up to 20 live channels and a host of video on demand footage like movies and music events. Initial demos back in May when the scheme was unveiled also displayed how Windows Live Messaging facilities could be added to the video so that user could talk about the games/movies/events they are watching with friends as they can do now when online gaming.

15 ways to watch TV programmes and films online in the UK… legally

It may come as a bit of a shock to anyone deeply entrenched in YouTube, TBP and other P2P sites, but it is possible to watch a lot of TV shows and films online in the UK totally legally.

Some are even free.

It’s a fairly depressing exercise hunting them all down, though. Many services are only available in the US, have shut down or are on an extended hiatus.

Nevertheless, here are 15 services (eight free, seven paid for) that you can use to view TV programmes or films. If you know of any more that are legal and easily available in the UK, let us know in the comments below.

Free Online TV / Film Services


BBC Online / iPlayer

About: Offers live streaming of BBC1 and BBC2 plus 7-day programme catchup service.


  • Well-established service offering access to a wide range of BBC TV programming.
  • Wide range of platforms supported for either streaming or downloading content, including PC, Mac, iPhone, Nokia devices.
  • Shows from BBC HD are available to download in high definition.


  • Rights management issues means some programmes aren’t available to watch live or archived.
  • Streaming service can sometimes appear jittery (this may be due to broadband connection)

BBC launches Cbeebies iPlayer


The BBC has launched a child-friendly version of their hugely popular streamed video on demand service over the weekend. Tots will now be able to enjoy all their favourite programming on the Cbeebies iPlayer – probably one of the few places on the net where a walled garden approach would be welcome.

The new player is designed to be a far simpler tool, using brighter colours and little text in order to have an interface that works well for its target audience. It also includes functionality for parents whereby they’ll be able to keep a track on their children’s viewing patterns while having the satisfaction that all promotional links will be child friendly.

Although the player hasn’t been dreamed up as baby sitter, doubtless the service will come as a welcome break to many parents from time to time.

(via BBC Internet Blog)

Virgin Media: Mutli-screen VoD services "two to three years away"


Despite the increasing number of service providers offering video-on-demand services via cable or broadband, managing director of Virgin Media’s online operations predicts that we’re still two to three years away from ubiquity.

Alex Green, speaking at the Online TV and Video Forum in London, said that his company was working towards creating a “seamless, intuitive experience” spanning TVs, computers and mobile devices, but admitted that “VoD is not yet a fully-fledged family proposition” despite “the consumer… becoming increasingly sophisticated”.

“Our solution is to create a network in the home that delivers entertainment on demand to any screen in the house. This will take two to three years,” said Green…

FetchTV launches: subscription-free VOD with Freeview and DVR


IP Vision has announced a new hybrid set-top box which can be used to access the complete range of Freeview channels, acts as a digital video recorder (DVR), as well as being able to access a range of video on demand content over the Internet.

The company is keen to point out that this is a subscription-free, operator independent service, unlike those from the likes of BT, Virgin Media and Tiscali. It can be used with any broadband provider.

At launch, over 1,200 hours of content will be available in the VoD library including films and programmes from Paramount, ITV, Turner Broadcasting, Eagle Vision, Fremantle, Entertainment Rights and Aardman…

BT Vision to get Five On Demand service this month


BT Vision customers will soon be able to catch up with a range of Five’s programming thanks to a deal which brings the On Demand service to BT’s broadband TV service.

Users can pay 99p to watch single episodes, or get unlimited access by subscribing to Vision TV for six quid per month.

If you’re feeling the pinch and want to save some cash, it’s worth noting that you can watch a lot of UK-based shows from Five on your computer at the Demand Five web site, although many of the US favourites such as CSI and NCIS must be paid for…

First simultaneous multiplatform film release – why did it take so long?


I’ve never fully understood the reasons that film studios always release movies to the cinemas first, then rental, then DVD, then finally video-on-demand services and TV. It baffles me why they’d want to make it harder for consumers to enjoy their products, especially now that digital distribution means that there’s no reason why film studios can’t just let people buy a film as soon as it’s ready.