Catch up TV
All 4: Channel 4's catch-up TV service
Article 4 of 6
All 4: Channel 4's catch-up TV service
Everything you need to know about Channel 4's online TV service, from how to use it to what you can watch.
Channel 4's online TV service - now renamed All 4 (though you may think of it as 4oD) – allows you to catch-up on programmes, stream live channels and dip into the archives to watch older shows, such as Father Ted and Shameless.
All 4 is available over the web but is also integrated into digital TV services and is offered as an app on devices such as TVs, smartphones and set-top boxes.
Whatever device you use to get All 4, you'll need decent broadband of at least 2Mbps to enjoy the content. Test whether your internet connection is up to it using our free broadband speed checker.
How can I get Channel 4 on demand?
The web version of All 4 is available to access for free over the internet on desktop and laptop computers, including both Windows and Mac.
You can also potentially get All 4 directly on your TV. Samsung smart TVs have offered the All 4 app for a number of years, but you can also now get it on some newer Panasonic and Sony models that support the YouView TV guide. Curious about company makes the best televions? Read our guide on the most reliable TV brands.
If you have a television and broadband deal with Sky, Virgin Media or BT, you can access All 4 via your internet-connected set-top box. Selected Freeview, Freesat and YouView boxes also have the service if you don't want to sign up to pay-TV, plus All 4 is offered via the new Freeview Play TV guide.
Now TV and Roku boxes have an All 4 app on board, along with the Xbox 360, Xbox One and PS3 games consoles.
If you want to enjoy All 4 on a smartphone or tablet, you can do so by downloading the All 4 app on iOS (requires iOS 7.1 and above), Android (Android OS 4.0.4 and above) and Windows 8 or Windows RT devices.
What can I watch on All 4?
On Demand/Catch-up: All 4 enables you to watch recently-shown programmes on Channel 4 channels over the internet, as well as browse a large library of archive and online exclusive programmes. Due to rights agreements some content isn't available, such as US shows and Film 4 movies.
Live: Alongside on-demand, All 4 enables you to live stream all Channel 4 TV channels, including Channel 4, More 4, E4, Film 4 and 4 Seven. Head to the 'Now' section of All 4 and you can stream these networks over wi-fi internet, or mobile data if you're using a smartphone or tablet, although be wary of incurring excessive data charges - you may want to read our guide on how to keep track of your mobile phone data.
On Soon: All 4 is also a platform for promoting Channel 4 content, with the 'On Soon' section showcasing new and returning programmes. You can watch trailers and clips to get more information, and set reminders if you're interested in watching the programme or series.
Can I download shows on All 4?
You can download certain All 4 content to watch while offline or on holiday, although this is only available on the iOS and Android apps for smartphones and tablets. Look for the download icon on available content and bear in mind you'll need to be connected to wi-fi and have enough space on your device for the content.
All 4 tips and tricks
TV guide: To find something to watch, you can use All 4's in-built TV Guide to browse forward up to seven days and see what's on across Channel 4, E4, More 4, 4 Seven, Film 4 and 4 Music. Some programmes are available to watch live, or you can go back up to seven days in the guide to catch up on already broadcast programmes.
Recommendations: All 4 is all about helping you find things to watch. It's homepage is filled with curated selections of notable recent programmes and themed collections. Just like other catch-up services, All 4 enables you to search for programmes, actors or terms to find things to watch.
Box sets: Boxsets allow you to watch entire series of shows. All 4 has a special section that attractively presents various different boxsets, including dramas, comedy and documentaries. For longer running shows, there could be multiple series available for you to binge on.
My 4: Depending on the All 4 version you're using, you can sign up to a free My 4 account and this stores your favourited content and gives you personalised recommendations of things to watch. Also, if you start an on-demand programme but start doing something else, you can easily resume your viewing from the My 4 tab when you're ready.
Audio description: Along with subtitles on a large proportion of its programmes, Channel 4 also has a lot of content on All 4 with audio description. All 4 even has an entire section dedicated to this that presents programmes with a voice narrating the action for blind or visually impaired users.
All 4 tech tips: To avoid endless buffering on All 4, the faster your broadband speed the better – we’d advise you to have at least 2Mbps to get a good experience. Make sure you have the latest version of Flash player installed on your computer, too, and that your browser is upgraded to the latest version.
Can I watch content while I’m abroad?
No. Even if you're a citizen of the UK you cannot use All 4 while abroad. However, if you use the iOS or Android smartphone or tablet apps, you can download content as covered above. Once you have downloaded the programme, you can watch it offline or overseas while on the plane or at the beach. Ensure you have all your content fully stored on your device before you go away to avoid disappointment with failed downloads.