Broadband News

Addicted to Neighbours? Download it from Five

TV broadcasters are trying to ensure they don't lose audience to those who are using broadband as their main entertainment medium, and Channel Five is the latest UK broadcaster to provide a video on demand service, named Demand Five.

The service works using web streaming with videos encoded at 768Kbps, or a client that can be downloaded and installed to provide access to higher quality video and apparently even HD content. Content like Neighbours and a range of other shows such as The Gadget Show are free; some shows carry a rental fee of 99p to £1.99.

We would have liked to have told you all about the bit rate for the downloaded material, but the Demand Five software installed and then refused to run. Interestingly the install process installs KService.exe from Kontiki which is also used by other video services like Sky Player and the BBC iPlayer, but the Channel Five FAQs highlight that this component is not actually used and is just part of the Entriq Mediasphere suite. Call us odd, but if its not used why not write the installer such that it is not installed?

We will find another PC to sacrifice later and take a look at what Channel Five consider to be HD quality video. Many places promise HD video, and sometimes they may offer 720 or 1080 vertical resolution but all too often the bit rate is such that video playback has visible encoding artifacts. In terms of web video the term high definition tends to be used for any material that is higher than average resolution and a bit rate above 1Mbps. High quality HD content runs at around 250MB for just two or three minutes of playtime, making a 90 minute feature film around 11GB.

Comments

'Demand Five Software'? I keep mis-reading that as 'Damned Five software'. Quite appropriate from the sound of it :)

  • AndrueC
  • over 9 years ago

FAO Andrew...
The download versions when it comes to what they are encoded at varies depending on version. The few shows that are free online and also available to freely download using their software are all 768k...

Charged for shows vary, some have the same bitrate some lower.
(CONT)

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 9 years ago

People should be aware the content is DRM protected and requires WMP11 or WMP10 with the WMP11 runtime distribution installed for the DRM license to work if you dont have this a WMP update will be required. It is one of the few WMP DRM systems due to the brand new V2 license that has yet to be cracked.

Installing the player update will also mean you can no longer un-drm content from other services from iplayer etc.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 9 years ago

quote"We would have liked to have told you all about the bit rate for the downloaded material, but the Demand Five software installed and then refused to run. Interestingly the install process installs KService.exe from Kontiki..."

If the system had 4OD or iplayer on it the kontiki service is known to clash with various versions install... A complete pain, even running iplayers download system alongside 4OD can cause issues, one solution....

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 9 years ago

Andrew to test this you can uninstall previous iplayer or 4od software, restart, search for kservice.exe and khost.exe and delete those files, restart again and then install the five demand software.... Kontiki and DRM is the only thing holding these services back the DRM and kontiki software has more bugs than a week old spider web. Oh and sorry for the muulti posts tried to keep them short, hopefully they will be of some use to readers.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 9 years ago

Thanks Carpetburn, totally agree on the kontiki thing. Once you've downloaded a few shows it maxes out your CPU (but doesn't do anything useful with it - like perhaps managing a download) kclean.exe and a fresh install seems the only real fix

  • JimGardener
  • over 9 years ago

Couldn't find a free show I could actually download though, could stream, but no download button to download - what did you try?

  • JimGardener
  • over 9 years ago

I could add alot of he free shows to my basket. Previously when you had bought a show you could go to your profile/download lists, go to archive, and there was a similar shows button, that brought up a list of everything on the site even remotely similar to what you had previously, each item had an add button next to them. I can still do it for a few shows,most other shows I could previously download free though I can NOT any longer.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 9 years ago

I think its something to do with the new license they are using on free stuff, I forced a show to download in orbit which will playback in WMP but every time it has to re-acquire the license, it doesn’t seem to save a license like it did previously, that could explain also why you cant un-DRM them or download them free now.

  • CARPETBURN
  • over 9 years ago

IMHO it is a complete waste of time downloading fom Five. After all they are renound for repeating the same series over and over again. Maybe once a year you will see a new series. Also most of the other TV companies show the same programs so use your Sky + or HD box and you will have the PROPER versin and not a compressed one.

  • Fixer109
  • over 9 years ago

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