Archive for January 6th, 2008

iPlayer goes to 11… and why BBC Four beats More4

this webvideo player goes to 11

Since they made it web based I’ve been watching more and more of the iPlayer on my Mac powerbook so much so that the ‘other flat screen monitor‘ in my house has barely been on. The other day I noted that who ever designed the interface made the volume control go to 11 in a Spinal Tap homage stylee, well it made me laugh. And I read somewhere that you don’t need a licence fee to use the iPlayer, so anyone want to buy a telly?

Talking of music I’ve been particularly enjoying the recent repeats of the BBC Four sessions, Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne etc. If they could dig up Jeff Buckley and get Tom Waits in, I’d be truly happy. Back in late 2005 when I was at the BBC I remember speaking to the BBC Four editorial team when More4 launched, and there was a feeling that More4 was what BBC Four could and should have been, after all it had all the intellectual aces and big guns – West Wing etc.

Three years later and I have to say the tables have turned. BBC Four has soooo got it’s shit together and worked out who it is. It has in effect quietly slipped into the space left by bits of BBC Two as it went after BBC One, a media version of Maynard Smith’s ‘sneaky fucker theory‘. The *.Britannia series’ have been fantastic, furthermore it’s exactly the sort of long shelf life content that lends itself to VOD. More4 on the other hand seems to have ran out of commissioning and financial steam, having said that it’s still put up ‘Iraq – the Bloody Circus‘, ‘Death of a President‘, ‘Ghosts’ and the China Rising season. However it’s still had to resort to showing the like of Jamie at home, Father Ted and Grand Designs. Come on mo’ fo’… sort it out! I want the UK’s intellectual channels to have a queensbury rules style scrap… for the good of the viewers obviously.

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These are my personal views and not those of Channel 4 or the BBC
January 2008