1. Do I need a TV Licence to watch TVCatchup?
Yes, each household is required to have one if watching TV as it is being broadcast. There can be special dispensations for students, please read this post for further details.
We have no connection with TV licensing, they collect revenue on behalf of the BBC, we do not see a penny of it. We do not retain records that could personally identify users of our service.
2. I cannot view TVCatchup, where can I obtain help?
Please go to this page Playback Problems which should solve any issues you may have. You can seek further advice by sending a PM to any member of staff on the forum. Please be descriptive in your reporting of a problem. Just saying, "I have no stream" is very unhelpful for you and ourselves as we cannot derive anything from this.
3. Is TVCatchup legal?
Yes. TVCatchup is completely legal, and the broadcasters were consulted and themselves participated in a full review of the services offered by the site, also see this TVC wins ground-breaking case against broadcasters.
4. What do I need to watch TVCatchup?
The recommended minimum requirements are:
5. Why is TVCatchup not a catch up site as the name suggests?
- Valid TV Licence or student exemption (Buy or renew)
- Normal computer with 1GB or above RAM and Processor
- Internet connection at 1Mb or above
- Adobe Flash Player 10 + (Download)
- An operating system that has been updated on a regular basis
TVCatchup pioneered the Network PVR, a form of digital video recorder like Sky+ that saved files on the user’s own account via their internet connection. This was withdrawn by the site pending a full review of the legal position in February 2008.
Whilst network PVRs are deemed legal in some of the countries in which we plan to be rolling out a service, the issue has not been legally challenged in the UK. Until it has been, it is anticipated that full-blown Sky+ functionality will be offered to all users in the form of a downloadable application.
In the meantime, the ability to "catch up" on television you would otherwise miss when you are out and about on your mobile device suffices to justify the name of this site, and is no more a misdescription of the service we provide than the brand "Apple" refers to fruit.
6. But isn't the site name misleading?
No, because catchup is what the site was launched to do, what it did do, what it is intended to do again very soon and describes the fact that you can catch up on TV you would otherwise miss when out and about on your mobile device. Why read about that goal when you get back from the pub, when you can watch it happen on your iPhone?
TVCatchup is a recognised and respected brand name, similar to Amazon, or Apple. The former are neither situated on the world's second longest river nor staffed by tribes of spear wielding Scythian warriors, and the latter is hardly renowned as a supplier of fruit.
7. How does TVCatchup work?
In very simple terms, we have multiple TV servers each connected to a channel. Our TV servers deliver the stream using the H.264 codec directly to you via our web server and HD FLV flash player. The actual processes are patented and took a great deal of design and development work, this isn't a service you can get out of a box. We do not use P2P, as it would be illegal to redistribute as part of the service, and our entire system is custom designed and built by ourselves.
8. My ISP is not supported, what can I do?
Please contact your ISP direct, as most are happy to add support upon request.
9. Can two members of the same household IP watch different channels at the same time.
Yes. The average household broadband connection should be able to support at least two simultaneous viewers watching different channels on different PCs, often more. Please ensure that all users in your household register separately.
10. Can I record TV programmes?
At the moment this facility is not available. Currently the site is in beta mode and our developers are working on an application that will be freely distributable at sometime in the future.
11. Can I Pause or Rewind TV?
At the moment this facility is not available but our developers are currently working on a new TV Player that will facilitate this and many more features.
12. Where is Sky One? Sky Sports? Or ?
These channels are not free to air and require a monthly paid subscription to receive the channels. TVCatchup is currently focused on the redistribution of free to air channels.
13. Can we have channel whatsitsname?
TVCatchup is working on expanding its channel listings and aims to bring you the most popular free to air channels as requested by our members. Any future channels will be added by popular demand.
14. As I live in X in Europe, can you add our channels?
Expansion of the TVCatchup service is inevitable and thanks to the EU AudioVisual Media Services Directive, which was ratified on 19th December 2009 this is now possible. TVCatchup.com is actively seeking legal confirmation of the directive and will act in accordance with that decision.
15. How can I let my friends know about TVCatchup?
Social Networking - Join our Facebook site.
Twitter - Twitter
Media - If you have any contacts, please let them know about us.
16. What bitrate does TVCatchup use?
Typically 640 Kb/s for video with 128 Kb/s MP3 audio (768 Kb/s total). Most 1 Mb/s broadband lines will accommodate this comfortably and allow other functions to operate in the background, including email and Skype.
At around 340MB/hour, if a 1Mb/s ADSL connection isn't coping it is because the ISP is traffic shaping, they are running outrageous contention ratios, you are using a wireless connection or something or someone else is leeching your bandwidth
Mobile streams/iPhone streams use approximately 320-370Kb/s at the present time. This would mean approx 144~166Mb hour or 72~84MB per 30mins
17. What are your relationships with third parties? What is your business model/Ad policy?
The site is financed both through nominal pre-roll advertising and through commercial use of the patented technology that we pioneered in the process of developing this service.
The modest advertising carried on this site from time to time is covered within Section 7 of our Terms of Service, which deals with the Member's agreement to the carriage of advertising. We do not link or insert ads in the middle of programmes as the broadcasters and certain video on demand sites do. If this causes you a problem, you can always ask us to disable advertising, but you will only have yourself to blame if we can't afford to continue to provide the service we do.
The business is a privately owned limited liability company, registered, head-quartered and staffed in the UK (London), and, being a privately owned business, is under no obligation to publish either a public prospectus or detailed accounts to satisfy idle curiosity
Persons with a legitimate interest in the company are welcome to contact us direct via our published contact address for further information or support ticket marked with business by going here.
18. What does the site store in Cookies?
A cookie is a small text file that stores only your unique log in details, intended to spare users the effort from having to log in every time they visit this site.
Many sites store other information in this small text string, such as viewing preferences, location, etc. TVC does not do so, as this could potentially be open to abuse. We believe in choice, it is not necessary to enable cookies in your browser to use this site, merely more convenient for you if you do so,
19. I can't use the site on xxxx
We sometimes get this question from people using either very low bandwidth connections, obscure (or eclectic) combinations of OS and browser, equipment with very low processing/memory resources, etc.
This doesn't necessarily mean that the site doesn't work, we have millions of viewers, just that you may be trying to "get a quart from a pint jug" as they used to say. Neither does it mean that we don't care, please let us know and we'll do our level best to help you get the best in your specific circumstances. At the end of the day, we may not always succeed, but we'll give it our best shot. Please don't be afraid to ask for help.
20. What are the benefits of signing up?
It isn't necessary for casual visitors to the site to sign up to enjoy what we have to offer. If you wish to personalise your regions, then this preference has to be stored against your individual user-profile, which you create when you log in as a full Member (it is a simple and free process).
There are other benefits, including planned access to HD content, PVR application, access to forums, addiitional content and extended help and assistance.
Many thanks to the moderators for preparing these FAQs and to various Members for their inspirational input.