4OD, Channel 4’s TV-on-demand service has to be a corking example of a service which makes life maximally difficult for its users. I can only think that Channel 4 actually doesn’t want anyone to use it – the whole process of joining up was a bit like Tesco shopping in 1999.
So: to make 4OD work I had to …
- download software (well, yes)
- which failed to install and gave me a little Windows cryptic error message
- so then I checked whether I had all the right versions of all the software that I needed, and updated a couple of those just to be on the safe side, and re-ran it
- the download still didn’t work so I made my way to the help section (located under ‘Feedback’)
- searched this section a few times and eventually found an online form for technical help, filled it in (the form was nice) and pressed Submit
- got an error message and the request to correct some of the information using the Back button and then re-submit the page
- What back button? (It was disabled)
- Filled the form in again and re-submitted
- Got an automated response saying that IF my query was part of their FAQs, then they wouldn’t reply, hahahaha loser.
- Searched FAQs and finally tracked down the answer
- *cough* Followed the minimal instructions to edit my registry using command language, dredging up all my knowledge of DOS in the process
- Which …worked!!
- YAY *little dance of achievement*
- Started up 4OD and then immediately had to fill a deeply detailed application form, including thinking of a screen name when I don’t want to comment, ever, (oh wait! except to COMPLAIN) and then of course the first name I thought of was taken
- Eventually found the bloody programme (surprisingly hard)
- Played it and endured a really very heavy duty set of ads before my beloved programme eventually rolled.
I repeat: to make this work, I had to use DOS. It took me about an hour and a half to wade through all this nonsense, and if I were under 35 I’d be entirely stuffed. Absolutely unbelievable.
C4 did send me a helpful email this morning with the command prompts included. They seem like nice people, but…sort it out, guys.
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