On Demand & Catch-Up

What is On Demand?

On demand TV lets you search through a library of content and pick shows or movies that you want to watch, at a time that suits you.  This kind of content is not sent through your TV aerial; in order to access on demand TV you need to download it, which is why broadband is so important to YouView’s service.

YouView’s on demand selection consists of TV programmes, series, movies and radio shows, and once you have downloaded them to your YouView box, they are ready to watch.  You broadband speed does play aa big part though, as some speeds might be too slow.  The faster your connection, the better, because it means the on demand content will be ready quicker.

What is Catch-Up TV?

Catch-up TV is another part of the on demand content, and it offers the last 7 days of content from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.  Each of these broadcasters has its own on demand platform, and whilst you can go online to watch content, YouView brings them all to your TV.

With YouView’s ScrollBack feature, you can go back over the last 7 days and find programmes to watch from BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5.  This means you don’t have to worry about missing your favourite TV, and don’t forget that if you want to record anything then the YouView box offers a record feature, as well as pause and rewind, so you have total control over your TV.

Broadband speeds

YouView recommends that your broadband speed be at least 3Mb/s, also referred to as 3Mbps, 3Mb or 3 Megabits per second.  This relates to the amount of information that can be downloaded in a single second by your broadband connection, and whilst this can vary throughout the day depending on local web traffic, you should be able to get an idea from your provider.

Broadband providers often promote the fastest achievable speed with a particular package, but this may not be an accurate average.  Your provider may be able to give you a better idea of genuine broadband speeds for you specifically, if you supply a postcode, and if you have a fibre-optic connection then there certainly shouldn’t be a problem, as this technology gives you superfast web.

The faster the connection, the quicker your on demand content will download and be ready to watch.

BBC iPlayer

BBC iPlayer is the hugely popular on demand, catch-up platform from BBC.  It offers content from BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four and BBC News, as well as BBC’s HD channel, BBC Parliament, kids’ channels CBBC and CBeebies, and Gaelic language channel BBC Alba.

ITV Player

ITV Player brings together content from ITV’s channels over the last 7 days and makes it available for you to watch on demand.  As with the other catch-up platforms, YouView lets you watch the content on your home TV.


4oD is the name of Channel 4’s catch-up platform, which includes shows from the flagship Channel 4 station, as well as the popular sister stations E4, More4 and 4Music.  YouView includes 4oD with its catch-up selection.

Demand 5

Channel 5’s catch-up platform is known as Demand 5, and it forms part of YouView’s on demand selection which you can watch using the YouView box and your broadband connection.