KIT digital delivers video on demand on Windows 8

KIT digital delivers video on demand on Windows 8
February 22, 2013 Meriam Khan

[20 February 2013]

4oD, the video on demand service of the UK’s Channel 4, is now available on  a variety of devices running Windows 8, with a new app developed by KIT digital. Channel 4 returned to KIT digital for this project because of their close relationship, including development of the 4OD entertainment app for Xbox 360, which won an IBC2012 Innovation Award.

Channel 4 commissioned KIT digital for its experience and knowledge of the 4oD architecture to develop the new app, which was the first UK VOD app to be made available on Windows 8.

Development and testing of the app was completed to a very challenging schedule (around 3 months), and Channel 4 was able to launch it in the Windows Store on 14 December. The 4oD app embraces the new Windows  user interface.  The concept and functionality is similar to the Xbox 360 app, but the implementation, particularly the look and feel is very different, making best use of touchscreen controls.

The specification from Channel 4 was that the app should utilize the benefits of the “snap” feature of Windows 8.  By taking advantage of this feature, Channel 4 customers can easily watch a movie on demand while working on other things.

The app also adds innovative functionality including “click to ads”. A user can click on a target in a commercial which will open a browser window with further information on the product, or ordering information, without closing the 4oD app or missing video content.

“Channel 4 recognises that its audience expects to be able to access its programmes on the platform of their choice, at the time of their choice,” said Mark Christie, Chief Technology Officer of KIT digital. “They also recognise that in a multi-platform universe each device has its individual strengths. To meet audience expectations the interface has to draw on those strengths.

“At KIT digital, we have a dedicated user experience design team,” he added. “Their focus is to take a core design philosophy for a client, and develop it in a way which is coherent to the central design but which makes best use of the technology available. We did that with the 4oD application for Xbox 360, using the Kinect as a controller, and that was recognised as the most innovative project at IBC 2012. Now we have taken the same design principles and functionality to a touchscreen app which is winning excellent reviews from users in the Windows Store.”

Anand Krishnan, senior director, Developer and Platform Group, Microsoft UK, said: “We’re excited to see how developers are bringing their best work to the Windows platform, and we believe this is a key factor behind the momentum that Windows 8 has enjoyed since launch. The work that KIT digital has done on the 4oD app is a great example of this, with the result being a really slick app that makes the very most of touchscreen input.”

About KIT digital, Inc.
KIT digital is a leading video management software and services company. Cosmos and Cloud, the company’s video asset management systems, enable leading broadband media companies to produce, manage and deliver multiscreen socially-enabled video experiences to audiences wherever they are. KIT digital services nearly 2,500 clients in 50+ countries including some of the world’s biggest brands, such as Airbus, The Associated Press, AT&T, BBC, BSkyB, Disney-ABC, Google, HP, Mediaset, MTV, News Corp, RCS Media Group, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia, Telecom Argentina, Telecom Italia, Telefonica O2, Universal Studios, Verizon, Vodafone VRT and Volkswagen. KIT digital maintains headquarters in New York City and offices in more than a dozen countries around the world.