UK broadcaster Channel 4 has announced that 4oD, its online video-on-demand (VOD) service, has been rebuilt and is set to relaunch on Wednesday, 31st August.

Launched in November 2006, 4oD (‘on Demand’) offers a range of programmes that have been recently broadcast on Channel 4, E4, More4 and from its archives that are permanently available to view. Some shows aren’t available due to rights issues.

The new 4oD will come with a host of new features it says are “geared towards enhancing the user experience”.

These features include predictive search and viewer-driven recommendations, which are designed to help the discoverability of archived content. It will also include ‘My 4oD’, where registered users can sign in to access additional features and create/manage their own ‘on demand experience’.

Users will be able to build playlists, schedule shows and maintain a record of what they have watched (My 4oD History), and also save their favourites in a single place, and receive in-page reminders from Channel 4 whenever a new episode is available for them to watch.

4oD1 UK broadcaster Channel 4 is set to relaunch 4oD, its video on demand service

The new player will be optimised for in-page viewing, and 4oD will enable cross navigation within the full-screen mode leading to recommendations and the ‘My 4oD’ section.

4oD2 UK broadcaster Channel 4 is set to relaunch 4oD, its video on demand service

Sarah Milton, Channel 4’s Head of VoD, said:

“Increasing the availability of 4oD on multiple platforms remains a key tenet of Channel 4’s strategy. Channel4.com is by far the most popular access point for 4oD and we are focused on developing and improving this proposition. We have refined and optimised the design to ensure viewers get the best experience from the wealth of content Channel 4 has to offer. We have over 5,000 hours of archive programming available on the Channel4.com 4oD service, and the redesign makes it even easier for users to browse our offering.

‘My 4oD’ enables viewers who log in to benefit from enhanced playlist, favourites, and history features.

Further developing the personalisation potential of the My 4oD area is a key ambition of our Audience, Technologies and Insight team, and their drive towards deepening relationships with our audience, so viewers get the best out of their experience with Channel 4.”

4oD is available on Channel4.com, YouTube, Virgin, BT Vision, TalkTalk, PlayStation3 and through a dedicated iPad app. A dedicated app for iPhone/iPod Touch users will launch in September.

Earlier this month, we covered the BBC’s plans for the future of its VOD service, iPlayer, as it plans to take the service beyond the tech-savvy, beyond catch-up and beyond the PC. The BBC also announced a new TV-friendly version of iPlayer, which covers many of the new enhancements that Channel 4 has announced for 4oD, such as recommendations, a favorites section and a predictive search feature.