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|Pay per view, season pass||UK and Ireland||/5|
Who's it from?
Five. What we all still call Channel Five despite a very expensive rebrand.
Where can I find it?
What does it offer?
Currently airing, plus some past series of all three flavours of CSI plus Grey's Anatomy, all available for download up to seven days before transmission.
First, if this service was from any other broadcaster you'd laugh. One franchise and one little show? Is that it? But when the franchise is CSI and the show is Grey's Anatomy, I guess most of us will at least sit up and listen.
Second, in this world that is being created around us, where "instant gratification", "all you can eat" and "free" are the current buzzwords, you're seriously offering a service showing a very small proportion of stuff that's free on TV, it's download not streaming so I have to wait AND I have to pay for it?
But I think Five have been a bit canny here. Instead of trying to pick a fight with the big boys (BBC, Sky, Channel 4) that they can't possibly win (tons of content free content), they've created a small niche service with limited but hugely popular content, that looks lovely and is delivered faster than a pizza from around the corner.
You'll need a PC running windows and a credit card before you register at the Five site. It installs a small download manager and away you go. Despite extensive testing, this service - based on an Entrique back end tech fans - hasn't failed yet. The look and feel is clean and the navigation works. But then with so little content it should.
An epsiode wil cost you anything from 99p (Grey's Anatomy series 1) to £2.49 for CSI Vegas seven days before it is transmitted on Five. Season passes are also available but watch the terms and conditions on these and be aware that it's not like a DVD box set - you can't grab a whole series before it's been transmitted.
Speed and quality
What's not to like? I've been catching up with CSI:NY in bed instead of listening to the radio before lights out. An epsiode gets itself down to my laptop in less than ten minutes, while I lock up, put the cat out and brush my teeth. Ok, so it costs me £1.50 a time and some people (yes, I'm looking at you VonTurbo) will argue that it should all be free because it's been broadcast. But given the quality and speed on offer I'm happy to pay for the convenience. Ok, I accept I probably need to get out more, but this stuff doesn't write itself you know...
Download Monkey's conclusion...
It's cheap and clean and neatly nails a niche. Give it a go.
Five Download review by ChunkyMonkey
- 30 April 2008, 13:00
- Reviewer: Download Monkey
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