When it comes to legal offers, the consumer has a choice: DVD, Blu-Ray, Netflix, Amazon Prime and of course television. As a result of this change in profile, television channels have started to offer deferred viewing of their programmes, but not all of them are in the same category.
I have subscribed to what is commonly known as a triple-play offer: Internet connection, telephone and television. I needed television for the debates in the National Assembly, in particular DTT channel 103, which is only accessible via my SFR box. Occasionally, I go on RTL9, which has the advantage of broadcasting horror films almost every week.
I’ve gradually moved out of my box and into Captvty’s profile. It is a software, available on PC, Mac and GNU/Linux distributions, that allows you to download content that television stations make available on their portals.
The question of its legality has arisen a lot and I refer the reader to NextINpact, which has been working on the subject. Why this software at the expense of the box? The first reason is quality: when I watch content via the box, it takes a long time to load and is full of ads. The routine has become the following: I select a content, I have to watch up to 10mn of advertising, then the box crashes, I start again and finally the content launches. Often the film or documentary is cut in the middle of a scene or sentence by advertising. These two problems don’t arise with Captvty: I look at the catalogue, select the content I’m interested in, launch the download in the format and language I choose and I can watch it on my television.
The tools have changed, but it’s simply the same as recording a film on a videotape to watch later, with the added bonus of a noticeable absence of advertising. Let’s move on to the different catalogues.
With the exception of American films, such as the recently broadcast San Andreas, almost all content on the TF1 group channel portal is available, including soaps and American series. It doesn’t seem like much, but if I can legally watch content with the same level of comfort as with so-called illegal offers, I will opt for the legal one.
Via Captvty, you can access content from TF1, TMC, TFX, TF1 Séries Films and LCI. History TV, TV Breizh, Ushuaïa TV and Série Club are not there. Of course, there are the famous afternoon films, which are often thrillers or romances, and the morning cartoons.
The TF1 group seems to have understood that it was better to offer viewers a good quality of service and availability of its deferred content, rather than play the retention card, as the M6 group did.
In recent years, M6 has gone overboard with reality TV: not a single day goes by without a reality show, based on dress, cooking, relationships, work, real estate purchases, etc. We’re on the verge of indigestion even if the network still keeps a few series and a few TV movies.
Unfortunately, you won’t find them all in replay via Captvty and don’t count too much on the replay offer of your box, it’s very random. While we’ve had multiple reruns of Desperates Housewives, Jane The Virgin, Dr. Quinn and the Little House on the Prairie, the network has never seen fit to put them all on its replay portal.
The same goes for Teva, which has more series and films than M6. As for 6Ter, there is still some content but it remains indigent. When you know the history of the chain – I recommend the book M6 Story – you wonder why the chain’s managers did not take the replay turn. Positive point: if you are a fan of Enquête Exclusive, broadcast on Sundays in the second half of the evening, you will be able to find them in replay.
NextRadio TV is the group that owns BFM TV as well as RMC Story and RMC Découverte. As for BFM TV, there’s nothing to complain about: you can find everything online, both on their site and via Captvty. The reports broadcast on Ligne Rouge remain available in their entirety.
While BFM TV is doing well, it’s more mixed for RMC Story and RMC Découverte. For the latter, while it broadcasts very regularly historical reports on the Second World War, they are not systematically available in replay and over a relatively short period of time.
Encrypted channel, on subscription, Canal + obviously does not offer anything in replay via Captvty except 6 episodes of Ultimate Gasly.
As for C8, which requires no subscription, it only offers gym show replays. If you want to watch some shows again, you will have to go through the MyCanal web portal or replay your box.
Same regime for CStar and on the whole, it is a pity that the Canal group has not kept up with the times and is asking viewers or Internet users to remain captive.
Almost all the programmes broadcast on France 2, France 3, France 5 and Arte are available in replay, including via Captvty, in good quality and you will also find the cartoons from the children’s programmes.
A special mention for Arte: this summer, the Franco-German channel decided to put the entire Borgen series online, in a multilingual version, for several weeks, allowing some people to catch up on this superb Danish political series.
On the whole, it can be seen that some television channels have understood that in order to prevent Internet users from using so-called illegal services, it is much simpler to make available content, for which they have already paid, but there is a great deal of effort to be made in some groups.