4oD/Sky By Broadband/BBC iPlayer Problems

I just wanted to make a post about the on-demand television services which have recently become popular in the UK. Channel 4’s 4oD service has been heavily publicised over the past few weeks, Sky By Broadband is being promoted to Sky Viewers, and the BBC and ITV are soon set to launch their own on-demand services.

These services use P2P (peer to peer technology), similar to BitTorrent. Be careful when you use these services if you are on a capped broadband service, because as well as downloading the files from other people, you’ll also be uploading to others. If your internet becomes very slow, and pages suddenly time out, this is why! Upload capacity tends to be very low on ADSL so if you’re trading files or several people are trying to access the internet at once, upload capacity may be shared so thinly that there isn’t even enough bandwidth to handshake, etc.

The problem I’ve been having is a slow startup. The computer loads fine, but the Start Menu/Taskbar displays a hourglass for absolutely ages after startup. It turns out that 4oD had installed a KService application from Kontiki which was presumably trying to connect to other people to trade my files. So the loadup time went from about 5 seconds to 2 minutes or so.  

I solved this by running disabling the KService application from automatically starting in the Services icon of the Control Panel. To the best of my knowledge, Channel 4, Sky and BBC all use the Kontiki application.

Hope this helps someone 🙂