At last! Channel 4 TV shows finally arrive on iTunes

Great news for Mac-owning telly addicts - Channel 4 is finally offering some of its biggest shows through the UK iTunes Store. And not before time.

Channel 4 is offering limited series of seven different shows initially - Skins, Spaced, Peep Show, Black Books, Teachers, Shamless and Monarchy - although more will undoubtedly follow.

Making the shows available through iTunes finally enables iPod owners to access their favourite shows legally.

On-demand TV

It also marks another small victory for Mac owners who've largely been left out in the cold by broadcasters' on-demand TV services - Channel 4's 4oD and Sky's Sky Anytime PC are both Windows only. The BBC's iPlayer only enables you to stream, not download content - although a hack has been successfully used to work around that.

The BBC also offers a number of programmes through the UK iTunes Store, including homegrown series like Little Britain, Robin Hood, Ashes To Ashes and Spooks, as well as hit US shows such as ABC's Lost (also broadcast on Sky).

iTunes pricing

By far the most common complaint on the iTunes Store is the high price of TV episodes. They cost £1.89 in the UK, compared to $1.99 (£1) in the US. US iTunes visitors are also able to buy Season Passes for complete series - something we in the UK cannot yet do.

Season Passes enable you to order a whole series in advance and then automatically download each episode as it becomes available - great for new TV series like Lost. Season Passes are usually also offered at a lower price than the cost of episodes bought individually. US TV watchers often get bonus programmes and other content free as well.