When I started work at Radio Times 20 years ago, there were just four channels, DVDs were rare exotica, and we pretty much watched telly as it was broadcast.
If you missed your favourite show, or forgot to “set the video” (oh, young people, that you should be living at this hour, that you should never know the hollow rattle of a video cartridge) then, well, sorry about that. It might trundle past again as a repeat at 11.30pm, otherwise… ho-hum.
But times and technology march on to their own irresistible beat and today we can watch whatever we like, when we like, where we like on a device of our choosing. Always making sure we plug in headphones so we don’t annoy people around us, of course.
As you can see from the on demand chart available in this week’s Radio Times, somewhere in the universe beyond the main channels is something that you will want to see.
You’ve heard much about The Shadow Line, the marvellously opaque 2011 thriller that somehow passed you by? Well there it is, one of the myriad delights in the box of tricks that is the newly-opened BBC Store.
You think Grace and Frankie, an American comedy-drama starring the redoubtable Jane Fonda and the even more redoubtable Lily Tomlin, might tickle your fancy? Well look no further than Netflix.
Once you start, you won’t want to stop, and this year brings the promise of more on-demand treats – the fourth series of House of Cards (Netflix) and, on Amazon Prime, the re-booted Top Gear.