History on Demand – A review of History Hit TV

History on Demand – A review of History Hit TV

Recently I had an operation on my arm – an ulnar nerve decompression to be exact (don’t google it like I did – you cannot erase those sorts of images from your mind!). While I was cocooned on my sofa with multiple boxes of chocolates recovering, I quickly became bored with the inane daytime TV we have in this country. So I decided to do something I had been dithering over for a while – I signed up to History Hit TV.

What is History Hit TV? Well, it’s a new kind of history channel – a global video on-demand history channel. Think Netflix – but just dedicated to world history. It was created by respected British historian Dan Snow, and 10% of annual profits go to funding history education projects around the world. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? If you think History Hit TV sounds right up your street, keep reading for my initial impressions.

Pros

  • Choice of viewing options – the team behind History Hit TV have thought hard about what consumers want from a subscription service. There are a variety of easily accessible viewing options – you can watch online, download the app or view via your Amazon Firestick.

  • Easily navigable – you can search by time period, collections or series. The History Hit TV homepage also features curated collections of programmes on topical subjects – current collections include Black History Month and Royal Air Force 100.
  • Original content – One of the strengths of History Hit TV is it’s original content. I particularly love the Art Detective series and the original History Hit features that give you a behind-the-scenes peak at historical sites. And the other good thing about the content? They vary greatly in terms of run length. There’s some quick and easy three minute History Hits for when you haven’t got much time, and some lovely long documentaries for when you have all the time in the world.
  • Covers the breadth of history – There really is something for every history aficionado on here. Programmes cover everything from pre-history to the Information Age. The latter subject is really interesting and one not dealt with widely on other history websites.
  • Affordable – I took advantage of a special deal and got 3 months access to History Hit TV for only £3. If you sign up for the History Hit newsletter they always include discount codes. You can also regularly find offers on both Dan Snow’s and History Hit‘s official Twitter accounts. After your initial offer price, its only £4.99 a month if you choose to pay monthly. A real bargain.

Cons

  • Subject bias – Like the History Hit podcast, I just can’t help but feel History Hit TV features a lot of modern and military history. Perhaps this is what the majority of history buffs want from their TV content, but I can only take so many programmes about battles and weapons.
  • Lack of historical drama – Even though there is a historical drama category on History Hit TV, the programmes featured are more historical docu-dramas then what I would call traditional Sunday night period dramas. It would be great to include some of the latter, especially for the days when my brain just wants to watch something a bit ‘fluffier’. Ooh, and maybe some historical films too.
  • Some content is only available for a certain length of time – Like Netflix, certain programmes are only available on History Hit TV for a specific amount of time. So if you see something you like and think it will be there waiting for you in a week or two when you have a bit more spare time, be careful!

So, will I continue my History Hit TV subscription after my initial 3 month offer? Yes and no. I think I will probably dip in and out on a monthly subscription from time to time, much like I do with my Amazon Prime account. This is because I rarely have time to watch much TV, and it will kinda depend what historical programmes are on other TV channels. Also, because I am interested in specific periods of history I don’t think I will watch all of the content and may find myself taking a break and returning when there is fresh content I am personally interested in.

Having said that, I am very grateful that Dan Snow has taken the initiative to bring historical TV programming into the modern age and I really hope History Hit TV succeeds. If you are less picky about your historical preferences then me, you are bound to enjoy History Hit TV and I would definitely recommend you give it a try.

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