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BBC in on-demand trial to 20,000 people
Thursday 19 April 2007 12:07:05 by Andrew Ferguson

The BBC iPlayer service was put on hold earlier this year when the BBC Trust asked the BBC to make iPlayer more platform agnostic. Work is going ahead to make the content viewable via Apple Macs and the catch-up TV service will be offered via the web and cable TV. Eventually we may see the services available via digital terrestrial TV set-top boxes.

A much larger trial than previously carried out is set to take place, which will allow 20,000 people access to the BBC audio and video archives. The archive trial will open up around 1,000 hours of content to allow the BBC to judge what sort of material from the archives people are most interested in accessing. This is important since the BBC needs to decide on how much content can be provided for free with the on-demand services as part of the licence fee and how much should be on a commercial platform.

People can apply for a place on the trial at bbc.co.uk/archive. The questionnaire will ask some questions and rather than wait for weeks to get a reply, will filter people out based on their answers there and then.

Channel4 and its 4oD service is offering a free 7 day catch up service to people but it will only work for people with Windows XP and Windows Media Player 10 or 11.

Comments

Posted by sarcy over 9 years ago
looks like the bbc trial has now ended
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
They must have reached their quota of 20,000 users now.
Posted by thatguy69 over 9 years ago
I never got an email from it :(
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Cant comment on how good or bad the bbc service is, 20,000 people IMO is a stupidly small trial.I hope its friendly to use, DRM free and high quality that doesnt require quicktime or other similar bloat installed.As for the channel 4 4oD service, id rather let virues and trojans run wild on my PC than install,sign up to channel 4 see they can spam my mailbox and then use that DRM bloated turd.Oh and why the hell did they/still do (i dont know or care really)charge for some programmes when we all already pay a TV licence huh?
Posted by thatguy69 over 9 years ago
I've never had a problem with 4OD, fast, easy to use, no spam at all, only problem I've had is kontiki running despite me stopping it! As for paying, we don't pay channel 4 a license fee we only pay it for BBC!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
thatguy69 Indeed you are right by the letter of the law the license fee is paid for bbc only, it still doesnt alter the fact they charge for programmes (or used to)which aired say the night before on TV. Also all their downloads are DRM protected,its argued some DRM stuff is worse then spyware.Personally id sooner use services like (not that i do ;) ) silverscreen, peakvid and guba to watch TV.Gubas content is superb with high quality non-drm bloat xvid avi downloads.
Posted by LCake over 9 years ago
The BBC service will have DRM. I think the original BBC proposal was for expiry after 3 months but after pressure from commercial interests the BBC trust have reduced that to 30 days (or something similar). The BBC trust also told the BBC to make the service "platform agnostic" So it is now Windows + MAC but still leaves Linux users out in the cold.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Obviously we dont know if after the trial if the BBC plan on charging for content (but i imagine they will). Any Service IMO that charge you for video or audio based material and then say you can only listen to it a few times or you got to watch it within so many days otherwise you wont be able to view it will never have my custom. You may as well just join one of the many online dvd rental companies and enjoy the film in its proper uncompressed glory complete with extras.
Posted by Sandgrounder over 9 years ago
"Platform agnostic" ?
Posted by LCake over 9 years ago
The phrase used by the BBC trust (or their consultants!); I think they mean it should run on all sorts of operating systems

An interesting article about this in linuxjournal: http://www.linuxjournal.com/node/1000183
Posted by maffyoo over 9 years ago
carpetburn, are you for real? if they want to charge they can. if the publishers want to protect their assets with DRM they will. Your comment about DRM, certainly in relation to C4 are way wide of the mark. There is no "bloat" with WMDRM its "applied" to a media asset and the bits of software that already live on your PC will ensure its protected. Of course this would only be a problem to someone who is attempting to brooch copyright by bypassing DRM with some old hack that c4 won't let you use as it demands upto date DRM...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
^^^ Doesnt know what the hell they are talking about with their vicious attack...Run along and try to play The C4 stuff on any software apart from Windows Media Player and you will understand what the requirement for having bloat installed is.I dont want MS dll files, WMP10/11, QT and other trash over my hard disk, neither do many other users.The BBC are going to attempt to make their media cross platform friendly, meaning it should play on linux and mac systems without having to mess about..I suggest you go live in the real world rather than that MS bubble you are obviously in.
Posted by maffyoo over 9 years ago
lol, proper drama queen aren't you. I really can't see what your problem is. 4oD advertises itself as XP and WMP only, if you dont, cant or wont use it, then don't. It's a ridicuolous argument. Are you going to have a rant at Tampax for not making tampons for men? More end users have windows XP and WMP, simple. most people dont have some major issue with DRM, simple. you have an issue and dont like WMP so you cant use it, i really dont see what the problem is, although i suspect you are an attention whore...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I will speak slow see you can understand and also because i have a policy of not arguing with children who think name calling is the way to win an argument. I suggest you learn to read comments in full and realise this story was about a new BBC trial.I made comparisons to the 4OD service that it also mentioned,stating things i hope the BBC trial does not have (in this case DRM).Others were able to follow discussion about the service and the features of both,but you missed the boat entirely.I sincerely hope one day medical science will be able to help with your obviously bad Tourettes Syndrome.
Posted by maffyoo over 9 years ago
i was picking up on yout initial warped comments about 4oD but if thats beyond you i apologise for over-estimating your intellect.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Not beyond me at all my twitchy little friend and apparantely not beyond a big organisation like ITV either.... http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/3071-itv-gives-web-tv-a-boost.html
If they can do it there is no reason the BBC and C4 cannot, which my Tourettes challenged pal was my point all along, maybe now you can comprehend it? Then again maybe you cant.
Now jog on, back in your MS bubble.
Posted by maffyoo over 9 years ago
far from it, i dont even own an MS machine and to prove im not the twitchy one, maybe you should bear in mind that the ITV, C4 and BBC products (along with SKY) are all produced by the same software company, which i happen to be an employee of. I attempted to explain the nuances of the products. but you seem adamant that im some sort of bought up MS lunatic, you couldnt be further from the truth, but then again, you'd already made your mind up before i posted.
Posted by benjamintsims over 9 years ago
Maffyoo, as an insider can you give me an idea as to when 4oD will support Vista?
Posted by FluXs over 9 years ago
I got an email for the BBC Trial from being in the BBC IMP trial... havent used the service yet as there is nothing worth to download
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
@maffyoo quote "which i happen to be an employee of" Now there is a shock, explains why you defend DRM, the need to install rubbish media players and so much more.
@benjamintsims... I would had thought it would work on vista fine despite maffyoos quote that its XP and WMP only. Mind you if he is correct and it wont even work on vista that makes the service even worse, only supporting one operating system out of the many that are available, great system of delivering media... NOT!
Posted by maffyoo over 9 years ago
carpetburn, ITS THE PUBLISHERS THAT DICTATE THE PROTECTION NOT THE BROADCASTER OR ME. I don’t understand the obsession with DRM unless you just want to break the law..
Vista needs to be stable, there are lot of changes to everything, love or hate XP, it was *finally stable. New OS means lots of testing , lots of vendors are refusing to commit to vista until SP1, dig into the security model or directX and you’ll know why. Ultimately we have to be confident that the platform is stable enough if only due to the demand for support (which is huge!).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
^^^^ absolute tripe, the reason services like this dont work on other platforms is nothing to do with the operating system and entirely to do with how the programmes encoding complete with its horrific DRM is delivered. If its only to do with vista needing further testing and stability issues, then why dosent the service work on Macs and Linux? Both of which have a variety of operating systems arguably more secure and reliable then any MS windows.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Also if you Couple the above fact with that of ITV are about to offer its content free when 4OD doesnt and its not even an issue about legality either, so dont even try to use that stupid arguement.... The issue as you well know is pure simple greed from the corporations behind the services, and in typical fashion trying to grab as much money as they can. ITV are offering its programmes free there is NO REASON why the 4OD service should not be free also apart from greed.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Oh and you want to blame the publisher do you... so explain why AS AN EXAMPLE a Universal published film ITV may air one night will be free on its web service the next night? But the same Universal film C4 may show wont be free on its 4OD service the next night? Absoulute tripe. Im not going to argue any more as its like trying to get a bank to admit they are greedy buggers. Which obviously you being within the industry you wont admit to and instead are happy to try and dupe the consumer with smoke and mirrors.
Posted by maffyoo over 9 years ago
thanks for the entertainment carpetburn. Youve made so many warped assumptions about how these things work. i still dont see what your problem is. 4oD is advertised as Windows XP and WMP only... it has DRM but there are no secrets about that so i dont see the problem i really dont, unless you just want to be irrational
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I am pleased i have entertained you. Too bad I couldnt get you to answer a simple questions with any common sense or find a way to penetrate the cement you have up stairs in any way, shape or form. Mind you the day someone does manage that, will be the same day hell freezes over. Have fun paying for your TV over web, ill be watching the other side for free.
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