Skip Navigation

BBC iPlayer to launch in July
Wednesday 27 June 2007 12:43:47 by John Hunt

The launch date for the BBC iPlayer, a service giving users free access to TV and radio programmes that have been aired by the BBC over the last 7 days, has been confirmed as July 27.

The service lets users download content and store it for 30 days after broadcast and allows 7 days for viewing following the first playback. A promotional video of the service can be seen by following this link.

The BBC is reported to be in discussions with distribution partners including MSN,, AOL, Tiscali, Yahoo, Myspace, Bebo and Blinkx.

Users should be aware that downloading TV programmes will be included in any usage limits that are applied to your broadband service. Unfortunately, the iPlayer only work on Windows based PC's initially, but Macs are expected to be supported later in the year.


Posted by keith_thfc over 10 years ago
Will be interesting to see how the ISP's manage this, particularly the traffic shaping fake "unlimited" brigade.
Posted by herdwick over 10 years ago
Not sure its ready for release, the password regime is confusing at best and frequently you can't download things that are advertised as available (Apprentice, Dr Who, etc).
Posted by CARPETBURN over 10 years ago
Hmmm disapointed it uses real media, i thought they were going to make it available for a wide selection of systems. Positives are they say in the demo it will be coming to vista and mac users later.
Agree with keith_thfc about the traffic shaping from ISPs the service could turn out to be useless for some people, the demo stream runs at 224k, hopefully full programs will be a bit higher in rate. People with a monthly cap of only a few gig can forget about watching more than a few minutes each day lol. Glad im LLU and wont have to worry about setting the digibox to record now :)
Posted by herdwick over 10 years ago
it isn't a streaming service, its a downloader (allegedly P2P but no evidence of that yet).

It is offline today, was taken off for an upgrade and is yet to return :-

"This is to let you know that BBC iPlayer Beta will be unavailable from the morning of Monday 25 June in order to allow us to deploy an upgrade. This means that the walled garden will block all users on that day.

Our aim is to make the service available again on Tuesday 26 June to trialists who wish to use it at the earliest opportunity. We will confirm when the walled garden has been re-opened."

Posted by zippysticks over 10 years ago
BBC spent a lot of time talking to ISP's about this. BBC hopes that ISP's will put them in an exception list for the shaping (distribution is achieved using P2P technology from Kontiki/Verisign).It's unlikley that teh content will be excluded from volume based limits.
Imagine running out of volume halfway through a Eastenders episode download - nice little potential earner for the ISP
Posted by zippysticks over 10 years ago
It's not RealMedia - it's Windows Media only for now or so they say. Some folk would consider this even worse. Listen to the noise from the Open Source Consortium.
Posted by zippysticks over 10 years ago
As stated above it (initially) uses P2P technology from Verisign/Kontiki to try and keep distribution bandwidth costs down (for the BBC!)
Posted by arundel over 10 years ago
Also, it won't work on vista 'for the time being' either. From the BBC article about it:

"Mr Highfield said that a version for Apple Macs could be available in autumn, with versions for Windows Vista and mobile devices to follow."
Posted by jrawle over 10 years ago
They are supposed to ensure it runs on Macs 'within "a reasonable time frame", initially twenty-four months.' So probably not "later in the year". And no sign of Linux support.

So viewers are forced to use Windows, and will quickly use up their download allowance. On the other hand, get a DVB tuner card and PVR software, then you can "download" programmes to your heart's content for free, and without DRM encumbrance so you can keep them forever and burn them to DVD.
Posted by keith_thfc over 10 years ago
Am annoyed to hear it won't run in Vista. Ditto on Macs although I don't own one. You would think they would have been able to sort this out given they've had an awful long time to beta test this.
Posted by herdwick over 10 years ago
zippysticks - stating and restating that it uses P2P technology does not change the fact that in my experience so far it doesn't. 4OD does do P2P and that uses the same Kontiki technology, but the only P2P traffic from the BBC product I have seen was when I tried to download the same prog to a different PC and it zapped it over the LAN. YMMV. Firewalls may kill the P2P aspect.
Posted by h0tbl4ck over 10 years ago
There is a petition up on the the 10 Downing Street e-petitions beta.
This is a massively missed opportunity for the BBC to show the world how cross platform media delivery systems should be done, as they originally intended.
What happens if Microsoft change their mind about the way they want media delivered using Windows Media Player? The BBC are just setting themselves and license fee payers up for problems.
Posted by zippysticks over 10 years ago
herdwick - the Kontiki P2P client is smart enough to know when somthing is on your home LAN and will therefore use the most direct means of transport.
In addition, Kontiki put a lot of effort into 'NAT traversal' that eliminates the likleyhood of most simple consumer firewalls decreasing the efficiency of the P2P grid.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 10 years ago
A vast amount of comments all of which make some good points, nice disscusion people :). It will be interesting to see how the BBC service turns out. For now it is apparantely free, which is better then 4OD. How long it remains free if it proves popular remains to be seen. I think the main points of concern are still lack of linux, mac and vista support and as i originally said bandwidth implications which could make it next to useless for some people. But hey atleast services like this are finally emerging from the TV companies.
Posted by zippysticks over 10 years ago
iPlayer WILL go commercial.
Beyond the 7 day window you could expect to get charged to download and view the content.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 10 years ago
if thats true zippysticks they can keep it. I pay a license fee already, i wont line their pockets further.
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 10 years ago
I run Feisty Kubuntu Linux and have Realplayer 10 installed but the sasserfrassing Beeb links won't even let me look at the news video or the Demo one! For an organisation that charges me a licence fee and allegedly espouses multi platform independence the Beeb really are the rear end of a pantomime horse!
Posted by wavesound over 10 years ago
Here is a player for the BEEB!
This play all media and I cant see the difference in watching from a HD recorder ( then burn the DVD, which I don't as I cant be bothered,) and using this player.
Windoxe media player and DRM is unstable at the best of times.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.