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UK Government responds to BBC iPlayer petition

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 09 Sep 2007 19:58 User comments (12)

UK Government responds to BBC iPlayer petition The UK Government has responded to calls for the BBC's iPlayer software to be opened up to more operating systems than Microsoft's Windows XP. The Government responded to an online petition which gathered more than 16,000 signatures since it was set up in June. The BBC Trust has made it a condition of launching the iPlayer that it worked with other operating systems in response to the call.
The iPlayer allows UK users to download and watch TV content from the BBC after it airs. However, it only works with Windows XP and this upset many TV license payers in the UK. The BBC Trust has now promised that versions of the player for alternative platforms will be available "as soon as possible."

As for goals, there is expected to be a Mac version of the player this Autumn followed by versions for several mobile gadgets and for Windows Vista. The Open Source Consortium (OSC) has also criticized the closed nature of the iPlayer and has called for versions that work with Linux and has met with the BBC Trust to discuss its views.

Source:
BBC News

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12 user comments

19.9.2007 23:32
nobrainer
Inactive

we the licencee are forced to pay for the bbc via the tv licence, we asked for multi os versions, were told fu and the gov body that is supposed to make sure they spend our monies wisely allows they to do what they like.

this just reminds me of the screw over when we used monitors to watch sky, thus avoiding the tv licence as we didn't receive the bbc so what happened, they put the bbc on sky and made everyone pay.

210.9.2007 8:32

Is it true that UK residents have to pay a tv license for every tv in the house? And they have people in vans drive around to catch signals for those who don't pay? If this is true I can see an increase in the demand for hooking up Pcs to the TV for streaming content.

310.9.2007 9:19

Hahaha and here is the problem, the BBC iPlayer uses microsoft DRM 10 if i remember correctly.

I maybe wrong but its not they cant write the front end for it, the problem is more microsoft never made the wmp drm 10 work for linux as yet and as far as im aware were at the time of the iplayer launch they were still working on the mac version.

MS DRM10 Keys have already been broken, which really makes the DRM being there pretty pointless.

Besides if someones going to copy anything off the broadcast they are going to go for the higher bitrate/resolution mpeg DVB stream and not some shabby 320 x 240 300kbps internet broadcast.

As for the licence fee, i dont full agree with it but one thing i will point out is..

The BBC does have a pretty unique approach to things, some of the best educational programs I have ever watched were made by the BBC, The remit of the fee is that they produce a certain ratio of educational programming etc.

However if i remember the BBC got handed the running of itv digital or what was left.

Has just made me think, how much does the BBC make from controlling freeview... im guessing they charge the pay for view channels for operating, how much extra does this now bring them in?

410.9.2007 11:57
nobrainer
Inactive

Originally posted by c1c:
Is it true that UK residents have to pay a tv license for every tv in the house? And they have people in vans drive around to catch signals for those who don't pay? If this is true I can see an increase in the demand for hooking up Pcs to the TV for streaming content.
no, you only need 1 licence per household.

you need a licence if:

all are, and/or!

1, you have a tv
2, you own a standalone dvd recorder
3, your pc has a tv card.
4, you are able to view content via your mobile phone or smartphone.
5, you own a camping tv or walkabout 1" type
6, if you can receive any tv signal over the air you have to purchase a licence

Quote:
Do I need a licence for my mobile home or caravan?

If you have a static caravan, mobile home or moveable chalet, and it has a TV which is used at the same time as a TV set is being used in your main licensed home - you'll need a separate licence to cover your second home.
probably very soon because of the introduction of the iplayer if you receive the internet but do not own a tv you probably will have to purchase one as ppl in the uk are dumping their tv's for pc's and the pitch is being felt, the tv licence was a radio licence originally, but now if a show is being broadcast at the same time as the tv you WILL need a licence for whatever equipment you own.

http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/information/index.jsp

510.9.2007 16:27

Thats lame. In order to watch tv in the UK a license is required and must be renewed every year. Why is this so? Over here in the States radio, tv, monitors, pcs, cell phones do not require this. The FCC doesn't collect fees from its citizens for just owning an appliance, it only regulates content the provider broadcasts. There is no privacy then. If the user isn't registered then a crime is being committed. Why purchase something if your going to screwed, it doesn’t mean you necessarily own it because you still have to pay a fee for using it and depending how many you own larger the fee is, that’s bullspit.

610.9.2007 19:00
duckNrun
Inactive

Originally posted by locobrown:
Thats lame. In order to watch tv in the UK a license is required and must be renewed every year. Why is this so?
The reason they do this is because the BBC is a government supported channel and the way they do this is to make those people who benefit from the channel (TV viewers) subsidize it through the tele tax.

Originally posted by locobrown:
Over here in the States radio, tv, monitors, pcs, cell phones do not require this. The FCC doesn't collect fees from its citizens for just owning an appliance, it only regulates content the provider broadcasts
The FCC is an entirely different beast altogether. While the FCC may regulate devices and businesses that deal with communications it does not broadcast content like the BBC does.

Originally posted by locobrown:
There is no privacy then.
The only privacy that is lost is the privacy of the government knowing that you own a device capable of viewing tv on. They do not neccessarily know what you are watching any more than the US governent knows what you are watching. However in both cases it needs to be pointed out that if they wanted to know they could easily find out... in both countries.

Originally posted by locobrown:
If the user isn't registered then a crime is being committed.
You are 100% correct. This is viewed as the same thing as stealing cable in the US... which is also a crime. Why a crime? Because like cable in the US the BBC is essentially a 'pay' channel. The only difference in instead of receiving a monthly cable bill you receive a yearly tv tax which supports the BBC in producing and airing television programs (like Dr. Who for instance).

Originally posted by locobrown:
depending how many you own larger the fee is, that’s bullspit.
I think this point was already addressed in a previous post.


Think of it like this: Here in the states we have something similiar to the BBC and it is called PBS and NPR (national public radio). Both of these providers are run for the 'benefit' of the american public and both have original content including educational, public interest, entertainment and news programs. Both of these receive VERY LIMITED funding from the government (citizen's taxes) and therefore have to grovel yearly for donations and host fund drives hoping that their viewers and listeners will make up the difference-- if the viewers do not do so then programming has to be cut and the station runs the risk of either closing all together or new stations do not get built leaving some of the veiwing and listening public out in the cold (mainly rural areas). Many people who listen to NPR and watch PBS do not dontate to help these organizations continue to operate, buy content, and produce new content thereby placing the weight of maintaining their bottom line on those people who DO contribute for this content. Since it takes tons of money to operate it relies on MANY people to pay for a year of operating costs. If a small comuunitity did not have the programming already (normally subsideized by the larger metro market viewers) they could not benefit from this public service-- or YOUR taxes would have to go up to help increase the governments portion of the bill so as to insure they could benefit

All the UK TV tax does is insure that those people who CAN benefit from the programming (any many people do!) help pay the funding for the continued existence of the broadcasts (and many will say they do not watch the Beeb and shouldn't have to pay but the point is that they CAN watch it and I doubt that nobody with a TV doesn't watch a few programs or radio programs put on by them). Many politicians in the US use the 'pay to play' tax on many items. Highways, roads and bridges are funded by those people who use them (gas taxes and toll roads. Sales tax is paid by those who buy goods. Cigarette taxes paid only by those who buy cigarettes, 911 service on phones and number portability are paid for by those people who have phones. Public parking garages are paid for by those people who drive downtown and need to park their cars etc etc.

Hope this helps to answer your questions.

cheers
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Sep 2007 @ 19:01

711.9.2007 14:56

as much as xp is a good operating system bbc needs to bring out vista as well eventually vast majority will transfer over whether they like it or not Microsoft is like that with their support.

813.9.2007 9:32

Just to add another note to people who don't get the BBC... we pay a TV license so that the BBC can be an independant broadcaster and therefore, not controlled by corporations. This is supposed to make sure we have a service that all license payers can get, and one that is reliable (e.g - they wont be scared on reporting problems with our food supply because a drugs company puts on pressure on them not to report it like what happened to a US network (i think it was fox news??) ).

So... my 2 cents is this. The BBC are world experts in codec systems and digital media, they have entire offices across the globe filled with people who really know their stuff, waiting for a project like this - so why the f*ck did they buy into a corporation's digital format?

I can think of two reasons, either
1 - the top management pushed for an existing standard based on what other networks are doing (i.e. M$ DRM crap - even though it is buggy and constantly cracked).
2 - Somebody somewhere has persuaded them to go with M$ because of some business reason, like another project (scratch my back etc).

If it was the second, it flies in the face of why we pay the TV license.... to be independant. If it was the first, then the people who made the decision should be sacked because they are basically paying M$ a crap load of licensee money to do something we asked them not to do in the first place, and now they need to spend twice that amount with more time and effort to develop a cross-platform system instead.

I'm losing faith in the BBC, they are starting to sensationalise news, dumbing down their reporting, paying other networks for content, and now it is becoming obvious they are startin to get into bed with big-business... personally I think it is time we look at ditching the BBC.....

913.9.2007 9:37

You have a good point, dont get me wrong i dont want to get rid of the bbc, but if to say hypothecially happens.

Do we need a TV licence, if it was dropped, the only person its going to hurt is the bbc, or does the goverment skim off the cream before its pasted over to broadcasting house?

1013.9.2007 9:46

Originally posted by plazma247:
You have a good point, dont get me wrong i dont want to get rid of the bbc, but if to say hypothecially happens.

Do we need a TV licence, if it was dropped, the only person its going to hurt is the bbc, or does the goverment skim off the cream before its pasted over to broadcasting house?
I don't know exactly where the cash goes, but I think if anything the government help the BBC out by paying for digi-box's for people for the switch over soon, something the BBC claimed it wouldn't be able to afford so gov have decided to help.

The big thing really is that channel 4 and other terrestrial channels get a share of the tv license too, not sure why - I think it is to encourage them to do more educational programs, probably an attempt to keep the bbc honest too!! :) If we pull the license fee, it might affect those channels too... I think in the next 15 years we will see a massive shakeup, with ad-sponsored channels closing due to people shifting from schedualed programming to on-demand stuff like iPlayer and iTV (or whatever apple are calling it! :) ). It is gonna be interesting!

1113.9.2007 9:49

I wasnt aware other chanels got any of the licence fee....

Anyway if everything goes iptv and the bbc cant make one that works on my platform does that mean i dont have to pay a licence....

I cant see if beling long after the change to digitial only that this discussion will start.

1217.12.2007 13:54

Quote:

you need a licence if:

all are, and/or!

1, you have a tv
2, you own a standalone dvd recorder
3, your pc has a tv card.
4, you are able to view content via your mobile phone or smartphone.
5, you own a camping tv or walkabout 1" type
6, if you can receive any tv signal over the air you have to purchase a licence

Incorrect. Granted it's not something the TV Licensing Authority like people to know but you DO NOT need a license for owning the equipment. A license is required if the equipment is CAPABLE OF RECEIVING a television signal. More specifically the tuner must be tuned into channel frequencies, it is up to the person owning the equipment to prove its use.
Detuning any tuners and removing any aerials is sufficient. Whining that you "Only use it for the Xbox" is not :)

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