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BBC viewers unhappy about limited access to iPlayer

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 31 Jul 2007 20:50 User comments (13)

BBC viewers unhappy about limited access to iPlayer The "open beta" launch of the BBC's on demand service on Friday has left many license fee-payers frustrated, as downloads of the iPlayer are still strictly Limited.
As we reported last week, the BBC's video download service is only available to a limited number of people right now. That number is expected to increase gradually through the full scale rollout of the service in the fall.

However, it seems the BBC didn't think the restricted number of viewers was as big a deal as they're viewers do. In fact you'd have to get about halfway through their press release before reading that "It will go live to the general public in open Beta on 27 July, allowing the number of users to increase over the summer in a controlled manner, before a full marketing launch in the autumn."

According to a BBC spokeswoman, part of the reason for the unusual "open beta" was that the iPlayer team isn't able to send bulk email.

In a twist to the interoperability controversy and accusations of Microsoft bias, it has emerged that iPlayer will run on Windows Vista PCs, and not only on XP as the BBC suggests. However, the BBC is Blocking Vista iPlayer downloads using the user agent string which allows web servers to identify browsers and the operating system they are running on top of.

Source: The Register

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13 user comments

12.8.2007 16:17

This whole this is just a matter of time to see what happens.

23.8.2007 17:01

What, no mention of the DRM the BBC propose to use on this iPlayer? Anyway the last thing i want to use is windows media player or Real Player any more than i do already, They are big and clunky and far to picky about what they play already for my taste. BBC should play and stream in Media Player Classic or the VLC player. I am gradually switching to using as many open source programs as i can find. My PC works faster and is more reliable.

33.8.2007 23:22

The whole thing smacks of being done on the cheap and with one technical hand tied. Everybody and his bloody uncle poked their noses in to say what could and could not be used the result is rubbish.

I get borderline Freeview and one casualty is BBC4. I wanted to see Atom and the prog about cryonics. No chance!

44.8.2007 2:03

its not just the limited users that sucks, there is no support for firefox and the programms suck.

yesterdays downloads for bbc1 which is the main channal are:

morning (2): animal rescue, to buy or not to buy.
afternoon(1): doctors
evening(3): diy sos, eastenders, the one show

so out of the many programmes the bbc gives the licence payer who funds their channel a pile of shit to watch and no support for anything but windows xp and internet explorer6+ and windows media player10+ with the added extra embedded adds.

i pay my licence fee so i don't have to watch adds the bbc are completely ripping us off and it makes me angry.

"I'm as mad as hell,

and I'm not going to take this anymore!!"

*edit* as a footnote the actual quality is tv digital quality and the speeds are not too bad, but the choice of content is rather poor considering that the British public are forced to fund the bbc through the television licence.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Aug 2007 @ 5:07

54.8.2007 3:21

Yes I am angry too but maybe I am old and cynical enough to see why the whole thing was such a SNAFU. I can visulise the scenario in some dusty upper echalon.. "Look old boy I've been talking to Smithers, you know that technical chappie, tells me we ought to be on this internet thingy". "I agree old chap but things are a bit tight don't yer know, and the copyright bods will have our tripes out". "Yes, yes! don't want to put a lot of cash into it or give the punters too much of a choice, might upset the telly makers or somebody". "Quite quite, we'll just let Smithers and his boffins have a little tinker, get it out of his system".

I can understand blockbuster movies not being available but just about EVERYTHING else should be otherwise you are bound to upset ME!

64.8.2007 4:04

I'm Mad as Hell and im not going to take this anymore ...

75.8.2007 5:42

Originally posted by plazma247:
I'm Mad as Hell and im not going to take this anymore ...
Whooo it must have worked as since i said i was as mad as hell they have sent me an email with my BETA login :)

Having played with it for 5 minutes now, theres one thing i dont understand... why did they use DRM thats already been cracked, they may have just as well used a google video feed for what its worth and extended the service to everyone and just give no option for local download, the server would simply chose if to display the video to the user.

Ok it would be crackable as well, but its not like at the moment its not.

The second thing is i cant see what they are so worried about people being able to copy off it... its not like the video feeds are super hidef or anything at the moment. Which means the chosen source for such things would still be a dvr recording from a dvb where the resolutions better.

Although i would say as a first go, im not trying to knock it i think they had done a pretty good job :) the interface is easy and clean and the installer trouble free.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Aug 2007 @ 7:22

85.8.2007 11:37

Once again , we have the island mentality- in addition to the ridiculously slow roll-out where all license payers are totally frustrated and there is relatively nothing decent to download, we have this license and rights management question (I would call it a load of sh..t but I'm trying to be polite). I will not use anything with "DRM music or video to go" nonsense as it is totally user unfriendly and restrictive. It is the same with BBC availablility (and other UK broadcasters such as ITV) preventing those of us who have paid a home licence fee but are trying to access from Europe etc.(the iplayer will not be available through non-UK based isp's) This is totally against the TV without frontiers directive and an open internal market. It is the "fleece the public" mentality where every extra added value has to be paid for. Let's hope for more competition.

95.8.2007 12:35

Actually i did noticed that there is some stuff on there that isnt completely tosh, its just not there on the main page, did manage to find the last re-run of doctor who from last week.

1017.9.2007 0:51

I'm Canadian, so I don't really care about the license fees, but there is one thing the music companies (and now TV) just don't realize...

We have had headphone jacks and recorders since AM radio. We now have optical out and digital recorders. Your DRM will ALWAYS fail. Always.

We have CamStudio, and Snapz Pro. We have VGA to Component adapters. We have freakin' video cameras and tripods. Your DRM will ALWAYS fail. Always.

Anyone who thinks DRM is uncrackable is a moron.

1117.9.2007 1:18

600M pc, ATI 30 card with comp' out records to dvd a treat!


1217.9.2007 10:23

Originally posted by ecc83:
600M pc, ATI 30 card with comp' out records to dvd a treat!

hehe undrm does a good job 2 ;-)

1318.9.2007 23:29

I tend to agree that DRM will always ultimately fail and its probably done more harm than good to the sales of CDs and certainly done great damage to the Music and Video business. I would not agree however that fear of the DRM system renders somone a Moron. There are many better reasons than this for putting people in such a category. Voting for ID cards or a Peeping Tom government which invades and damages the privacy of its own people and uses its military power to stomp over powerless countries for their resources for example. Meanwhile there is still the analogue hole and as long as music and video can be played and listened to or watched, it can be copied. Perhaps if the MPAA and RIAA actually concentrated on the professional pirates rather than a few punters who believe correctly that having paid for a CD or DVD, they have the right to make a copy, they would be more beneficial to both the industry and the artists who depend on it. Instead they act like either the Gestapo or parasites and deserve only a good kick in the wedding tackle, in the hope that they will be unable to propagate in future.

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