Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Television Media

BBC To Create 'Catch-Up TV Player' 146

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the now-thats-a-good-idea dept.
grouchal writes "The BBC Trust (a semi independent regulator) has just approved the BBC's efforts to launch iPlayer (no new info on this link yet). This means that UK residents can watch broadcast BBC programs out of sync with the broadcast schedule by up to 30 days for free. The iPlayer will launch for the PC but is expected on Media Center, Xbox 360 devices in the near future. The approval also included some constraints." This would really have made my life a lot simpler when my tivo died a couple of weeks ago.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

BBC To Create 'Catch-Up TV Player'

Comments Filter:
  • OS X as well... (Score:5, Informative)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Monday April 30, 2007 @09:12AM (#18926647) Homepage Journal
    I should also add that the BBC will also support OS X [macworld.co.uk].

    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by byolinux (535260) *
      And that they're not called the BCC ;)
    • But typically no Linux support - TV licence fee reduction for me please.. :P
    • Re:OS X as well... (Score:5, Informative)

      by xoyoyo (949672) on Monday April 30, 2007 @09:52AM (#18927035)

      Not according to the BBC:

      But the trust has asked the BBC to ensure that the iPlayer computer application can run on different systems - such as Apple Macs - within "a reasonable time frame".

      Earlier this month BBC Future Media boss Ashley Highfield said the corporation was committed to rolling out the iPlayer on Windows PCs first of all, and then cable TV services, Apple Macs, and eventually Freeview boxes.

      But the BBC said it could not commit to a two-year deadline to achieve this goal, saying it was up to the third parties concerned. (my emphasis)

      Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6607083.s tm [bbc.co.uk]

      iPlayer is built on top of Windows Media Player using Windows DRM - part of the BBC's stunning support for open standards and multiplatform development. Even if they do ship it for Mac the DRM issue will probably limit the programmes you can download.

      • Re:OS X as well... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by crush (19364) on Monday April 30, 2007 @10:17AM (#18927307)
        I don't get the BBC at all. They make a lot of noise about how they can't release some material in some formats because it would create competition for private industry, but then they prop up the largest monopolist in software world. They also waste massively stupid amounts of bandwidth by broadcasting their archived material in e.g. RealPlayer format instead of something more compact like OggVorbis or even MP3 (take a listen to their BBC7 [bbc.co.uk] radio station), there's no need to broadcast that material in that high a quality. It makes it wasteful for most people to listen online and it creates exactly what they say they want to avoid: a very high quality digital copy that competes with commercial vendors (e.g. of books on CD).
        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          They make a lot of noise about how they can't release some material in some formats because it would create competition for private industry
          I don't think that "they" (i.e. the BBC) did - I think that it was the BBC Trust. Personally I'd have expected the BBC Trust to represent the licence payers rather than the competition.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by slumberer (859696)
          As I understand it the reason that the BBC isn't making the content available in a DRM free format is that the licensing arrangements they have on most of their content is rather complex. A lot of BBC content is produced in conjunction with other parties who retain some rights to the content which means that the BBC is unable to make it freely available. It sucks but it sounds like there isn't much that they can do about it.
          • by crush (19364)

            I've heard that argument made, but I suspect that it does not apply to the vast amount of license-payer funded material written for, produced by, and broadcast on e.g. BBC Radio4 over the years. Add to this that once they've put the material out there in any form it's possible for anyone to capture it and redistribute it digitally should they wish. For example, in order to turn the RealPlayer formatted stuff from BBCRadio7 into OggVorbis so that I can listen to it when I need to (as opposed to when it's b

      • This is a public service announcement . . . with keyboard . . .

        If the BBC has committed to supporting one product above others in the market place--that is, the DRM platform in Media Player--then politely inform the BBC that you will not pay your license fee until universal access is provided. Such a blatant attempt to support a commercial organization through a government programme should be most strongly resisted. Moreover, it is only when the citizens require that government truly level the playing

        • by TobascoKid (82629)
          commercial organization's poor products through forced purchases

          That exact criticism can be levelled at the entire BBC - if you want to watch TV in the UK, you have to pay for the BBC, whether you want to watch their products or not. I find most of the BBC's output to be poor (and the amount that isn't poor isn't worth the fee), but I have no choice but to buy their product.

          If "the citizens required that government truly level the playing field", then the government wouldn't be mandating the BBC not to use
      • by tolan-b (230077)
        Here's the trust's full decision (links to PDF and plain text versions on the linked page) here [bbc.co.uk]

        The BBC are saying they can't guarantee it because of third parties, to which the trust has said they'll be making a 6 monthly check-up to ensure things are going as they should.

        In summary, we recognise and share the strength of feeling on platform neutrality. We do not consider it practicable to offer catch-up television over the internet on a platform neutral basis immediately. We consider it preferable to

        • by xoyoyo (949672)
          To be fair to the BBC the solution they have picked works with for the majority of people and makes more content available than would be in a non-DRMed solution. On the face of it then their argument that they've picked the least worst solution is valid.

          However the BBC is a public broadcaster that levies a flat tax on virtually all UK households. That tax therefore becomes discriminatory if the user is only able to access a subset of BBC services. To me that means the BBC is not free to pick a majority sol
  • UK Resident (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Short Circuit (52384) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Monday April 30, 2007 @09:14AM (#18926683) Homepage Journal

    This would really have made my life a lot simpler when my tivo died a couple of weeks ago.
    Not really...You're not a UK resident.
    • by PipOC (886408)
      Is it really that hard to get a proxy in the UK?
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        And what are you going to enter for the TV license# ?
    • All you have to do to view it is spoof your nationality.

      I've already started practicing my accent. "'Ello guvnah. Fancy a spot of tea and a nice bit a' Stilton? 'Ow about that la'est episode of Doctor Who?"

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Gotcha! Should be Doctor 'oo.
  • They are also looking at releasing the whole BBC archive to viewers as well.

    see http://www.pandia.com/sw-2004/33-bbc.html [pandia.com]

    Xbox 360, PC, MEdia Center and other devices?

    from TFA "The iPlayer computer application will only be initially available to those with Windows PCs. But the trust has asked the BBC to ensure that the iPlayer computer application can run on different systems - such as Apple Macs - within 'a reasonable time frame'. "

    So how long before we can get this on Linux? or the PS3?

    And
    • by Marcion (876801)
      Not reasonable at all, do I get cash back until they make Linux work?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by byolinux (535260) *
        They'll never make a GNU/Linux version of the iPlayer. Never ever ever.

        At best, someone might be able to get their proprietary player running under Wine.

        We should tell the BBC this is unacceptable - http://www.bbc.co.uk/feedback/ [bbc.co.uk]
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Yes it's completely unacceptable that someone who knows absolutely nothing things they'll never ever ever make a Linux version of the iPlayer.

          Are you kidding me? This hasn't even been released yet (for ANY OS) and you're already lighting up the torches. Give it time, in the meantime, just use a newsreader for christ's sake. Once the program is available for OSX it's not too hard to then port it to Linux in one way shape or form.

          breathe deeply and repeat after me:

          this is a good idea, let's see where they go
          • by byolinux (535260) *
            How is this a good idea? Accepting DRM is a very bad idea.

            If it happens, it would be DRM, binary and non-free - that's not useful, and seeks only to harm the free software community.
            • Re:Linux? (Score:5, Informative)

              by Ngwenya (147097) on Monday April 30, 2007 @10:56AM (#18927671)
              Firstly, I think it very unlikely that the current iPlayer mechanisms would/could be be ported to Linux. They're heavily dependent on Windows DRM, which in turn is heavily dependent on the Windows architecture (complete with Windows' methods for detecting debugger operations to prevent DRM bypass). Thus, while the APIs could be replicated on Linux/OS X, the protections would be trivial to bypass. Leaving aside whether MS would permit a porting effort.

              OS X probably has a better shot - since you could implement the APIs without much extra paranoia, but use the inbuilt TPM on Intel Macs to ensure the OS and running environment was in a known good state. Since you can't count on a Linux box having a TPM, you can't make reverse engineering of the DRM system more difficult.

              For what its worth, the tech guys at the BBC are fully aware of Linux, and it is in their plan to support it via iPlayer. The best way of accomplishing this isn't through technical means, but political. It's important for people to understand why the BBC is using DRM. They don't want to - it just increases running costs and introduces new points of failure into an already complex system. But the programme makers (who are often not the BBC) together with the contracted personnel who produce the programs insisted that any attempt to broadcast content in the clear would count as unlimited repeat broadcast. Which is fine, but it would cost the BBC a fortune to pay out as per contractual requirements. Hence the DRM enforced limitations, which are a sort of contractual enforcement by proxy. A pretty crappy one, but one which the lawyers would accept.

              It's a simple problem to state, but hard to fix at a technical level - because there's no real technical problem. Existing contracts for TV works are written in language which predates the Internet and the on-demand style of viewing. Thus, it's always expressed in terms of initial showings, repeat fees, differential media exploitation rates, etc. Recent contracts which the BBC is creating are far more encompassing of alternative distribution technologies. So the final solution is to get far more sane exploitation rights written into contracts, which accurately reflect TV watching habits of the 21st century, and to stop wishing that the Internet and its on-demand modes of use would just go away.

              Of course, the ultimate stupidity of all of this is that the programmes are being broadcast in digital form completely unencrypted right now! DVB-T/C/S transmissions spit this stuff out in full resolution (whereas iPlayer doesn't) which a $200 PC card can receive and store the content on a persistent device. It's almost like the the lawyers put their fingers in their ears and sang "Lalala! Can't hear you!" when this gets mentioned.

              End result: Build a MythTV box with a Freeview card. You can suck down as many channels as you like and keep it for ever. Transcode to H.264 and a 500GB hard disk will keep 6 months of programming easily.

              --Ng
        • by slughead (592713)
          We should tell the BBC this is unacceptable

          Ultimately, there isn't anything you can do about it.

          You gotta love state-run organizations.

          Maybe it's just me, but I read some the positive feedback about this new program and it's sort of disturbing how grateful people are. In America, you have your choice of open source and commercial solutions to do exactly what this does, with no DRM or time limit. When the BBC decides to be so "gracious" as to allow its customers to "tape now, watch later.. but not too much l
        • Re:Linux? (Score:4, Informative)

          by Splab (574204) on Monday April 30, 2007 @10:25AM (#18927377)
          As a sibling has said, what the hell do you know?

          Here in Denmark we have our public TV online already, and that plays on all operating systems, although linux is still playing in a lower resolution than under windows. All it requires is installing mplayer and getting the mplayer MS codecs (they are legal in EU).
          • What's the demand like for Danish TV outside of Denmark? BBC makes a stack of money selling its shows abroad so allowing non-DRMed viewing online would hurt them in the pocket. And the people asking for money back from their TV licenses - only a small percentage of license fee payers are going to use this (in the near future) so in effect almost everybody should be getting a refund. In practice though it doesn't work that way. I don't think the BBC should spend money on Soap Operas or reality TV or... or..
          • Here in Denmark we have our public TV online already, and that plays on all operating systems, although linux is still playing in a lower resolution than under windows. All it requires is installing mplayer and getting the mplayer MS codecs (they are legal in EU).

            That is NOT acceptable... the codec used should be non-proprietary and completely free to implement and redistribute. If it can't be distributed in Debian or Ubuntu then it's of no use to me and countless others who prefer to use free as in freedo

            • by Splab (574204)
              Uhm, it is non-proprietary and somewhat free to distribute, just not in the US. The MS codecs are reversed engineered and recoded, thus only thing preventing you from using it is patents, and thus the US is fucked. The reason why Debian and Ubuntu doesn't include them is the US crowd, but I think Ubuntu has changed its policies with feisty fawn.
              • window media player codecs have a simple API.
                Most of the windows codecs have been hacked to run on 32bit x86 linux.

                A few have been recoded.

                Sam
        • by gsslay (807818)
          And a big welcome to a whole new Linux persecution complex! It's a game the whole family can play!

          Step 1/ Create your own possible scenario of Linux persecution. Do not worry about any supporting evidence or factual basis.
          Step 2/ Write to someone in authority complaining about it.

          Here's a a fun example to get you started!

          Dear Director General of the BBC,
          Why, oh why, did I decided yesterday that you would never create a Linux version of iPlayer? This is unacceptable and I can't believe I'd imagine

          • by ZzzzSleep (606571)
            Good use of "why, oh why" but you forgot to include the classic "pull your socks up".
            So I'm going to have to take a point off you for that.
            9/10.
        • by Marcion (876801)
          >They'll never make a GNU/Linux version of the iPlayer. Never ever ever.

          Well they have bet the farm on DRM so I doubt it would. We need a new DVD Jon to make a third party player for it. After all, I have paid for the content already.
    • by AlHunt (982887)

      They are also looking at releasing the whole BBC archive to viewers as well. .... So how long before we can get this on Linux? or the PS3? And how long is 'reasonable'...?

      Hard telling - the story you linked to is already 3 years old. I'd say "reasonable" is already in the rearview mirror.

    • by binkzz (779594)
      "Xbox 360, PC, MEdia Center"

      Those are all MS products. I'm thinking someone at the BBC is getting some sweet lovin' from Microsoft.
    • The Trust had originally recommended a two year time frame, but the BBC Executive said that setting a time limit would tie their hands in commercial negotiations and that there was so much dependence on 3rd parties that they (the BBC Executive) couldn't take responsibility for, so what was agreed was that there would be no set time scale, but that the BBC Executive has to report on progress towards platform neutrality to the BBC Trust every 6 months.

      So, for a reasonable time frame, it looks like it's somewh
  • It's still tied by DRM to the one platform so I don't give it high chances for success. I guess they have a lot of money to keep it afloat it if flounders for a while then catches on (I'm trying to avoid CmdrTaco's fate with the iPod prediction here).

    But is there no MythTV or Tivo-type solution available in the Britain? I mean it's publicly funded so shouldn't people get more control over what they've paid for?
    • While I generally decry DRM as crippling digital data that ought to be freely movable, I am less concerned here. Primarily because it is essentially FREE access to programming (license fee notwithstanding) which is still only available for a short time outside its allocated broadcast slot. The need to move a file between machines during the short grace period is unlikely.

      Although this prevents you transferring shows to portable devices it is only intended as an alternative TV system and so is playable on ap
      • by TobascoKid (82629)
        The need to move a file between machines during the short grace period is unlikely

        Moving files to portable devices is one of the reasons why the Trust went with DRM downloads (as opposed to a streaming solution)
        • And this is exactly the reason I wrote to my MP to recommend against allowing Microsoft DRM here. Currently, Microsoft own about 20% of the mobile market (if that). What is it going to do to the market in the UK if they are producing the only mobile operating system that can play BBC TV? What is it going to do to Nokia, if Microsoft phones are the only ones that can play BBC TV? What is it going to do to Apple, if the Zune can play BBC TV and the iPod can't? If the BBC were a private corporation, then
    • Paradigm one: All drm will be broken.

      Paradigm two: Any service convenient enough will be used regardless of DRM.

      If it's more conveneient (and faster) to watch something with commercials (one or two not 10) rather then download the torrent I don't think many people will care. Infact I see no reason to mess with torrents at all should that be the case. If they have everything organized and cataloged there is even less of a reason to use torrents.

      The industry (media) has already set this up. There is a possibi
  • An historic day (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by 15Bit (940730)
    After months of careful preparation and a dedicated training regime, the slashdot editors have today finally reached the summit of typographical errors - screwing up the world's most recognisable acronym at the beginning of the story headline. Well done guys - you should be proud.
  • Not UK resident (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pubjames (468013) on Monday April 30, 2007 @09:20AM (#18926741)

    If anyone from the BBC is reading this, as a non-UK resident I would be happy to pay the annual licence fee if I could get access to the UK BBC channels.

    If you could make it work with my Apple TV, even better!
    • That's the problem with building more closed systems: the BBC has to see your request to make that happen. Using open protocols or at least published APIs allow anyone interested enough to create that interface for you. For your Apple TV there are a limited number of ways for you to get what you want and I think they involve Apple and BBC deciding there's an audience that's worth serving.

      Best of luck.
      • by pubjames (468013)
        I think they involve Apple and BBC deciding there's an audience that's worth serving.

        I don't think that's true - I believe anyone can publish a video RSS feed that could be accessed by the Apple TV - no agreement with Apple necessary. (Of course, if you want it in the Apple iTunes, store, you would need agreement from Apple but it's not necessary to publish a compatible feed).
        • If you're right then I'd be happy to be corrected - I'm feeling exceptionally bitter, even for a Monday morning.
    • They should be selling this content, DRM free, to the rest of the world, hell, I think they should be selling it in the UK too, then maybe they could bring the license fee down a little to compensate. Selling their content online (for reasonable prices) would allow them to move long-term to a model where they are a content creator and licenser, not a broadcaster.

      However just like their archive this has been hobbled by rights issues and silly rules about 'broadcasting' on the internet for 7 days, 30 days, or
      • by stiggle (649614)
        They do sell a lot of their content, to other broadcasters around the world and in the UK on satellite. They also sell their programs on DVD and radio programs on CD.

        Its an alternative way of getting programs that you just missed instead of hitting something like UKNova and bittorrenting the shows.

        How many times have you been talking to someone and they mentioned something that was on the previous evening and you think D'oh! I wanted to watch that. This will allow you to watch it.
        • They do sell a lot of their content, to other broadcasters around the world and in the UK on satellite. They also sell their programs on DVD and radio programs on CD.

          I'm aware of that thanks. My point is they have an opportunity here to start selling and distributing their content online - they could sell worldwide and eventually bypass all the headaches with the physical distribution methods you mentioned (which are myriad). Instead they have created a player which will bleed money, piss off people who dow

    • I absolutely agree with you

      I live in the USA, don't have cable, but would willingly pay the licence fee to receive BBC product.

    • I subscribe to that as well! I am living in the south of Italy and all I can get is BBC Prime (the re-run channel) and BBC World through Sky satellite service. If anybody has managed a way to receive standard BBC channel through sat, please let me know!
      • The BBC programmes are broadcast from the Artra 2D Satellite which you probably will be able to pick up (if not go for a bigger dish. 1 meter should be enough though)
        It's also unencrypted, so you don't need a registered decryption card.
        • by TobascoKid (82629)
          It's on a very tight beam, closely focused on the UK (so that they can get away with it being unencrypted) so somebody in Italy will probably a dish larger than 1m to get it.
          • Depends. I can receive it despite being at least 200 km out of the 44dB line, and my dish is either 80 or 90 cm, I can't remember, and judging by the signal I get, it's a bit overkill.

            I'd say it's definitely worth a try, so I'd recommend getting someone from a Sat TV business coming with a big dish to try to receive it. Be sure to also check the frequencies that the LNB can receive, cause some of the channels have odd combinations (Don't think I had problems with the BBC ones though)
      • I was able to find this [lyngsat.com] info page, hope it helps.
  • by potat0man (724766) on Monday April 30, 2007 @09:26AM (#18926795)
    This would really have made my life a lot simpler when my tivo died a couple of weeks ago.

    My goodness I know. It's a wonder how we make it through the day.
  • The BCC would like to apologize for being called the BBC for all those years; we realize this will create chaos and confusion to our viewers, but mild sedatives should make the whole thing right.

    NOTE: And for anyone reading this post, the posts mentioning the typo are now out of date, as the error has been corrected. We apologize to any Slashdot readers who are confused, and suggest that a spot of work will make everything right.

  • iWhat? (Score:3, Funny)

    by jamesl (106902) on Monday April 30, 2007 @09:32AM (#18926839)
    How long before iApple and iJobs get the iLawyers to send a iMail to BBC for an iNappropriate and possibly iNfringing use of an iWord?
    • Never? The simple addition of an 'i' in front of a word is not solely a Apple thing. I can't be fucked finding references to back up my assertions, and I am in no way a lawyer (though I once had a nice wank about a law student...), but I would be very surprised if you could trademark a single letter in such a broad range of applications. It would probably be like Intel trying to trademark '486' failing and then using Pentium from then on (and nothing to do with the fact the 486+100=485.9999999199191 on t
    • by BeerCat (685972)

      How long before iApple and iJobs get the iLawyers to send a iMail to BBC for an iNappropriate and possibly iNfringing use of an iWord?

      Nah, he'll just redirect all the "I can't get iPlayer to work on my iPod / iMac" straight to the BBC. Via the BBC-hating media.

      Headlines will then have "BBC (and government) wastes taxpayers' money on incompatible video player", although with even the Prime Minister apparently in Bill Gates' pocket, I won't hold my breath on it changing anything.

  • DRM'd pile of crap (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MartinG (52587) on Monday April 30, 2007 @09:33AM (#18926847) Homepage Journal
    Even though I am a UK BBC license fee payer, I won't be able to use this service I have paid for, because I don't use Windows and in and case I'm mot prepared to accept DRM.

    I'll continue downloading DRM free BBC shows via bittorrent just as I have for a while now. I have no moral objection to doing this since I've paid for the content anyway.

    How long are we going to continue in a situation where the unofficial channels of content delivery are superior to the official ones? Surely it can't be forever and DRM will soon have to die?
    • I'll continue downloading DRM free BBC shows via bittorrent just as I have for a while now. I have no moral objection to doing this since I've paid for the content anyway.

      Notice that the BBC have never pursued those who upload their programmes onto p2p except in one case, when ep1 of New Dr Who was leaked before transmission. I'd argue that, like yourself, the BBC has no moral objections to the sharing of its content after transmission. In my view the iPlayer service is aimed squarely at the everyday user

      • That is good to know. The only thing I have ever pirated is the Doctor Who 2005 series (BT of the last three episodes downloading now). I wuld have bought the DVDs if they were available here.

      • by mpe (36238)
        Notice that the BBC have never pursued those who upload their programmes onto p2p except in one case, when ep1 of New Dr Who was leaked before transmission.

        It's rather easier to track down a programme leaked before any broadcast than one uploaded after it has been broadcast. There's a much smaller list of possible suspects.
    • Even though I am a UK BBC license fee payer, I won't be able to use this service I have paid for, because I don't use Windows and in and case I'm mot prepared to accept DRM.

      Not necessarily - it could probably be easily ported to OSX or Linux using a mini-virtual machine engine. If you scrapped the current DRM engine and replaced it with a new one which would work on an open-source microkernel, and then open-source the VM, you can have as close to DRM-free as the BBC will be prepared to go at the moment.

      • by ajs318 (655362)
        What I want to know about the digital switchover is why, given that every TV receiver will have to be replaced, did they not at the same time mandate that every receiver must be capable of accepting a smartcard for decoding? Then there would be no more need for TV detector vans and bully-boy tactics of the licence enforcement people (often used indiscriminately against non-TV-owners). If you haven't bought a viewing card, you can't watch TV. Simple as that. It would mean that the licence would be payab
        • by TobascoKid (82629)
          If they did, then the licence fee would become even harder to justify (though, I'm already of the opinion that the Licence Fee is unjustifiable anyway). The most visible issue would be how do you justify turning off the commercial channels, none of which receive any part of the TV Tax.

          • by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2NO@SPAMearthshod.co.uk> on Monday April 30, 2007 @12:07PM (#18928525)
            The BBC produce some of the world's finest television content, and this is mostly due to the way they are funded. If the BBC relied on advertising sponsorship, programmes would end up being made to suit the advertisers. If the BBC relied on general taxation, programmes would end up being made to suit the government.

            The BBC is in the pockets of nobody but viewers. If that changes, the quality of programmes WILL worsen. Look to the communist system (where factories are run for the benefit of lazy workers) and the capitalist system (where factories are run for the benefit of rich shareholders) for examples of how things can go wrong when production is tailored to anyone other than the poor sod who has to spend their hard-earned on your products.
    • UKNova and co. are superior methods of distribution because they conveniently bypass all the intellectual property legal problems. The BBC, as a massive, publicly-funded institution, can't do this. So they're going to have to edit out any content in shows where they don't have the right to sell it on (as they do now with podcasts where films clips are played, for instance), and they're going to have to make sure that they're at least trying to make sure that licence-holders and only licence-holders can view
    • by dave420 (699308)
      Yeah! I'm pissed off too, because I can't watch these shows on my kettle in my kitchen! If you choose to run a minority OS, you can't honestly expect to have the level of support as the vast majority. That's clearly unreasonable.

      The BBC sometimes can't justify spending shitloads of license payers' money on technology a tiny minority uses. The DRM is essential due to the protection required to stop people not paying their license fee and just downloading shows. They have to protect their revenue, and th
      • by MartinG (52587)
        Yeah! I'm pissed off too, because I can't watch these shows on my kettle in my kitchen! If you choose to run a minority OS, you can't honestly expect to have the level of support as the vast majority. That's clearly unreasonable.

        I don't expect the same level of support, I just expect as least one way of getting it working without being forced to use a particular vendor. Forcing me to use a vendor is against the BBC charter.

        The BBC sometimes can't justify spending shitloads of license payers' money on techn
  • I can get British TV programs in less than half a year!

    (or how long do you think it will take to hack'n'open it?)
  • by jotok (728554)
    Say you have a data center, essentially a giant MythBackend. Subscribers pay a license fee to stream TV shows, movies, etc. to a MythFrontend appliance in their living room. The license fee in turn goes to pay the networks to let you "re-broadcast" their shows.

    Is this essentially what they're doing?

    For really good shows, you'd still want to tune in the night of broadcast in order to see it, because say for example you're just obsessed with "Lost" or whatever. But if you miss it, you could always watch it
  • I... want an iToilet so I can take an iDump and I can patent it and I can sell it as the youPoo... BBC iDea good or bad, I can see certain parties wanting their iCut of the iProfits for youCopyright reasons. (ducks)
  • by nightsweat (604367) on Monday April 30, 2007 @09:54AM (#18927057)
    Let non-UKians pay for a TV license and get access to all the online services. £135.50/year to get access to all of BBC programming and that massive back catalog? I'd certainly consider it.
    • Yep, excellent plan, but lets hope they spend the added revenue generated on DECENT programming, not the crud that BBC has been churning out for the last 4 years..

      BBC programe quality has gone right down the pan, and now consists mainly of cheap to make reality TV rubbish, no decent drama, comedy and other light entertainment..
      • Oh the BBC has comedy.. it's just not funny and clearly lost it's touch. It's all chav jokes and laughing tracks over failed 1 liners.

        The BBC did great comedy in the 80s-90s, but went too Politically correct to really pull it off any more. Plus why bother with a good comedy show when some stupid thing about singing or dancing will allow you to make more money by corrupt phone votes any way?
    • by Ed Avis (5917)
      Better and less bureaucratic would be a reciprocal arrangement whereby TV viewers in other countries could receive BBC programming in exchange for British licence-payers being able to watch the public and free-to-air channels in those countries.
  • I'm an American in the U.K. doing an internship. I know currently you need to register with the channels to watch tv online (simulcast)- registration only requires a valid postal address (easily forged). And a U.K. ip/isp address. It also checks your ip/isp when you start the links, and you authenticate. But I'm assuming us Americans who want to watch Doctor Who, Hollyoaks, Peepshow etc. just need a good U.K. proxy. Pretty simple- minus the 5-7 hour time change. So this could be great, we wouldn't be force
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TobascoKid (82629)
      requires a valid postal address (easily forged).

      Seeing as the "armed wing of the BBC" (The TV Licensing Authority) has a database with every household in the UK on it, and the name of the Licence holder for that address, it may not be that simple.
  • the internet grind to a halt as the entire output archive of the BBC crashes onto the P2P networks. Old episodes of East Enders anyone?
  • As is pointed out in other posts, this won't benefit users of Xbox 360s, PS3s etc in the near future (reasonable timeframe?) or perhaps ever. That's just a symptom though of the underlying wrongtitude.

    The root cause is the Memorandum of Understanding that the BBC signed with Microsoft under which they agree to siphon a portion of the license fee straight into Bil Gates's pocket in exchange for access to 'advanced technology'. The BBC can no longer develop its own tech as it sold off its technology arm to Si
  • Nothing that the BBC does is "for free": UK residents pay for the BBC, to the tune of about $6 billion per year (!) or about $250/year/household.
  • This means that UK residents can watch broadcast BBC programs out of sync with the broadcast schedule by up to 30 days for free.

    That is not correct. You can stream programs up to 7 days from the date of broadcast and in some exceptional cases (15%) you may download and keep a recording for up to 30 days.

    Lets see how this service stacks up against some of the alternative on demand tv download services.

    BBC Iplayer 4/10
    Pros
    It's free.
    Easy to use.
    Large selection.

    Cons
    Poor retention (7 days)
    Closed DRM format, ca

    • by Ngwenya (147097)

      Giganews 9/10

      God damn it! What have you been told about the first rule of Usenet?

      Some may find it hard to use.

      Listen to the man. Usenet is pretty much impossible. Nobody uses it. You need a Ph.D. in astrophysics to even comprehend it.

      (Thinks: Is that enough lying?)

      --Ng

"You don't go out and kick a mad dog. If you have a mad dog with rabies, you take a gun and shoot him." -- Pat Robertson, TV Evangelist, about Muammar Kadhafy

Working...