Changes to iPlayer downloads

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Changes to iPlayer downloads

Post#1 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:07 pm

The BBC have announced the end of wmv downloads from iPlayer. They've also replaced their old Adobe Air download tool with something new.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/pos ... -Downloads

I'm guessing this means the end of the iPlayer plugin I've been using for several years, as it streams the wmv files. Though I've not had a phone call from home yet to say Cbeebies content isn't playing.

I never wanted to install Flash onto my 7MC machine, so haven't used TunerFreeMCE. Does it still work? Are there any alternatives that will work within 7MC? Is there a TV & remote friendly version of the iPlayer website?
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Post#2 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:29 pm

There is a big screen version of iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/bigscreen/

Think I'm going to have to try getting a browser shortcut setup.

Any thoughts on whether it's best to install Flash and use IE or install Chrome which has Flash built in?

--EDIT--

Regardless, it looks like iPlayer on the extender is going to be just a distant memory now.
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Post#3 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:06 pm

I use tunerfreemce and find works well Mark, worth a try at least....
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Post#4 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:07 pm

I've tried a couple of shows and they are still playing through the plugin, even without a download option being available on the website. I realise this is only going to be temporary.
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Post#5 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:42 pm

Son of a b*tch! All my daughter has ever known is the iplayer plugin for cbeebies. So, cheers for that Dan Taylor, Head of Bbc iplayer, you can stick your passion for listening up your jacksy. That whole blog post is a complete load of pr bull and even worse the bbc iplayer downloads link in the post goes to an error not found page.

Now I've got that off my chest, has anyone checked what format the downloads are actually in now? Might be possible to still get mce to play the files.
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Post#6 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:48 pm

I haven't looked myself, but from what I've read, they're in some kind of encrypted mp4. Unless the Beeb release a DirectShow codec to play them, I doubt we'll get these working in Media Centre. After all, as long as the files play on Macs, that's all the BBC staff really care about...
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Post#7 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:51 pm

mark1234 wrote:There is a big screen version of iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/bigscreen/

Think I'm going to have to try getting a browser shortcut setup.


This plan isn't going to work. That page doesn't even work properly with just a keyboard, no way it's going to work with a remote only. All you can do with a keyboard is scroll the programme choices left & right.

Will have to look at installing Flash & TunerFreeMCE. I did try it once, years ago, and the first time the wife tried to watch Casualty using it, she managed to crash it as it wasn't responding to the remote in the expected way. That was one good thing about the wmv streams; once the file was cached locally the normal remote behaviour worked as it was ultimately Media Centre playing the file natively.
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Post#8 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:28 pm

Yep, not working here either. Damn, as mark1234 says tunerfreemce is nowhere near as good as this plugin but will have to do!
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Post#9 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:11 am

Can you access the iplayer website via Kylo?
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Post#10 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:44 pm

you can, but kylo's far from a great experience with a remote. you can basically move the cursor around using the directional buttons on your remote and click using the ok button but when i used it last it was very difficult to control, particularly if the thing you are trying to click on is quite small, such as the button to change from windowed to full screen.
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Post#11 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:44 pm

bobbob wrote:but when i used it last it was very difficult to control, particularly if the thing you are trying to click on is quite small, such as the button to change from windowed to full screen.


You can fine tune the cursor speed to your liking via editing an .inf file. I use Kylo for HBO GO, and had the same problem. Doing so fixed this for me.
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Post#12 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 11:50 am

I uninstalled the iPlayer plugin this morning (and YAMMM as it's stopped working as well) and installed Flash and TunerFreeMCE. Initial impression is not good. Tried a couple of programmes off iPlayer. In HD I just get "this content cannot be played" and in SD I get the top left corner of the video expanded to fill the whole screen.

I didn't have time to mess around and see if I could make it work. Thinking of Sky's Now TV Box as a replacement as it's only a tenner.
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Post#13 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:06 pm

What resolution are you running Mark? Tunerfree works fine for me at 1080p with no tweaking.
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Post#14 » Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:11 pm

1080p here as well.
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Post#15 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 6:51 pm

Just an update to say that I do now have a NowTV box sat waiting for me to wire it up. Assuming it works I'll be uninstalling TunerFreeMCE as I couldn't get it to work properly. HD is hit and miss and SD only ever shows the top left corner of the screen. Also means I get to uninstall Flash - hurray!
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Post#16 » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:28 pm

Let us know how using the NowTV box goes Mark, it looks really cool.

I rarely need catchup personally and haven't used tunerfreemce for a while, I guess that the recent changes could have broken it..

TunerfreeMCE has served me (and the other half) well over the years, well worth a donation IMHO, I hope that Martin will stick with it if at all possible going forward as it has saved us multiple times over the years when recordings failed for various reasons.

The trouble is, there are so many ways to get this content these days that the limitations of MC are getting more evident every day :(
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Post#17 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:54 am

Rob, the NowTV is a wonderful device. TunerFreeMCE and Flash have gone from my HTPC and the kids are now used to switching inputs on the TV.

I started a different thread about the box here:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=6119
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Post#18 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:24 pm

Being based in Germany I do not have the opportunity to use a NowTV type device to view UK TV, with that said, one of my reasons for going to an HTPC was to get rid of multiple devices/connections/remotes so I can't say it sounds too attractive anyway! Like holidayboy I use TunerfreeMCE and it works well for me and allows this expat to stay up to date with things in UK. If problems do arrise, there was one recently with IE11, they are usually fixed very quickly, it is a well supported product. I too am no great fan of Flash but it appears the BBC is, so it seems we're stuck with it. Just a question to mark1234, over here the Smart TV feature on my Philips TV allows me to connect to local TV websites to get Iplayer like features (Live/catchup TV) via its LAN/WLAN to the internet, do you have such features on the TVs in the UK these days, OK you need to use the TV remote but?
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Post#19 » Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:22 pm

I agree that having to use multiple remotes is a negative, but I have to accept that Media Centre is simply not a good platform for modern streaming services. The fact that a tiny ten quid box can out perform Media Centre in this regard kind of says it all really.

Modern mid and high end TVs here do have streaming capabilities built in. When you couple that with USB DVB-T recording, that even my cheapie telly can do, the TV can be the single device for most people.
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Post#20 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:45 pm

Why is it that XBMC have a decent iPlayer app but Windows Media Center's app doesn't work anymore?

My understanding is that the BBC stopped the WMV format.

What format does the XBMC app use? Can we not amend the MCE app by converting to the same format used by XBMC?
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