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iPlayer: Some common questions answered

  • By Paul Crichton
  • 22 Oct 07, 09:45 PM

The iPlayer, which is the BBC’s website and media player for it’s 7-day catch-up service, has been available for testing over the last few months, and from the comments on this blog, it sure seems like many of you have been putting it through its paces.

It hasn’t been plain sailing for everyone, so I thought I would answer some of the common questions about using the iPlayer.

How do I install the iPlayer?

It is all change on the iPlayer home page. No longer is there a link to install the iPlayer, as such. All you have to do is register, and try to download a programme. You will then be prompted to install the iPlayer library. Follow the instructions to do that, and you’ll be up and running in no time.

How do I switch off signing?

The short answer is that you can’t right now. To make programmes as inclusive as possible, signed content is made available for download where available. When the iPlayer is formally launched, then the programmes will be provided in different formats, including ones with and without signing.

Where are the audio described programmes?

They are coming! The short answer is that the process of adding audio description to content is still in development. Keep an eye out for audio described shows appearing on the iPlayer in the months ahead.

What’s with kservice.exe?

A lot of people have complained that kservice, which is the program that drives the iPlayer, hogs bandwidth. That’s a problem beyond the scope of this blog, but here’s how I manage it. Most firewalls can be configured so that individual programs must request access to the internet. If it isn’t convenient, don’t let it run. You’ll need to check how to do that with whatever firewall you have installed.

If you have other questions not covered here, feel free to leave a comment, and I’ll do my best to address them. If you cannot wait, or it isn’t an accessibility issue, then don’t forget about the extensive help on the iPlayer website.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 08:21 PM on 25 Oct 2007,
  • susan wrote:

I to have problems with the Iplayer it comes up with a drm reset and this is beyond me and with set income I can not pay for this to be done professionally why cant the programs be on itunes as this seems to work ok

  • 2.
  • At 05:32 PM on 13 Jan 2008,
  • Frank Black wrote:

It would help to register with Iplayer if there were a button or link saying Register as I have looked everywhere and can't find one.

  • 3.
  • At 08:43 PM on 17 Jan 2008,
  • Aishling Ryall wrote:

Colour is like infra-red vision rather than regukar video- please help!


Not sure if this has been covered by other comments but once loaded I found the iPlayer contsantly had the HDD working. On checking Task Manager I found CPU usage to be 100% all the time and other programmes ran VERY slowly.

Despite this I was unable to download my desired programme which sat at CONNECTING 0%, regardless of all the CPU and HDD activity.

When I closed the iPlayer and then reopened I found the option to download programmes had gone and once again it said INSTALL iPLAYER. This, I had already done, obviously.

The only way to reduce my CPU's high blood pressure was to uninstall iPlayer.

I am loathed to try again. Is there and obvious answer to this ?

Many thanks and kind regards


  • 5.
  • At 07:47 PM on 07 Feb 2008,
  • Peter Harrison wrote:

how do I install iplayer on Vista. i cant find the url which allows me to register

  • 6.
  • At 10:38 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Steve Rumsby wrote:

iPlayer used to work fine for me, on a Vista machine, until a couple of weeks ago. But now kservice.exe has suddenly started eating as much of my CPU as it could, and downloads go really, really slowly. Despite my machine apparently downloading quite a lot of stuff, according to netmeter, there's very little progress on the scheduled downloads in the download manager. And I have to switch the priority of kservice.exe to "Low" in task manager to make the machine usable again.

This might have started happening after an upgrade to the iplayer software, but I'm not really sure.

Uninstalling and re-installing the software makes no difference. I've done it several times now.

All suggestions welcome! Essentially iplayer is unusable for me at the moment, which is a shame. I was just beginning to rely on it...

  • 7.
  • At 01:40 PM on 27 Feb 2008,
  • Alasdair wrote:

I had similar problems with kservice recently taking 100% of my CPU as well. The way that I had to deal with this was using the Task Manager (access it through Ctrl-Alt-Del) and ending the process. This returns the machine to a useable speed. If you do this once you have finished a download, you can then go to your Public documents folder and play the files from the Public Videos folder. It takes a little guess work to discover which video is which but at least it lets you watch them without the picture jerking from frame to frame.

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