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iPlayer App on iPhone and iPad: two playout problems fixed

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David Madden | 17:38 UK time, Friday, 2 March 2012

A number of people have contacted us to say that they were having problems playing programmes in the BBC iPlayer iPad and iPhone apps.

Some people have seen a black screen, with audio only, appear while playing a programme; while others have told us that programmes were suddenly restarting while you were watching. I understand how frustrating it is to have programmes interrupted in this way.

We always take operational issues seriously and our technical teams have been working hard to diagnose the cause of these problems.

Today we identified an underlying issue at the Content Delivery Network (CDN) which provides the BBC and some other broadcasters with video distribution over the internet. Our CDN partner has now deployed a fix which should resolve both the black screen problem and the programmes restarting issue. We are monitoring this closely over the weekend to ensure everything is working as it should.

Many thanks for all your feedback on this and we appreciate your patience while we investigated the problem.

David Madden is Executive Product Manager for BBC iPlayer on mobile


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    I typed a question into this forum yesterday about a bug I have when attempting to use I-Player on my i-pod. It was not posted and I have not received a response. Can you tell me 1) If you have it and 2) If it is being dealt with??

  • Comment number 3.

    on iphone 3g (over wifi) the web version doesn't launch the media anymore, is this a known bug? (the app doesn't run on these phones)

  • Comment number 4.

    Thanks Grahamg, who is responsible for the change and why do I have an ipod if it doesn't allow me to use the application I found most useful! I tried downloading the i-player app but it will not work on the most up to date version which is frankly supid!

  • Comment number 5.

    My iPhone 3G running 4.2.1 is also broken... The 'click to play' button doesn't do anything at all when interacted with. Beep, any idea when this is going to be fixed??

  • Comment number 6.

    I have the same problem as other users. I bought an ipodtouch to listen to radio and it has been working perfectly until last week when the programmes loaded (radio 4extra) but the play button went in and dropped staight out again. This is very frustrating as a long (70 years - that's a lot of licence fees!) user of the BBC and I would like to know the reason for witholding content from me all of a sudden -please

  • Comment number 7.

  • Comment number 8.

    Regarding the problems with iPlayer on older iOS devices:-

    The link posted by DBOne suggests that there is a problem, which the BBC are looking into, while the "Can I access BBC iPlayer on my mobile phone? " page:-


    suggests that iOS under v4.3 is no longer supported, which would explain why iPhone 3Gs, etc cannot access iPlayer.

    As usual, the BBC is being very coy about this issue. It beggars belief that they could be so incompetent not to test whatever update caused this issue on iOS 4.2.x devices, so, given the info on the link (above), I have to assume this was some kind of planned obsolescence which they are now trying to roll back because of the storm of complaints from the 1000's of people who have older iOS devices.

  • Comment number 9.

    I have an iphone3 which played BBC iplayer programmes fine up until a few days ago, now it will not. The comments here seem to show this is happening widely - can the BBC advise on what can be done to restore service?
    Guy Holmes

  • Comment number 10.

    I accepted an update from apple for my iPad today and now - no Iplayer. Just a black screen and a message saying my device is "unsupported". I am quite distraught. Whole point of my iPad gone, really. Please help!

  • Comment number 11.

    I have the same issue as shellpicker2. I also accepted an apple ios5 upgrade and now no iplayer with a message saying my device is not supported. Surely almost all iPad users have an issue?

  • Comment number 12.

    Could you please tell me if its affecting the smart tvs,i have a lg one and since friday all its doing is buffering.Thanks for any advice.

  • Comment number 13.

    Same problem as Shellpicker2, I can no longer get iplayer on my iPad. Says this device is no longer supported. Any idea when this will be resolved?

  • Comment number 14.

    I'm also unable to access BBC iplayer, blank screen and message "this device is unsupported". Was fine until I downloaded the iOS5 upgrade. Hope it's fixed soon.

  • Comment number 15.

    Same problem as above: iPad iOS 5 upgrade - now a blank screen when I start BBC iPlayer, plus a message that the device is unsupported. Hope this can be resolved asap.

  • Comment number 16.

    Yup, same problem on iPad since IOS5.1 upgrade, my device is not supported....however can still access iplayer via app if this helps? Don't really know why one and not the other....

  • Comment number 17.

    Definitely seems to be ios5 upgrade that causes the 'your device is not supported' comment. Please fix this BBC!

  • Comment number 18.

    Also having trouble today. Getting an error message that the iplayer is not supported...on and iPad?

  • Comment number 19.

    When I try to access I player on an iPad 3 I am told the device is not supported. When will it be possible to use it?

  • Comment number 20.

    Why am I unable to access programmes on iPad2 since 7am on 16.3.12.

  • Comment number 21.

    Not happy. Just tried to use 'new' iPad (version3) as per other users only to be told my device is not supported. Absolutely gutted also. Will keep my fingers crossed for a fix

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    After a few days of having the iPlayer on my iPad on a monthly subscription, I was so pleased, I changed this to a yearly subscription. However, I have recently purchased an Apple TV and I am very disappointed to find that programmes will not stream from my iPad to my TV. There are many forums on this problem. Can you advise if you are taking steps to rectify this? JCWC

  • Comment number 24.


    Just to jump on the train:

    After upgrading my iPhone 4 to the latest version of IOS (5.1 - 9B176 according to the device settings), I noticed the BBC iPlayer App doesn't work any more (no stream getting in)...

    I hope the issue will soon be solved.

  • Comment number 25.

    I am only having problems with the app in connection with AppleTV. I can watch programmes directly on my iPad or IPhone without difficulty, but as soon as I try to connect to AppleTV the programme stops running. Is this connected to this same problem?

  • Comment number 26.

    I can't seem to get my BBC news app to update. It just keeps showing that it is refreshing but it has not update for 20 hour. What's the problem?

  • Comment number 27.

    I had been satisfactorily using the Global BBC iPlayer service in Canada until about a week ago when the app was upgraded. This seemed to fix a few problems at first but after a couple of days I was no longer able to play through Apple TV. This seems to be a recurring problem with other users. Please advise when a fix is likely to be put in place.

  • Comment number 28.

    @srelliott55 (#27)

    The Global BBC iPlayer is a separate product, produced by the BBC's commercial arm BBC Worldwide.

    This blog, on the other hand, is about the BBC's public service activities, so I'm afraid you won't get an answer to that question here.

    @alljls (#26)

    Similarly, this post isn't about the BBC News app.

  • Comment number 29.

    I'm in Canada and recently downloaded the BBC iplayer and began my subscription to BBC a couple of weeks ago to watch on my iPad 2 which is running IOS 4.3.
    Everything was going swimmingly until the last couple of days. Now I keep getting a message telling me I appear to be offline. My wifi is running fine and I have no problem running any other video streaming apps or browsers. I have tried restarting my iPad, uninstalling and reinstalling the iplayer app, turning off my wifi connection and signing again all to no avail. I have found nothing online to help me with this problem. I'm paying for service that's not being provided. Please help me!

  • Comment number 30.

    I am in Canada and for the last week my bbc on my iPhone has stopped and started, lost sound, lost picture and today seems to think I am offline when clearly I am not! What the heck is going on?! Hugely disappointing. I hope the BBC will compensate all of us in some way. Please fix this incredibly annoying problem!!

  • Comment number 31.

    I am experiencing the exact same thing as Tishbet and Andree since last night.
    Since we all pay for this service I'd like to know if the BBC will compensate its customers for the time the app doesnt work?
    Are there any reactions from BBC so far?

  • Comment number 32.

    Same issue as belgian user on ipad as the good folk in canada. Getting "not connected to internet wifi/3g" or/and "iplayer temporarily unavailable" errors. Very anoyed about this, as it's a paying service and I was just on a doctor who marathon ... Destrrrroy!

  • Comment number 33.

    After months of satisfactory use since the iPlayer app first became available in Australia, I've been experiencing exactly the same problem as described by Tishbet, Andree and Mrs_Exactly earlier today. My iPad has been displaying this message each time I have opened iPlayer today, which must be about 7 or 8 times. My WiFi is functioning perfectly and there is nothing in the iPad's settings affecting the functioning of iPlayer.

  • Comment number 34.

    I can't access iPlayer on my iPad 3. Message reads no wi-fi connection, but I am definitely connected. Any ideas please?

  • Comment number 35.

    I have been watching BBC Iplayer on my iphone 3 GS in Australia with no problems until a couple of days ago. I now constantly get where have you go you are offline. This is when I am on wifi inside the house next to the modem. I have rebooted the phone, modem with no joy. I am really not happy especially when I see this is not a stand alone problem and others are experiencing the same. Come on BBC sort it out we are paying for this service!

  • Comment number 36.


    As I mentioned (#28), the commercial global iPlayer is a completely separate product, from a different part of the BBC (BBC Worldwide). David Madden is not involved with the global BBC iPlayer.

    Although it's off-topic, since several people have experienced specific issues at the same time I shall leave comments up and forward them to BBC Worldwide.



  • Comment number 37.

    Thanks Ian, I appreciate it!

  • Comment number 38.

    Thanks Ian. I had noted your earlier comment but I'd reached a dead end trying to find anywhere to contact BBC Worldwide for help and I'm sure I can speak for the others who posted on here with the same problem. They really need to have support and technical help set up for overseas customers.
    Thanks again for passing our complaints along.

  • Comment number 39.

    Hi Ian. I agree with Tishbet that it was extremely difficult finding anyone on the BBC web site to contact about this problem. I spent a long time hunting through the site, eventually having to place a message in a general-purpose area where I did not feel confident it would be followed up. However, I am pleased to report that I received a message overnight saying that it had been a server problem and had now been fixed. All seems to be working well again now. But in case it helps save others in future the frustration of searching for someone to contact, the reply I received was said to be from BBCiPlayer@BBC.com so you could try reporting problems about the Global version of iPlayer direct to that address.

  • Comment number 40.

    We still have a problem with not being able to stream from our iPod to the tele using AppleTV (it tries hard with blank screen and spinning circle but never gets there...l very fruntrsting!). As with the others below this worked fine until March. Your fix doesn't seem to have solved this problem. Please take another look and fix this too please!

  • Comment number 41.

    To be clear about my previous comment, I am using the BBC Global iplayer from Austria. This may be, as Ian McDonald remarks, from a different part of the BBC but as others have said there is no other place to discuss this. Anyway, from the user's perspective the BBC is one so your reputation is involved too. So please continue to pass these comments on to BBC Worldwide and impress upon them how important it is to fix this - it was so good when it worked!! When you've been tempted with something and have it taken it away its worse than never having it in the first place! Please help!!

  • Comment number 42.

    I have an LG Smart TV which was working fine with iPlayer up until about three days ago (i.e. end April 2012), but now, the TV simply says "coming soon" when I try to access it. All other internet feeds to this TV are working fine, so I know it is not a network or connectivity problem (and I can access iPlayer fine from my laptop on the same network/DSL line. TV is at latest firmware level.
    Has anybody else experienced problems suddenly?

  • Comment number 43.

    I interacted with LG Customer Service in the UK and they confirmed that there is a problem with their server. For those who don't know (I didn't), when you click the applet on the TV, it goes to an LG-operated host on the Internet and requests code from there. At present, it is being served code which simply puts up a page on the screen saying "Coming soon" - the message is not generated at the television itself. No timescales were given by LG for a fix.


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