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Darren Waters

iPlayer on the PlayStation 3

  • Darren Waters
  • 14 Apr 08, 09:07 GMT

Last week I wrote about the BBC doing a deal with Nintendo to get the iPlayer on the Wii.

I also speculated about the reasons why Nintendo was the first of the current generation of consoles to get the iPlayer, rather than the 360 or PS3.

Top Gear on the iPlayerI felt that Microsoft's need to swallow the iPlayer into the Xbox Live network may have been a step too far for the BBC, while the situation with PS3 seemed a bit more opaque because a small tweak to the console's built-in browser should have the iPlayer up and running very easily.

Well, it looks like some enterprising PS3 owner has acted unprompted to get the iPlayer up and running on the PS3.

Type the URL ps3iplayer.com in a PS3 browser and it will play streaming iPlayer programmes.

I've not tried it myself but comments on some blogs report mixed success with getting it to work.

The creator of ps3iplayer.com also has some choice words for the BBC:

It's mainly a demonstration of how easily the BBC could support the PS3 with their Wii version. This does nothing more than mask your PS3's user-agent string and makes half a dozen changes to make the JavaScript and CSS function correctly on the PS3. It only took a day to produce, so come on BBC - how about implementing this properly?


UPDATE:

It's clear this development hasn't gone unnoticed inside the BBC. Anthony Rose, the BBC's head of of digital media technology, has written on our sister blog, the BBC Internet blog, about ps3iplayer.com

He's impressed. He also says iPlayer on PS3 is being investigated and will be launched officially "in due course".

I hope PS3 owners are pleased.

Comments

  • 1.
  • At 10:54 AM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

I tried it, but the quality is very poor and it's not the easiest way to find your way around iPlayer (you have to fiddle with zoom to get full-screen for example).

I hope that Sony work with the BBC to produce something official for the PS3 - there's plenty of potential. The unofficial release at least shows that there's demand.

For now, I have plugged an old PC and a wireless keyboard into the back of the TV and hey presto, full-screen iPlayer! The quality is more than watchable, even through the Flash-based streaming which I am using.

  • 2.
  • At 10:58 AM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

The iPlayer is a piece of genius and easily used on so many devices. I catch up programs I missed on my iPhone when I am out and about. As said in the article if you have browser on the device people will get the iPlayer working.

  • 3.
  • At 11:22 AM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • BG wrote:

Opening up one of the most popular video on demand services to a wider user base may be good for the consumer in theory, but consider how much extra bandwidth this is likely to consume, if ISP's are already complaining about this service and looking to take a slice of the BBC license fee to pay for upgrades to their networks, so that they can handle the additional load.

ISP's in the UK need to get in gear and sort out fibre sooner, rather than later, otherwise it'll be bottlenecked within the year, whoch will ultimately hurt our experience and their profilts as users will learn to shop around for the highest grade network providers.

I also don't think that consumers are going to be put off by being asked for a higher rate to access a stable and higher capacity network solution. I know I'd pay extra if I could have uncapped, continual access to a fibre network.

  • 4.
  • At 11:35 AM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Joules wrote:

And so the march of the iPlayer continues. Good stuff.

Now the BBC just needs to extend the iPlayer to iTunes. This will solve the download problem on Macs, and let us watch it on iPod, iPhone and AppleTV.

The iTunes platform has all the DRM capabilities that the BBC needs to offer UK-only, free-to-download, time-expired downloads. And it would work perfectly well alongside the offerings from BBC Worldwide.

  • 5.
  • At 11:41 AM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Darren wrote:

I love using the iplayer to catch up of programmes I've missed and forgot to record. I do hope the BBC will strike a deal with Sony and get a PSP version up and running soon.

  • 6.
  • At 12:23 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Andrew wrote:

I own a 360 and would dearly love the Iplayer to be on xbox live. I dont see why microsft would not meet BBC demands so that we could have to Iplayer. Why not have a BBC blade for all 360 users in Britain?. Or for that matter blades by other operators that u could pick and choose from?

  • 7.
  • At 12:36 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • andy wrote:

The BBC have done a great job with the iPlayer, and indeed an even better job with their new website design, but focusing on streaming - i'm looking forward to the time when faster internet speeds are made available (and affordable) so that we can stream programmes in high definition.

I would rather watch Life In Cold Blood in high definition, rather than a pixelated stream on my LCD TV.

So until that day, i'm not particularly bothered about any streaming services for my PS3. However, I would change my mind if I was able to access the iPlayer from my 2nd Life apartment when "Home" for PS3 is released....

  • 8.
  • At 12:39 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

Works very well, you can even use the remote play facility on the PS3 to view the iPlayer on your PSP!

  • 9.
  • At 12:42 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Paul wrote:

Would be nice if this also came to the 360.

  • 10.
  • At 01:02 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Simon wrote:

I've just started using the iPlayer, it is very good on my PC setup but only if I use the Peer to Peer download option!

The PS3 would need this download option too as not all ISP's provide a decent bandwidth to STREAM through and of course like me you use a wireless connection, the stream is even less stable.

One more weakness is the LACK of HD downloadable content. Surely the Beeb can sort this out. The stream on my 50" Plasma is too poor to watch. I don't believe consumers should PUT UP with the lower quality. Shout louder everyone - we'll get heard (eventually)

  • 11.
  • At 01:05 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • ian strange wrote:

Never mind all this gadget technology
I just want HD BBC through my HDTV
and not have to pay SKY for it. I pay enough already via the licence fee.

BBC get your priorities right.

We are all encouraged to get HD ready and yet the UKs public broadcaster uses does not provide this over freeview. Why not!?

BG; ISP's really have nothing to do with getting fibre to your house.

That's BT's job, you do know that they still run most of the UK's network right?

Virgin / NTL are already on fibre and there are various other local suppliers, but BT need to sort this out so that the ISP's and the customers benefit.

However, why have the BBC suddenly become a target? How much bandwidth does youtube and the like (and there are many) consume. Not to mention all of the p0rn that gets streamed / downloaded.

The ISP's are targeting the BBC as it's a high profile and very public target.

  • 13.
  • At 01:19 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Neil wrote:

Although end users probably won't care, it seems a shame that the lack of peer-to-peer on these new versions of iPlayer isn't receiving any coverage. P2P despite not removing bandwidth issues, could certainly reduce the impact and allow for more scalable results (especially at the source: the BBC presumably has to pay for quite substantial bandwidth to stream all the files).

  • 14.
  • At 01:56 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • chris carberry wrote:

Xbox 360 wireless users have been able to use I-Player since it started. Basically you download the BBC program to your PC - then stream the show through your 360 and onto your normal TV. Quality is almost the same as broadcast and its very easy to do.

  • 15.
  • At 02:16 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Tim Nicholson wrote:

OK, very clever, but when is it coming out for Linux? Many of the new range of mini laptops, like the Asus eee, are now shipping with Linux rather than XP/Vista and we are all having to put up with the flash plug-in version of iplayer! How about the full blown product for those of us who have moved beyond Microsoft.

And while you're at it, get the blog engine fixed, I have lost count of the number of times I have pressed post!

  • 16.
  • At 02:17 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • David Cranson wrote:

I've tried using the iPlayer on my Broadband (3.5 MB) cpnnection and it stops to re-load every 30 secs or so. It may be very good in general terms, but as far as I can see doesn't work very well . . .

  • 17.
  • At 02:27 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Tim Nicholson wrote:

OK, very clever, but when is it coming out for Linux? Many of the new range of mini laptops, like the Asus eee, are now shipping with Linux rather than XP/Vista and we are all having to put up with the flash plug-in version of iPlayer! How about the full blown product for those of us who have moved beyond Microsoft on their Desktop.

And while you're at it, please get this blog engine fixed, I have lost count of the number of times I have pressed post only to get a 502 back from the server!

  • 18.
  • At 02:27 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Lee wrote:

Any chance that the iPlayer will be made available outside of the UK.

As an expat, it is a great way to keep up with events back home, and the iPlayer (via PS3) would surely be a good option....

  • 19.
  • At 02:32 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Richard wrote:

It's great news that there is a working (unofficial) version of iplayer for the ps3. Full screen works fine for me so I'm not sure why others are struggling with it. My only gripe is that the bit rate needs increasing for decent viewing on a large telly. It does sound as though they plan to increase video quality at some point though which I can't wait to see.

  • 20.
  • At 02:43 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Anon wrote:

I love the iPlayer and was disappointed when I found it would not work on my PS3 (and yet it works fine on my ipod). However I checked out this site when I heard about it and while it isnt perfect, its good enough (just dont try and watch it full screen)

Good news, even if I don't own a console.
Maybe now the ISPs will take notice and either improve the service they offer their customers.
They sell us 8Mbit links, and bank on 75% of the users to only browse the odd website or get email.
If everyone tried to use their full bandwidth at once, the system would die horribly. I know I can't use the streaming iPlayer in the early evenings because the network link from here is just too busy to do it without stopping every 2 minutes to rebuffer.
The ISPs can't complain it's the BBC's fault, the BBC pays for their connection to the backbone, their own servers and their own bandwidth. These people need to talk BT into installing more fibre links from their exchanges to get more bandwidth. Internet usage is only going to go up. And we're stuck with 19th century copper to do most of the work. The US is in this hole now, are we going to follow them?

  • 22.
  • At 02:53 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Dave Walker wrote:

I have a similar experience to David Cranson - iPlayer stalls a couple of times per minute and is unwatchable. In comparison, 4oD works a treat over my 8Mb Virgin connection.

  • 23.
  • At 03:08 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Phil wrote:

Mr. Anthony Rose, the *HEAD* of BBC digital media doesnt seem to have the foresight of a part-time enthusiast who created a very simple workaround to get iPlayer on PS3. Moreover Mr Rose offers him a job at BBC for that! May be its time to move on and leave the space for someone who knows what they're really doing Mr. Rose?

  • 24.
  • At 03:18 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • David Gaston wrote:

why not do a check between the wii,ps3 and pc.

this way it is easier to control!

Ian Strange - "We are all encouraged to get HD ready and yet the UKs public broadcaster uses does not provide this over freeview. Why not!?"

That would be because there isn't enough bandwidth and even after analogue is turned off Ofcom see £ signs and are selling the spectrum off rather than use it to improve Freeview. With some heavy tinkering there is talk of up to 4 HD channels however they will be broadcast in a different format to those used on SD Freeview atm so you will be needing a new HD compatible Freeview box!

Andy - "I would rather watch Life In Cold Blood in high definition, rather than a pixelated stream on my LCD TV."

Wouldn't we all but it was never fully recorded in HD so even us SkyHD customers don't get to see it in full detail!

  • 26.
  • At 03:34 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Ben Stevens wrote:

I used this last night to watch doctor who. was great just wish it was official so the quality could be improved!!

Come on BBC we pay the licence fee too you know!

BBC & Sony get your heads together and get this launched ASAP!!!!

Would be fantastic on the PSP too.

Sony are releasing PLAY TV later this year so they might not want to commit to something with the BBC but this just goes to show there is a high demand for this service.

  • 27.
  • At 03:48 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Jon wrote:

iPlayer is still crying out for a 10ft interface for Windows MediaCenter. Given that it started out on windows PCs this is surely a glaring omission, missing out a large chunk of the windows users most likely to capitalize on the service. In addition the horrible naming convention used for downloaded files, plus all the extra trailers and cut scenes that download separately, make it difficult to work around this lack of interface.

Also I second Tim Nicholson: Trying to post this message has given me multiple errors before actually posting.

  • 28.
  • At 03:54 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • kker wrote:

works fine for me!

  • 29.
  • At 03:54 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Declan Toman wrote:

PS3 and Xbox360 users can already watch iplayer content through their console, providing they download the files to their PC and use WMP11's built in upnp media service to share to their console. This works very well.

  • 30.
  • At 04:14 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Simon wrote:

"It seems a shame that the lack of peer-to-peer on these new versions of iPlayer isn't receiving any coverage.

That's actually a positive. I won't install the Iplayer on my PC as the Kontiki service continues to use P2P technology and hog my bandwidth - even when I'm not using the application!

At least with the WiiPlayer you know your bandwidth isn't being used when you're not using it.

  • 31.
  • At 04:20 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Alan wrote:

i can't think of any use for the iplayer as i have virgin media and if i miss any programs on the bbc i can watch them at full res on my tv

also i aggree with the IPS's the bbc make a mint from the licence fee and should contrubte to the cost of upgrading BT's network as that is where the bottle neck lies and also if you have software like this that is running on a 2MB or higher bb speed there should not be any probs with streaming content so the software will need to be looked at as well, just take a look at Veoh Tv to see how it should be done.

  • 32.
  • At 04:24 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Aaron T wrote:

I thought Microsoft had partnered with BT already to bring IPTV to Xbox 360? In that case, surely the infrastructure is already in place on their end for services like the iPlayer. Why not bring it into the fold?

That said, I'm sure once the PS3 gets in on the action Microsoft won't be far behind. Xbox Live could use the content here in Europe, unlike in the US where it's swamped with stuff to watch.

  • 33.
  • At 06:00 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • s clough wrote:

how about i player for mobile phone?i have nokia e65.

  • 34.
  • At 06:16 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Tzuri wrote:

who ever is complaining about the iplayer being rubbish on the ps3 is a cry baby.... it works like a charm......... yeah the pic isnt out of this world *even on my hd tv* and u have to ajust it and zoom a little to fit it on the screen but to tell the truth.... who cares!!! untill sony sorts it out its better then nothing no??? so stop complaying and start watching dr or top gear!!!lol


  • 35.
  • At 06:52 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Aleks Lukic wrote:

Like someone has said you can download iPlayer programmes to your PC using the download manager and stream them using Media Sharing to your Xbox 360 over a home network, this is how I watch all iPlayer programmes.

Also the reason we'll need new boxes to watch HD over FreeView is HD broadcasts are broadcast in the more modern and efficient MPEG-4 format instead of the MPEG-2 format used by current FreeView. It saves bandwidth and allows for a higher quality picture.

  • 36.
  • At 07:18 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Declan wrote:

PS3 and Xbox360 users can already watch iplayer content through their console, provided they download the programmes and then use wmp11 to stream them to their console. This works very well and the quality is considerably better than the flash streams.

  • 37.
  • At 09:33 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Tony wrote:

" tried it, but the quality is very poor" - actually if you go to "play full screen" and then zoom it's perfectly viewable - certainly better than missing something. Well done these guys caught the Beeb napping again.

  • 38.
  • At 09:45 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Simon Dale wrote:

There is also a working iPlayer script for XBMC on the original Xbox.

Its really superb. It works by masquerading as an iPhone. The interface is nicely done and none of the scrolling mentioned on the Wii and PS3 version.

You can see screenshots/ download it here:
http://code.google.com/p/xbmc-iplayer/

The fact that the BBC have made the content available for the iPlayer is great. Well done BBC!

  • 39.
  • At 09:45 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Richard Harris wrote:

When will a TV manufacturer include BBC iPlayer with a WiFi connection?

  • 40.
  • At 09:55 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Simon Dale wrote:

There is also a working iPlayer script for XBMC on the original Xbox.

Its really superb. It works by masquerading as an iPhone. The interface is nicely done and none of the scrolling mentioned on the Wii and PS3 version.

You can see screenshots/ download it here:
http://code.google.com/p/xbmc-iplayer/

The fact that the BBC have made the content available for the iPlayer is great. Well done BBC!

  • 41.
  • At 11:34 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Chris Guildford wrote:

As if there was anything worth watching in the first place.

  • 42.
  • At 11:41 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Peter Hurst wrote:

Why invest all this money to protect the content and self destruct it? Does it stop piracy? No - PVRs are a lot easier for that (especially those with transfer abilities like Humax and Topfield).

SO we're making the unmissable missable if it's over a week old. Or you have Linux - come on BBC - you spent so long forcing us to install RealPlayer with its spyware - come over to the enlightened side!

  • 43.
  • At 11:55 PM on 14 Apr 2008,
  • Chris Cantrell wrote:

I think the BBC needs to remember that it is the viewers that pay their wages and that they are the ones that should be flexible to reach their audience.

  • 44.
  • At 01:00 AM on 15 Apr 2008,
  • Richard Harrison wrote:

How about a Mac version first? Priorities guys... gees.

  • 45.
  • At 06:04 AM on 15 Apr 2008,
  • Nick Thomas wrote:

Great Wii, PS3, iPhone.

What about Windows Mobile Smartphones / PPC's? They already run a cut down Windows Media Player. Also I bet there are a heck of a lot more WM users than iPhone.

  • 46.
  • At 08:18 AM on 15 Apr 2008,
  • Alex wrote:

Just bring out internationally for crying out loud...

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