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xbmc iplayer plugin

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  • Message 1. Posted by Xboxer (U14349747) on Monday, 22nd February 2010 permalink

    The recent change in the iplayer streaming has had the effect of removing the BBC from my television. In my area the analog signal has been switched off and since then I have been using my old xbox to watch BBC programs
    The xbmc iplayer plugin does in no way interfere with the streaming nor does it allow anyone to save the stream in order to watch later. Can anyone explain why the BBC would want to withhold its content from license fee payers like me?

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  • Message 2. Posted by Xboxer (U14349747) on Monday, 22nd February 2010 permalink

    I have found a solution. Costs about £30 but enables permanent recording of iplayer content. www.maplin.co.uk/Mod... I'll give the xbmc guys a chance to fix the streaming problem before I buy.

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  • Message 3. Posted by Christian Haselwimmer (U14351094) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    I also use the XBMC iPlayer and am annoyed that this now does not work. I live in Cambridge, which has notoriously bad television reception and use my XBOX to catch up on BBC programmes.

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  • Message 4. Posted by Owlfat (U14351124) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    Up until the changes the BBC made I was using the Xbox Media Centre iplayer plugin to watch iplayer content on my television.

    I don't see any reason for the BBC to want to stop people from watching iplayer content on their televisions, especially seeing as the iplayer plugin doesn't do anything that the official website doesn't do (streams cannot be saved etc.).

    Why have the changes been made and could an exception be made for the XBMC plugin?

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  • Message 5. Posted by Jon (U14351147) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    It was with dismay that I found the plugin had stopped working - short of going out and spending hundreds of pounds on "legitimate" products, I now cant watch iPlayer through my TV. I can watch it on an iPhone, but it's hardly practical!

    A real shame - XBMC is a superb solution which puts most commercial media players to shame, and the iPlayer plugin was developed with complete respect for the restrictions the BBC implemented in the PC version of iPlayer.

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  • Message 6. Posted by petemcfc (U14351168) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    The plugin is distributed free,as is XBMC,so I cannot see any reason for the BBC not to support it.
    The XBOX 360 issue I fully understand but not this

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  • Message 7. Posted by Jon iPlayer Host (U8557168) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    If it is following the terms as described here we cannot support it iplayerhelp.external...

    Jonathan

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  • Message 8. Posted by Jon (U14351147) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    Jonathan,

    Thanks for the reply but that page seems to relate to RSS feeds?

    Jon

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  • Message 9. Posted by Owlfat (U14351124) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    Thanks for the reply Jonathan, but I don't quite understand. Did you mean to say that it cannot be supported if it is >not< following the terms?

    Still that page doesn't seem relevant to the iplayer plugin for XBMC.

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  • Message 10. Posted by dougalmac (U14351344) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    Please, please, please BBC. It would be wonderful if you are able to help the XBMC guys to allow this great plugin to work with iplayer again.

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  • Message 11. Posted by HitcherUK (U14351348) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    I'm also very disappointed that I can no longer catch up with shows I've missed using the iPlayer plugin for XBMC Media Player. I really don't want to go back to using the Wii or PS3 because they simply aren't as easy to use or as nice as XBMC.

    As a TV licence payer I'd like to know the reason why I can't use XBMC to watch what I've paid for.

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  • Message 12. Posted by matt (U8621220) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    As a TV licence payer

    You don't need a license to use iPlayer's catch-up facility. You only need one if you watch live streaming.

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  • Message 13. Posted by Owlfat (U14351124) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    I don't think he was implying that he had to be a licence fee payer to use Iplayer, I think he was just mentioning that his licence fee goes toward the Iplayer service.

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  • Message 14. Posted by Jon iPlayer Host (U8557168) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    From what I can tell, the XBMC plugin used our RSS feeds. The FAQ also states that we cannot support third-party applications that use our feeds.

    Jonathan

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  • Message 15. Posted by Jon (U14351147) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    Thanks Jonathan.

    I suppose we're not asking the BBC to "support" XBMC directly.

    Instead is there any possibility that XBMC clients can be added to some sort of whitelist to exclude them from the Adobe SWF Verification that was switched on to the Catch Up feed on 17th Feb?

    Jon

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  • Message 16. Posted by InNeedOfTea (U14351477) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    I also frequently used the iPlayer plugin on XBMC and was very disappointed to see it fail due to changes at the BBC's end.

    Up until last week it really improved my experience of watching iPlayer by making it accessible on my budget media centre. I imagine that it's very popular with most of the UK's XBMC's user base. It is certainly one of the most popular plugins on XBMC as can be seen by the fact that, even when functioning perfectly, the iPlayer plugin topic rarely leaves the first page of the XBMC forums (in the relevant section). Basically what I'm saying is that it was a popular, convenient, and well constructed way of delivering BBC iPlayer content to those who wanted to stream it.

    The plugin's developer(s) have always intended to keep its operation within the terms of the BBC, and not make any illicit use of content (streaming rather than downloading content, not changing format, keeping access within the UK, etc).

    I really hope we can get this excellent plugin working again soon - I'm already tired of getting my Winter Olympics fix on my little laptop screen!!

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  • Message 17. Posted by Did_I_Say_That (U14172075) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    I'm sure there's no malicious intent on the BBC's side other than to ensure the streams they provide for their own services meet the copyright holders interests. If it was easy (relatively speaking) for the XBMC to develop it as far as they had, then I'm sure there's going to be the same amount of relative ease to get it back working.

    It looks to be one of the expected effects of an update for unsupported services. It not the BBC that have to comply with the change, its the XBMC devs.

    However, if the BBC made the update deliberately so as to offer its own proper BBC branded iPlayer product, then I'm not sure that there's anything wrong with it.

    Ultimately, its what you get when you support hacks!

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  • Message 18. Posted by InNeedOfTea (U14351477) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    I do realise that there was no malicious intent in the alterations the BBC made to their streaming. The problem is that the plugin's users and developers would very much like to stay within the law (including the BBC's own Terms & Conditions) in using the plugin! As I understand it the latest changes make it very difficult to do so without obtaining direct permission for exemption from SWF verification from the content holder (SWF verification is not supported by XBMC) .

    The "same amount of relative ease to get the player working again" quote simply does not apply because it's not simply a matter of getting it working, but getting it working legally, and with everyone's' interests satisfied. Which I believe is why discussion has moved over here to the BBC forums, as the BBC needs to be satisfied that the XBMC plugin is not a malicious use of the iPlayer before we can move on.

    I do also appreciate that these more 'hacky' solutions do break from time-to-time. However in this instance the problem is more complicated than just in the programming of the plugin. It would seem a shame to lose such a good quality way of watching iPlayer when nobody seems to win; the user loses the best way of watching the content, and the content providers end up losing a way of delivering that content. At the same time providing (in the eyes of the user) a lower quality of service due to the the user being restricted to a less comfortable viewing situation. And all this while the user wants to legally enjoy the BBC's content using a solution that, were it not for this recent complication, is already there!

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  • Message 19. Posted by Xboxer (U14349747) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    Jonathan,
    Would it be possible for the BBC iplayer team to have a look at this situation? Nobody expects the plugin to be supported by the BBC but maybe there could be some sort of easy accomodation? I have no idea of the technical details at issue here but could someone possibly spare a bit of time to talk to the developer? It may well be that nothing can be done but it would be such a shame for this popular service to die without at least seeing if a simple fix could be agreed.

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  • Message 20. Posted by Dink (U14352108) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    Jon

    Just to clarifiy the situation here is some background info. The software being discussed runs on the popular open source media center software XBMC (see http://xbmc.org for more info). It is implemented as a Plugin which extends XBMC to provide an IPlayer client (see code.google.com/p/xb... )

    The XBMC plugin sought to provide the best possible IPlayer TV experience.

    ... it runs on a wide range of hardware platforms and OSs: PCs, Macs, Apple TV, ARM boxes. Running any of Windows, OSX or Linux
    ... It can run on low power hardware as it uses efficient software and has the ability to use hardware H.264 acceleration
    ... has a UI that's optimized for use by a remote
    ... has a UI that's works well on both SD and HD TVs
    ... gives the user fine grained control of playback - exactly which stream is used (important for bandwidth and bandwidth caps) and how it's decoded (what looks best on my setup).

    The problem is that late last week the IPlayer streams started using SWF Verficiation. This is an Adobe provided mechanism which seeks to ensure that only offical clients can access the RTMP streams. Being an unoffical client which isn't on a whitelist the XBMC Iplayer plugin is therefore locked out.

    Regards
    Dink (plugin developer)

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