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iPlayer HD - iffy again :-(

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  • Message 1. Posted by Fred (U14543309) on Friday, 11th February 2011 permalink

    I had a few problems with iplayer and HD in the past - www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb... for example. But this was eventually solved with an early Flash 10.1 and (as I remember) mainly by an update or change the the format the BBC used for their HD streamed videos. All then seemed well.

    However, after a while it seems its back. I have just updated my Flash to 10.2.152.26 (or similar, anyway the latest upgrade as of 11-2-11) and it seems HD iPlayer streamed to Opera 11.01 is very jerky again. Standard def is OK but not as totally smooth as I remember it.

    So the basic question, is iPlayer HD still supposed to be OK or has the recent Opera 11.01 or the new Flash 10.2 made things incompatible once again?

    I'm running on a netbook (Samsung N220) with a Broadcom HD decoder. All was well after last years BBC alteration to its HD streaming format. But as I say, after my recent updates to Opera and/or today's flash update, HD is bad again.

    Youtube HD (even 1080) is still fine on the same PC.


    Any suggestions.

    complain

  • Message 2. Posted by Fred (U14543309) on Friday, 11th February 2011 permalink

    A bit of extra info, it seems to me the fault is exactly the same as last time (before the BBC format change).

    Even to the point that the HD 'Cat/Lion' trailer plays fine but the program is a virtual slideshow on this PC.

    So, originally had the problem, fixed by a BBC update to the format used, and at sometime (I think after the recent Flash 10.2 update) the fault is back.

    I've now tried IE (with the new ActiveX) and firefox with the new plugin as well. All three browsers have the same issue now.

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  • Message 3. Posted by jwsg (U14223122) on Saturday, 12th February 2011 permalink

    We first noticed problems back in December so the best guess is that there was an encoder change at the end of November. This stopped acceleration for HD streaming (FLASH 10.1 / 10.2) and HD downloads (Air 2.5.1). This returned things to as they were last Spring.

    As there is no proper defect reporting system, change control process, or release roadmap, it is impossible to predict whether some equally random future change will correct things.

    In the meantime iPlayer priority seems to be headline-grabbing "apps" to view programmes on postage stamp sized screens.

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  • Message 4. Posted by Fred (U14543309) on Saturday, 12th February 2011 permalink

    jwsg, thanks for the info.

    That seems a shame, after fixing the problem to then let it return. I'd not used iPlayer HD for a while, only standard, so hadn't noticed.

    Oh well, at least its not something on my PC.

    Once again thanks for the info.


    >>>>> To the BBC tech staff (if anyone reads this forum) Why has this occurred? Having fixed the fault, why re-introduce it?

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  • Message 5. Posted by Fred (U14543309) on Tuesday, 15th February 2011 permalink

    Bump - Any BBc techs want to comment?
    Have you altered anything in your file format (again?)

    If not, any ideas what to test? YouTube HD plays fine on the same PC.

    complain

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  • Message 6. Posted by Fred (U14543309) on Monday, 21st February 2011 permalink

    Bump - Any BBc techs want to comment?
    Have you altered anything in your file format (again?)

    If not, any ideas what to test? YouTube HD plays fine on the same PC.

    Bump - "Who said that"?

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  • Message 7. Posted by spencer_uk (U14793998) on Wednesday, 23rd February 2011 permalink

    Hi - I also have started seeing problems on HD Content. Please can someone take a look at it? YouTube HD is fine ruling out a problem with Flash but BBC HD is stuttering badly.

    Please can someone confirm what the problem is and whether a fix is coming? It is especially crippling for us Atom / ION PC owners. Much appreciated.

    Spencer

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  • Message 8. Posted by boo (U14794262) on Wednesday, 23rd February 2011 permalink

    hi am having the same problem HD channel very jerky since i bough my Full HD monitor i never get a good HD on iplayer even if i download it on my iplayer desktop but no problem on youtube and skyplayer.hope someone will fine a solution.

    complain

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  • Message 9. Posted by spencer_uk (U14793998) on Sunday, 27th February 2011 permalink

    *bump* - can anyone from the beeb please provide feedback?

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  • Message 10. Posted by Fred (U14543309) on Monday, 28th February 2011 permalink

    yep couldn't agree more.

    I've been in touch via the 'contact us' web form as well, but even after sending an annoying* email and three or four annoying* replies to their (the BBCs nonsense) answers of course nothing is done and they now appear to have stopped answering the emails.

    So I've specifically pointed out this post and others on the forum referring to dodgy iPlayer HD, I've specifically pointed out last years fix post - www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb... and explained each time that I don't have a fault, they (the BBC) do.

    But all you get back is nonsense like "please test your link speed" and "please check you meet the specifications for iPlayer" - The only specification I can find seems to specify "a modern PC" and then refers to the Adobe site, and my PC meets the specs listed their.


    Come on BBC, I know this forum is possibly closing and you may not refer to it as often as you used too, but whats the excuse for the hopeless 'contact us' support?

    Please confirm or deny this as an iPlayer fault, and if it is fix it as you did last year (only this time, leave it fixed!).


    annoying* - I say annoying as the form asks too many repetitive questions before you can get to the point and then limits you to only 350 characters. Its not always easy to describe a technical fault in only 350 characters. But even then, once you have gone through all that when the BBC do reply (or should I say IF they reply) you cannot just reply to their email. Oh no, you have to go through all that nonsense form AGAIN (entering the same info as before) and then are limited to 350 characters again. Surely, it should be possible to just reply to an email once you receive one from the BBC?

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  • Message 11. Posted by Fred (U14543309) on Thursday, 10th March 2011 permalink

    The BBC support people have replied to my complaint report :-) , as follows:

    "Please note that according to our development team’s confirmation a few checks were made on your behalf with the various teams that comprise BBC iPlayer. What we can confirm is that the last change to HD streaming delivery on BBC iPlayer occurred over 6 months ago. There have been no changes in February. We’re unable to check if there have been any changes with Adobe Flash."

    So apparently, according to them nothing has changed in their HD format. (Not sure where the Feb date came from or was that when my first recent query went it?)

    >>>> Can anyone confirm please if they are having difficulties watching HD with hardware acceleration on netbooks/laptops or possibly even PCs, that have HD decoders, or is it just me?

    Or is there anyone who can analyze the BBC file format to see if that header/flag interlaced/non-interlaced thing has changed back (way beyond me I'm afraid).

    All I know is, After last years apparent fix it was working fine and early this year I noticed it was bad again. Anyone else?


    Thanks.

    complain

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  • Message 12. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Thursday, 10th March 2011 permalink

    I am sure I remember being able to reply to BBC emails, but maybe they have since changed the system or it only applied if you use the complaint option.

    The silly 350 characters limit on technical matters can be circumvented by a BBC sanctioned method of entering info in the additional second box see thread
    "Contact Form Comments: 350 character limit, is this new?"
    - www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

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  • Message 13. Posted by Fred (U14543309) on Wednesday, 16th March 2011 permalink

    HD issue - thanks to the BBC for finally responding, appreciated.

    Fellow HD-ers, just received this from the BBC:

    "We are now aware that there is an issue with Adobe Flash hardware acceleration and investigating. We hope to resolve the problem in the next upgrade. Please accept are apologies for the inconvenience caused."

    Unfortunately, no dates given ;-( But at least they are now working on it, so it could be back soon :-)

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  • Message 14. Posted by Fred (U14543309) on Tuesday, 22nd March 2011 permalink

    just FYI -

    I had one more attempt to get a release date and if they would tell me whats being fixed streaming HD wise.

    No such luck. Apparently 'it' (whatever it is they are going to fix) will be fixed in an update. No details of what or when.

    Apparently an announcement will be made when the fix is released, and therefore when we get HD acceleration back.

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  • Message 15. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Friday, 25th March 2011 permalink

    I often think it seems rather frustrating trying to wring information out of the BBC. This messageboard will no doubt be closed permanently prior to any such upgrade. www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    I guess fixing problems and answering enquiries costs the BBC money, but does nothing to increase its revenue.

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  • Message 16. Posted by Fred (U14543309) on Friday, 25th March 2011 permalink

    Yer, I tend to agree.

    I guess its just a "pat on the head and now sit quietly in the corner" type reply, i.e."tell him what he wants to hear and hopefully he'll go away".

    Maybe harsh, time will tell. But I can't think it should take months and months to fix a browser streaming HD fault.

    Maybe not.

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  • Message 17. Posted by Fred (U14543309) on Friday, 25th March 2011 permalink

    PS - also seems odd to me that from the BBCs reply, they dont seem to know when the fix will be released or exactly what/how its gonna be fixed.

    Sounds a bluff maybe?

    Time will tell.

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  • Message 18. Posted by john (U14858518) on Monday, 2nd May 2011 permalink

    **Bump**

    I have the same problem.

    Still nothing?

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  • Message 19. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Tuesday, 3rd May 2011 permalink

    I do not use HD, but if the Hardware Acceleration is faulty on HD, then given that it is a feature the BBC blogged about as an improvement, then it should work.

    If the BBC are promising to fix this in private emails to users they should also make an announcement/faq so all users or potential users are aware of this, or alternatively it should just say it is no longer provided, and again announce this.

    Anyone into flogging dead donkeys could try making a formal complaint and escalating it. Whilst it is unlikely letting off steam on the messageboard will get a BBC response the BBC do have a duty to follow complaints procedures. This or a similar problem did of course occur previously, and take quite a while to be resolved, so it may be worth the time and effort of complaining.

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  • Message 20. Posted by jwsg (U14223122) on Thursday, 5th May 2011 permalink

    As far as I can tell the situation hasn't changed since December. Anyone with a smaller PC relying on GPU accelration to help out their CPU for iPlayer HD will be stuck.

    The diagnosis is the same as over the last twelve months - a header flag forces Flash to use the Software decode path. There was a patched version of Flash around last year and that still plays current HD OK - obviously it's based on an old version - but it proves the point.

    Why BBC haven't yet reversed the encoder change of last December is beyond me. I doubt it affects many people though, especially as set-top boxes, blu-ray players, etc now often support iPlayer HD.

    It still means I shall have to shell out £250 for a Freeview HD PVR instead of just using my existing PC - so this is a real problem for some of us.

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