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BBC iPlayer 2.0: Promotional Video

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Erik Huggers Erik Huggers | 10:32 UK time, Thursday, 26 June 2008

Yesterday, we unveiled the next-generation BBC iPlayer - launching as a beta today and running alongside the existing site till 7 July.

For the first time, BBC audiences will get the BBC's TV and Radio content truly in one place, together and fully integrated. This joins up two world-leading BBC products for our audiences, taking our on-demand services to a whole new level.

Look out for improved categories, bigger playback screen, TV schedules, last played and much more.

On top of that, sound quality will be better and we will offer smooth navigation between BBC Radio and TV programmes opening up whole new areas to users - like Jonathan Ross on TV and Radio, all with a great new User Experience including swoopy carousels! Why not take a peek at the latest promotional film?

In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions

Anthony Rose has more details here.

Erik Huggers is Group Controller, BBC Future Media & Technology


  • Comment number 1.

    Erik - is the video working properly? I keep getting the message "This content isn't available at the moment".

    Title: akamai:AkamaiServiceError.AKAMAI_API
    Description: Connection attempt failed
    Code: 18


  • Comment number 2.

    saxsux - seems to be working when I click on the link. I will investigate.

    Nick Reynolds (editor, BBC Internet blog)

  • Comment number 3.

    video OK here
    How do I access the beta iPlayer?

  • Comment number 4.

    Video seems to work for me too.

    and echo to what allybalder asked - how do we access the iPlayer beta? I tried bbc.co.uk/iplayerbeta just in case - but was prompted for username and password. I assume this is related - but it's worth a question I think.

  • Comment number 5.

    Is version 2 going to introduce the kind of flexibility that's avaiable just about everywhere else on the internet, e.g. Youtube, to let the whole clip buffer and then to be able to click around different parts of it?

    The current version is a nightmare, even on our home broadband which isn't lightning fast by today's standards but is still almost 2Mb. It stops and starts constantly. I keep trying to watch clips on the Doctor Who website, but I always end up giving up and going to see them on Youtube instead.

    Of course this would be far less of a problem if I was able to download a fully-functioning Mac version of the p2p iplayer! Where is it?

  • Comment number 6.

    christownsend - I've not seen it mentioned so far - I'd have thought they would have made quite a point of talking about it too if it was to be included in this upcoming release.

    It's not such an issue for me as a I'm mainly a MS based user. That said, I do use bit of linux, mac and have an iPod touch too.

    In short - if you don't end up with a full response from the Beeb, my opinion is that it's highly unlikely.

  • Comment number 7.

    I thought RSS feeds were going to be part of this release?

    I'm looking at the beta and can't see them.

  • Comment number 8.

    Looks good, but the time left to see each show needs to be clearer.

  • Comment number 9.

    I'm really liking the direction iplayer is going.

    I've tried it out on my ipod touch and like the fact that it has a more appropriate UI for the smaller screen.

    Thank you for using this new iplayer site as an opportunity to start moving away from RealPlayer streaming. Would it be possible to have iphones and itouches play radio programmes in a future release? As internet connections become ever more ubiquitious being able to listen iplayer radio on a portable device would be a feature I'd love to see.

    I understand that would be a lot of transcoding however with a workflow established for getting TV shows in a compatable format I'd encourage the devs to consider this for the future.

  • Comment number 10.


    Where do we post our comments on the beta? I have found some minor issues with Firefox on the Mac.

    The sound quality for radio sounds better - is that just my imagination?

    Oh - and thank you so much for resurrecting the old BBC Owl - really brought back the memories - I got my first BBC Micro when I was five!

  • Comment number 11.

  • Comment number 12.

    Everything I watch says it is not currently available - TV and radio... Bit frustrating!

  • Comment number 13.

    This is the url for the iPlayer beta:


    Nick Reynolds (editor, BBC Internet blog)

  • Comment number 14.

    Can I ask what [self-censored] decided that, when you move the mouse for any reason in full-screen mode, a GREAT BIG BAR covers up half the screen with pictures of other crap? And can this please, please, please, PLEASE be completely removed, without any trace remaining, by Jul 7?

    Seriously, this is the most incredibly irritating thing the BBC has done since the news website relaunch...

  • Comment number 15.

    I am using Safari 3.1 on Mac OS X. The right-hand panel on the homepage which is supposed to contain last-played programs doesn't work for me! It just retainis Chris Evans' ugly mug with all the default text, and a 'clear' button at the top.

  • Comment number 16.

    @ptreble, I'm seeing the same here with Safari 3.1.1 on 10.5.3. It's really odd because, as you say, the clear button appears but the actual panel still contains the welcome text.


  • Comment number 17.

    Great to see the BBC taking a step forward.

    However, where were the usability experts when the BBC where designing this 2.0 version?

    For someone who has used the original bbc iplayer (1.0?) and then moved into the 2.0 version, it sure is a eye sore. Everything is so easy to access and navigate in iplayer 1.0, but it seems to be the 2.0 version includes unnecessary extras. The home page is cram packed with too much information; where am I supposed to look.

    It is really necessary to have the scroll of videos on the main page in addition to the smaller widgets showing one sports/news TV feature?

    1.0 worked very well, selecting the drop down menu showing the listings for the past 7 days allowed simple and easy navigation and a easy way to divide content up. I may be missing it, but it does not seem this feature is carried forward into 2.0. One has to browse by each channel and then select the day.

    A step forward in providing more content to the license payers this may be. Concerning the usability and transition from 1.0 to 2.0, I do not think the BBC has thought this through well enough and hope to see changes before 1.0 is replaced with 2.0.


  • Comment number 18.

    I also keep getting the following error when trying to view video or live feeds:

    "This content is not available at present":

    Description: Connection attempt failed
    Code: 18

    Any ideas how to solve the problem?
    It seemed to start from approx Wednesday 21/6/08 or Thursday 22/6/08?

  • Comment number 19.

    I get this content isn't available at the moment

    Copied the follwowing error.

    Title: akamai:AkamaiServiceError.AKAMAI_API
    Description: Connection attempt failed
    Code: 18

    the bbciplayer works as well as streaming on other sites just the new bbc ones do not.

    It could be something to do with going through a proxy server to access the stream.

    Is there a setting that we need to change on the proxy server ?

  • Comment number 20.

    Yes! I am going through a proxy server as well and it loooks like it cannot connect to the content server for some reason.

    Any ideas for settings??

  • Comment number 21.

    To all those complaing about the error "This content isn't available at the moment": this is due to some caching issue with IE/Firefox.

    I sorted it at home last night after reading some iPlayer troubleshooting page, and am just trying to find the link again so I can sort it on my work PC.

    Will share if i find it!

    On another note, I completely agree with SBReboot's comments about the huge bar of crp that appears when you move a mouse. GET RID PLEASE!!!

  • Comment number 22.

    Thought I already posted this comment, but when are us Nokia N95 users (safe to say we outnumber iphone users!) going to get a version for our phones as announced? There are iphone, psp and wii versions, so why not n95? There's already a way to get youtube working, so this should be fairly straightforward, no?

  • Comment number 23.

    I too receive the message 'this content isn't available at the moment' whenever I try and watch a video stream on the BBC website. This doesn't happen when I try and watch the iplayer proper, however. I am using firefox 3 and have the latest flash player. Can anyone help out? I'd really like to watch the tennis!!


  • Comment number 24.

    jamesoconnell - this is a bug that we know about and are trying to fix. It shouldn't happen if you don't use firefox.

    Nick Reynolds (editor, BBC blog)

  • Comment number 25.

    Sorry but it IS NOT JUST a problem with Firefox 3. I've been having problems for days with Firefox 3 and just checked with IE 7.....same problem! same error message! so while you're debugging Firefox can you also have a gander at IE! Ta

  • Comment number 26.

    I agree. I am using IE7 from 2 Vista workstations. These are sitting behind an MS ISA 2004 firewall. This problem started about a week ago. I also fired up a virtual client running XP/IE7 and get the same message. If I right click the content area with the 'This content isn't available at the moment' I can see that the version of the BBC Media Player is v2.2.3497. Flash is v9,0,115,0.

  • Comment number 27.

    OK solved it. You need to allow port 1935 on your firewall. BBC cheques are acceptable ;-)

  • Comment number 28.

    so proving that I am a complete internumptie...how exactly would I allow port 1935 on my firewall?! please pitch at the 2 year old technical level ;-))

  • Comment number 29.

    I am so glad this is a generic problem because I have uninstalled and reinstalled Flash, Explorer, Firefox and WM. I have cleared my cache checked my cookies and even opened port 1935 and nothing works.

    I can still view streaming media from iPlayer v 1.0 but nothing else.

    Please BBC can you put the tennis on the old version until this is fixed.

  • Comment number 30.

    at the risk of sounding needy.....PLEASE can someone tell me how to open port 1935??? I have article 308127 from the XP help and support pages and I fink I might even have done it, but cant be sure coz the embedded media still aint there and now from b-kilteds comments Im not sure I'd have seen a difference even if I have got it right.

    yours continually perplexed and bemused...

  • Comment number 31.

    "Content not available error" is STILL occuring! I have Flash 9 and IE 7 installed, have tried clearing cache and browser history, and all ports are open??? This problem is NOT just related to Firefox. It occurs with IE as well as Firefox. Any Ideas??

  • Comment number 32.

    Don't know what happened but this morning it works! but I did notice that my firewall was switched off on start up. It's on again now.
    Just for completeness, tried my ol' faithful laptop running win2000 pro...worked first time no tinkering necessary at all. If BBC have tweeked something overnight, thank you. It now works well.

  • Comment number 33.

    I too am having the content unavailable problem. On the same machine it works fine through a broadband connection, but when the machine is on my corporate network it fails. So it's not the browser or the flash player or the machine.

    The problem appears to be the fact that the flash application is not "proxy aware". In most corporate networks, all requests from the browser will go through the proxy, the proxy gets the content and delivers the content to the browser. However, my desktop machine is trying to get out directly on port 1935 - bypassing the proxy. I can see these requests being blocked on the corporate firewall.

    If you are using a proxy in your office, then you will get this problem. To fix it, the iplayer guys will have to make the application proxy aware and then your IT department will have to open up the necessary ports for the iplayer application through your proxy.

    I am seeing this problem on iplayerbeta and all embedded video on the news and sports sites. iplayer classic is working fine.

    Personally, I would like if the bbc provided a document/webpage for IT departments that specified what ports need to be opened for their applications to work. Maybe this webpage exists, but I wasn't able to find it.

  • Comment number 34.

    So I am pretty sure if you go and ask your IT guys to open ports x up they'll so no, if they don't then they should.
    According to hxxp://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=tn_16631
    it should default to ports 443 and 80...I guess it's not doing that. We also use protocol verification for port 80 traffic, which means that merely using an open port doesn't guarantee it will be able to reach the net. Oddly enough though, I've found an old Win2000 with an old IE6...and this works through our firewalls and proxies.

  • Comment number 35.

    I agree with zimonus. My elation at having this work was short lived and on bringing by laptop into the office am back to square one. Its a proxy thing. I'll switch to Sky news for now, they have it sorted out. its a shame coz when it does work it looks good. but its too unstable at present. bye

  • Comment number 36.

    Oh dear! I've tried all of the above (opening TCP 1935, clearing cache etc) but it still doesn't work for me with IE7 or Firefox 3.

    It's a bit bad of the BBC to allow this to continue for such a long time (I'm a IT Systems Technical Architect - and I would have had the sack by now if it had have been me!).

    Does the BBC think they can fix it...if not then please revert to V1 on the Doctor Who site!!

  • Comment number 37.

    Aplogies...posted the solution (for me at least) but didn't login again to check follow-up emails.

    I use MS ISA Server (a software firewall) and noticed that for all clients trying to view a BBC video, outbound TCP packets on port 1935 was being blocked. I added a new user defined protocol for this traffic type and then everything started working. All client OS's and browser versions could see videos. The full handshake used in the media player sessions are;

    80 (HTTP), 53 (DNS) and 1935 (TCP port 1935 Outbound)

    Each firewall product will have a different mechanism to enable this traffic type so I couldn't expalin how to do this here. You could try temporarily disabling the Firewall (Workstation and Router) to see if this works. When you make a firewall config change you normally have to wait a minute or so before it becomes effective.


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