Where has BBC iPlayer gone on the PS3?
With the army of loyal followers we have amassed for the original BBC iPlayer on the Playstation 3, it’s no surprise some have been reluctant to let the old design go. But we have been blown away by overwhelmingly positive feedback to the new version of BBC iPlayer on TV — initially available on the PS3.
The outpouring is typified by reviews like those from Trusted Reviews, PS3 Attitude and WebWire TV and compliments we’ve seen posted from users like: “huge improvement,” “swanky,” “rather tidy,” “really slick,” ”it rocks,” and “looks gorgeous”. These really are the greatest reward for the immense efforts of the team who put it together. So thank you all!
However, some of you have struggled to find the new BBC iPlayer on the PS3, which may have recently disappeared from the TV / Video menu. The reason it has disappeared is that since Sony updated the PS3 firmware to v3.7 a couple of weeks ago, TV services like BBC iPlayer have required users to install a small app to launch them.
While you don’t need to be signed in to the Playstation Network (PSN) to use BBC iPlayer, you do in order to install the link to it in the first place. So, if you’re not signed in already, select the PSN icon – second from the right on the XMB - and select “Sign In” to start the process.
Once you’ve completed this, you’ll find a new rainbow coloured folder under the newly renamed TV/Video Services section of the XMB, called My Channels.
Select this and you should see a massive BBC iPlayer button alongside those of other TV services. If you don’t see it immediately, give it a minute or so to update. Selecting the BBC iPlayer button will re-install our icon in the TV/Services section. Choose it to launch the new BBC iPlayer from now on.
Finding BBC iPlayer is one challenge; quitting is also causing some confusion. Unfortunately the Sony framework required to deliver this improved version of BBC iPlayer on the PS3 relies on the old way of closing apps. Rather than tapping on the PS button to pull up the XMB, you'll need to hold down the PS button for a couple of seconds, then choose "Quit."
Unsurprisingly, like every major launch, this one has not been without its teething problems. But we believe we have now shored up the video distribution network servicing the new HD-capable BBC iPlayer on the PS3, which briefly buckled a little under the strain of the product’s success.
If you’re still experiencing any playback issues, you should check the performance of your own network and ISP via your PS3. Make sure you are signed into the PSN and go to “Network Settings” under the “Settings” section on the XMB. Select “Internet Connection Test” and leave it a minute to run. The figure you’re interested in is “Connection Speed (Download).”
You’ll need this to be consistently over 1Mbit/sec to be sure video can play in BBC iPlayer. Over 3Mbit/sec is required for HD. If you struggle to get over 2Mbit/sec, you may need to go to the “Video Quality” area of the “Settings” section of BBC iPlayer and select “Lower Quality” as the preferred video quality to ensure reliable playback.
Gideon Summerfield is the Executive Product Manager, BBC iPlayer TV.