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Launch of Live Interactive Video Player

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Alex Perry | 18:59 UK time, Friday, 29 June 2012

The live, interactive video player combines HD video with cutting edge data to enhance your viewing

I want to tell you about a new live interactive video player that the BBC is launching for this summer's Olympics.

We rolled it out fully today after a period in beta testing when we were able to assess its performance and get your feedback.

As product manager for this player, I've been defining exactly how the finished product should function and what it should look like, working with colleagues from editorial, design and technical teams.

One of the main impetuses behind the project is the incredible video rights package that the BBC holds for London 2012.

The BBC is the sole rights holder for the Olympics in the UK and we are able to offer users live video from every venue on every day of the Games.

That means up to 24 different streams of live sporting action at any one time.

So we wanted to take this opportunity to build a video player that would offer the best possible desktop video viewing experience to do justice to that incredible breadth of live content and would also provide a lasting legacy to BBC Online and our audiences in the years to come.

That means making the video available in high definition and then enhancing it with some extra functionality that in terms of added choice, rivals anything you would have experienced before while watching sport on your TV.

The key features in the new player are:

• Every sport available live and on demand in HD quality on every day of the Games
• Easy switching between up to 24 live streams at any time
• The ability to pause and rewind live video or jump straight to key moments you may have missed by using chapter markers (eg the Men's 100m final)
• Alerts for the key events that have happened or are coming up so you don't miss the moments that matter to you
• Extra facts and info on the sports and competitors you are watching alongside the video

The video player combines the video with the associated data that is available to us, creating a much richer experience for our audiences. The types of information and data provided includes:

Olympics Live: worried you'll miss something happening at another Olympic venue? Olympics Live alerts viewers to interesting moments happening live across the 24 simultaneous streams, making sure you don't miss any key action

Athletes: discover more about the individual athletes, including information on their performance and previous times, while you watch

Sports guides: wonder how a specific sport works? This feature gives you the info about the individual sports, with five key facts offered for every discipline

Match stats: key real-time statistics about the event

Where we are able to show athlete performance data, the key thing is that we synchronise the data and video together so that you always see the stats appropriate for the point in the video that you are watching.

So if you decide to watch a video from the start, we won't give you the results from the end. And if you are watching live, we won't show the result of the Men's 100m before you've had a chance to watch it!

You may already have had a sneak preview of the video player as we've been trialling a beta version on recent events including Formula 1 and Euro 2012.

Today we took the decision to separate Sport's live text commentary page and the video player in order to make sure it is fully tested at load before the Olympics kick off.

For now you will be able to watch in HD quality once the bit rate ramps up, pause or rewind the live action or jump to chapters using the buttons below the timeline.

And by clicking in the top left hand corner you can choose from any of the streams we're offering for Wimbledon, the Euros or our other events on the BBC.

You can watch our video player on your desktop computer and certain tablets that support Flash. On mobiles and iPads you will be able to watch the video but without the extra functionality.

I'd really like to hear back from you about your experience of using the video player.

I'd be particularly interested if you have any problems with the performance of the player or the quality of the video you are seeing.

Alex Perry is Product Manager, Interactive Video Player, BBC News & Knowledge

Watch this video of Gary Lineker explaining the features of the interactive video player.

You must have a TV licence to watch live TV streamed on your computer. A 'live' TV programme is defined as a programme which is watched or recorded at the same time (or virtually the same time) as it is being broadcast.


  • Comment number 1.

    Is it right that full screen has a black border left, right and bottom?

  • Comment number 2.

    The BBC is NOT the sole rights holder for the Olympics in the UK. Eurosport also has the rights and has done for years. Infact I prefer thier coverage because they have less talking heads and better picture quality. Eurosport will also be transmitting over 100 hours of the Olympics in 3D, putting the BBC's pathetic 3D output to shame.

  • Comment number 3.

    Forgot to mention that Eurosports 3D is live where as I understand the BBC's will be delayed.

  • Comment number 4.

    I would like to pick up on comment #1. I can see why there is a black space at the bottom - to fill in the stats and the extras and whathaveyou - and how this then forces the black bars on the sides in order to keep the video in the correct aspect ratio. But personally, I hate it. Half of the screen is wasted! Why can't the video be in full screen with the extras bit overlaid or when the extras twizzler is clicked, the video momentarily shrinks to the size it does currently and then goes back to full resolution when the extras is turned off again.

    And just one more thing - I think the bit rate of 3.5Mbps may be too low for sporting events. Whilst watching the Helsinki athletics yesterday there was a lot of artifacting and blockiness on the video even though the on-screen graphics with the names and results was crystal clear. 3.5Mbps works perfectly for Wimbledon where there is very little movement in picture but I don't think it's enough for fast-paced events like athletic sprinting.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my comment.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    Good to see the streams are in a good resolution, but are there any plans to improve the framerate? Even in 'HD' the framerate isn't great, with a much less smooth picture than a regular SD 'red button' stream. Also I have the same issue with black bars around the picture, using Google Chrome.

  • Comment number 7.

    I am afraid that the BBCs idea of what HD is different from the rest of the universe. The simple fact is that live HD is simply not possible at these low bitrates. It is possible to get much higher quality using software encoders and hand crafting the encoding. Unfortunatly not possibe with live transmissions.

    I agree that the black lines in full screen are horrible. They have probably done this to make the resolution look better than it really is.

    For several years now the BBC has been too keen to cut quality in favor of bitrate on all platforms. I think the BBC sees the internet as a cheap transmission medium in as much of the cost is paid by broadband subscription. The best way to watch these 24 channels will be by satallite kindly provided for by Sky. It will be interesting to see if SKys streams will be a higher quality than the BBCs own HD channels.

  • Comment number 8.

    Crashes on 64bit Windows 7 with Flash 11.3 r300 without playing any video

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Comments 4 and 5 pretty much sum up my experience. Love the little bar with key moments in, but not at the expense of 1/4 of the screen being permanently black.

    Also, as with regular iPlayer, it keeps freezing and takes ages to restart. ITV's player, much as it's far more low tech, rarely if ever does this to me.

  • Comment number 11.

    I was having a lot of reliability problems with it yesterday. I really do like the concept, but reliability needs improving. I'd say that the video played fine for about 4-5 minutes, then it'd pause for 10 seconds (buffering perhaps?) then it resumed for another 4-5 minutes or so. Then, suddenly and without warning, it'd change to a "This content isn't working, please try later" error - thus forcing me to refresh the page to get the player back. This must have happened about 4 times during the first half of the football alone.

    My browser is Firefox, I have the latest patched version of Flash player, and I'm sitting on an 8mb Internet connection (that actually connects at 8mb).

  • Comment number 12.

    Video plays with sound but no picture at all

  • Comment number 13.

    It's a great player, but it doesn't zoom in a linear fashion with the rest of the content - at my default level of zoom I use on the BBC site to accomodate a 1680x1080 screen on a 24" monitor with reasonable text size, I lose the controls and the bottom 20% of the video - I either have to have a wee postcard video, or full screen, neither of which lends itself to optimal viewing experience.

  • Comment number 14.

    Possible minor bug: When not maximized on my 1400x900 laptop screen, the player cuts off the bottom of the screen, as per the image below.

    I'm using the latest version of Firefox and Flash, and this doesn't happen on my desktop with the same setup, but higher res screen.


    Apart from that, looking good :)

  • Comment number 15.

    Just seen post #14. Mine turns out to be the same issue, as all pages are zoomed on my laptop... took the zoom off and the player window's normal again.

    Have also noticed that a double-click doesn't toggle the maximize setting, which it does on the current iPlayer (and most players).

  • Comment number 16.

    Post #13 I mean :)

  • Comment number 17.

    Could the full screen for watching sports (ie for the Wimbledon tournament) be completely full screen so it maximises the screen size. At the moment there is still the URL bar and the bar with news, sports, weather etc. much appreciated. Also, when you go onto a live stream, for the first 20 seconds it is blurry before it gets more focused. Again much appreciated, thanks

  • Comment number 18.

    Guys... why - in July 2012 - are you Beta-ing a new delivery system based on Flash?

    There is an ever-increasing number of devices that do not support it, and - when you add the further hurdle of requiring compatibility with the latest version of Flash - as you've done, congrats - my computer is one of them.

    HTML 5 has been here for ages for goodness sake, wake up & smell the Earl Grey.

    Regardless of which, a national broadcaster having its delivery strategy for the Olympics dependent on having the latest version of a proprietary technology?
    Come on, that is an accessibility fail of embarrassing proportions. What kind of a tinpot country are we living in?

  • Comment number 19.

    It's remarkable to think the people behind this 'project' would think of it as an improvement. To make peripheral stuff like onscreen statistics a priority over the actual size of the picture is absurd. Now we have a stupid big black border on the bottom and sides of the screen making the picture at least 25% smaller, probably more. A disastrous change.

  • Comment number 20.

    Getting good quality video on it & playback has been fine.

    However I don't like that you can't go proper fullscreen, in fullscreen you still get black borders round the sides. thats one of the only things that i think needs changing, give us the option to go proper fullscreen without the borders like on the old live video player.

  • Comment number 21.

    Audio plays with no video, as with post #12 and perhaps #8. Thanks BBC...

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    With annual Blackberry sales in the UK alone of over 4 million, what does it say about the BBC's public service remit that it does not provide these new streaming services for Blackberry users. Will the BBC continue to privilege iphone and andriod at the expense of others?

  • Comment number 24.

    @mrg17, @DK, @F1_Dave - As DK has suggested, the black bars in full screen are to accommodate the 'Extras' panel at the bottom, and because we don't want to clip the video it means that you may also get bars left and right. It's a similar approach to when you watch a film in a letter box format on a 4:3 screen because we want to be able to show the full picture. That said, we are seeing some inconsistencies with the way it's working so we are investigating.

    @Edward - You mention the video is blurry when it starts up. We are using a technology that adapts the bitrate of the video you are watching depending on the speed of your connection in order to give you the best experience. The rate starts low and ramps up to the appropriate level which is why the video quality may look poor when you join the stream for the first time. We are working to make this experience more seamless, and one thing we've seen is that if you leave the video running in a tab in the background, the rate can drop and may take a while to pick up again. We hope to improve the way this works shortly.

    @Truffles - We've had a few reports of people getting audio but no video. All have been Windows 7 users so I'm keen to know more about your set-up. If you can let me know your browser, OS and Flash version that would help. Can you also try turning off hardware acceleration and let me know if that fixes things?

    We've also had feedback from people saying that the control bars at the top and bottom sometimes don't fade away. This shouldn't happen. Try moving your mouse so the pointer is out of the activation zone. If that still doesn't work, try clicking on 'More video' in the top left corner and then clicking 'Back to video'. This usually seems to resolve the problem. It's not ideal, I know, but hopefully it will mean you can get round the issue until we are able to fix it.

  • Comment number 25.

    Audio plays but no video... it appears a theme may be emerging.
    Love the idea of skipping to different parts though. If only I could see them!

  • Comment number 26.

    @Alex Perry
    So the borders are to accomodate the Extras panel at the bottom. Your analogy with 4:3 films is flawed because though they have borders, they do not have borders on both the sides AND the bottom! That reduction in image size is just not acceptable nowadays, surely you can see that, yet we are not given the option of just watching the image without the extras. I'm not interested in enhancing my 'experience' - I just want to watch sport. You've actually taken away the viewer's ability to watch a proper full size picture - a major step back.

  • Comment number 27.

    "the black bars in full screen are to accommodate the 'Extras' panel at the bottom"

    Fair enough, However would it not be better to have an option where you can either have the extras bar & the smaller video or to turn the extras bar off & just have the fullscreen video.

    In everything I've viewed using this player so far (F1 & Tennis) there has been no extra data to display at the bottom so no need for the video not to take up the full screen.

  • Comment number 28.

    Good idea but it requires a bit of fine tuning focusing on picture quality and frame reload speed both which are, in my experience, not as good as the normal iplayer.

  • Comment number 29.

    I found the quality of the video to be brilliant. One comment would be that as you make it possible to rewind and watch slightly behind live, when you move the mouse the bottom bar is revealed so it is not idea to put the bookmarks on there for goals which you haven't seen yet, if watching 'behind' live. Thanks, Ian.

  • Comment number 30.

    Just tried the player again. I have 24" high def screens side by side one with the satellite picture and the other showing the test player. First this time there was no sound with 64bit windows 7. The definition was about the same as the BBC 2 SD picture but with more artifacts. I also compared the picture with BBC HD and as I expect you know there was no comparison. The player cannot be described as HD and the BBC should stop miss discribing this as HD.

    The black lines are totally unacceptable. Full screen means full screen. I am amazed that this player is in such a poor state of development only 2 weeks before the event.

  • Comment number 31.

    "18:59 UK time, Friday, 29 June 2012: We rolled it out fully today. So we wanted to take this opportunity to build a video player that would provide a lasting legacy to BBC Online and our audiences in the years to come."

    As of now (02:21 2 July 2012) your interactive player won't interact at all - something about "We are unable to bring you any video at this time, please try again later.". So when you say "The ability to pause and rewind live video or jump straight to key moments you may have missed by using chapter markers" should you have added "providing you start watching before it's finished"?

    As this is a roll-out of the finished (tested) product that will provide a lasting legacy, can you clarify what you mean by "Every sport available live and on demand in HD quality on every day of the Games"? Does that mean every sport or only just every OLYMPIC sport? If you had full, live coverage of F1 (for example) [which of course you don't] could I watch that on your new whizzy player? If so, why only during the olympics? If not, why not (leaving aside the fact that this is one of those increasingly rarer instances of BBC sport having rights that no-one else has)?

    BTW, - when you say it has been tested - is real testing or just the sort that was done for the release of the BBC Sport website?

    Can you expand on your concept of time and/or logic? When you say "For now you will be able to watch in HD quality once the bit rate ramps up" does that mean we can now (for now you will be able to) or cannot (once the bit rate ramps)?

    I would also like you to explain how you know that, despite living in a city that is in the top 20 in country in size, I will be able to watch a 3.5 mbit HD stream with my 2 - 3 mbit ADSL service. When you say "For now you will be able to watch in HD quality once the bit rate ramps up" are you referring to my bit-rate available, your bit-rate available (averaged per user) or the capability of your system?

    Given the predilection of BBC-types with the olympics and the amount of work (and money) that's gone into covering them (and flooding all channels), what do you think this large number of people will be doing by the end of the year?

    Surely there's a self-evident case for a headcount reduction - unless the BBC can dream up some other way to spend huge amount of our money?

  • Comment number 32.

    31. At 21:19 2nd Jul 2012, I Want To Post wrote:

    This comment is awaiting moderation. Explain.


    And yet ....


    All posts are reactively-moderated.


    So - What does this mean? Can someone explin to me please? Are they reactive or proactive?

  • Comment number 33.

    Please please please give us the option of watching these events with the old player for those of us who do not like huge pointless borders on the screen and don't have the broadband speed to stream HD without choppy playback. Please don't ruin it by forcing this on us just three weeks before the event. I was really looking forward to using the BBC player for the Olympics hooked up to my TV from the laptop, and now with these changes, I can't do that.

  • Comment number 34.

    @30 Trev

    The definition of HD is just that the images need to be a higher resolution than SD and iPlayer HD meets this definition. There are no HD standards for internet HD services.

    The BBC HD bitrates are comparable with many other online commercial HD services: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-definition_video. It is generally accepted that online-HD has a lower quality than broadcast due to the network capacity.

  • Comment number 35.

    BBC iPlayer Desktop.... is dead... New 'interface' so will assume it got updated somehow... but none (and I do mean NONE) of the buttons work now... All my programmes are wiped... won't even let me add a programme from iPlayer? What's going on?

    I did manually update Adobe Air - thinking that may help... nada...

    Hope it gets fixed before Silverstone! :-/

  • Comment number 36.

    The flash players settings aren't storing anything, so I think this is at least partly why there is too much stopping and buffering going on. BTW I am using Windows 8 Consumer Preview with the latest Flash Player update on Google Chrome.

  • Comment number 37.

    The video player doesn't scale properly when you zoom in on the web page with Control+Scroll Wheel. All other BBC video services can resize themselves fine, including iPlayer. It works fine in full screen, but I'd like to be able to watch the normal view without half of the video being cut off, including all of the bottom controls.

  • Comment number 38.

    Oh dear. I'm not happy to read that the black bars are part of the design.

  • Comment number 39.

    #32, that usually appears the first time someone posts on a blog, first posts are vetted.

    Anyhow, wouldn't a better idea for the black bars being to squash the video up slightly ala the Channel 4 "next on channel 4" bar that appears at the end of programmes? Then it'll avoid both the overlaying of content but also the irritating postage stamp effect.

    Course it does mean enduring a few moments of fattyvision but as it is only whilst you use the interactive gubbins it won't be like the time you go to a relatives house and sit patiently waiting for the moment they walk out the door so you can edit the settings on their sky box to stop it outputting a 4:3 cutout image to their HDTV.

    Only me that does that? Not to worry.

  • Comment number 40.

    My experience of watching the video has been good so far. However, I just found out that the new system is Flash-based... good God, why? My flash-blocker must have an existing "allow content from BBC" exception, or I'd be moaning that I couldn't even see your new content!

    My other moan is about the navigation. I don't think it's particularly helpful to have rewindable video and live streams in the same place... it's just confusing. I've just watched a few minutes of Murray/Cilic warming up, until I noticed the clock was wrong and realised I was watching yesterday's coverage.

    Finally... is there going to be a pop-out player? I'd like to be able to squeeze it into one corner of my screen (so I can, ahem... "work" at the same time, without having to resize a browser window to fit)

  • Comment number 41.

    From a short experience, generally excellent. One thing that would make it better is to provide an open in a window option to allow me to resize it as I see fit. Good work.

  • Comment number 42.

    Just like iPlayer set the standard for web-video, this raises it again. Great work!

  • Comment number 43.

    I cannot see a picture on the player at all! Just the sound plays to a black screen. I've tried both Chrome and IE 9. I'm on 64 bit Windows 7 on a Dell laptop.

  • Comment number 44.

    @I Want To Post - All the video will also be available as catch-up very shortly so you won't need to have started watching while it is still live.

    You mention also F1 and this has been one of our test events. This weekend's British GP will also be available to view in the new player, along with the Open golf at the end of the month.

    And just to expand on the bitrate question you raise. The player starts at a low bitrate and steps up to the highest rate that is suitable for the speed of your broadband. If your broadband speed is fast enough, it will go up to HD. If not, it will max out at the appropriate level. That functionality is available now.

    @sfocata - when we show catch-up content alongside the live video, it will be clearly marked as such. You shouldn't have seen footage from yesterday so we'll take a look at that.

    Also, we know some people like to watch in a smaller player while they do other stuff and we hope to add this functionality soon.

  • Comment number 45.

    Similar issues to poster #11, getting constant issues with the video seemingly buffering, despite never having this problem with the old video player, definately having a fast enough connection, and not having anything wrong with my connection (I can for example watch other videos on the site, including iPlayer without any buffering). I'm actually finding it unusable which is a massive disappointment.
    Even if it was working, it is really disappointing to see that the black bars around the picture are intentional!! Like others have suggested, making the extra data optional would have been much nicer, especially if the data will be like the screenshot shows (ie: information that would be on the actual video feed anyway)

  • Comment number 46.

    I think the new player is fantastic and is definitely what we expect. Only problem I have at the moment watching wimbledon is the picture quality - my connection is nowhere near saturated yet the player has decided I have low available bandwidth and so provides me a highly compressed feed! Hope this is fixed in time for HD streaming!

  • Comment number 47.

    @sfocata - Quick update for you on the problem where you saw yesterday's footage. I've caught up with the editorial team and they promoted the wrong url by mistake. So that was indeed catch-up content from Monday.

  • Comment number 48.

    Also using Windows 7 and getting no picture only audio. Using Firefox but tried Internet Explorer and Chrome and it doesn't work on them either. Downloaded the latest version of flash and that didn't help. And the turning off hardware acceleration option is disabled on my laptop so that doesn't really help either. Hope you'll sort this out soon as I can't watch anything now you've taken the old player away.

  • Comment number 49.

    I am getting sound but no video as previous comments. As requested my information is as follows:

    Your browser is:
    Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP
    Your Browser Capabilities:
    Flash 10.3 is installed

  • Comment number 50.

    @Ricky - can you try turning off hardware acceleration and refreshing the page and then seeing if the video plays? If you right click on the video player and open up 'Settings', you should get an option to turn off hardware acceleration.

  • Comment number 51.

    Also suffered from audio / no video with Win7-64 / latest Flash / IE9 or Chrome
    Disabling hardware accelerator worked to fix it - using instructions in this link https://forums.adobe.com/thread/891337

  • Comment number 52.

    @AndyB Thanks for that, that worked for me too!

  • Comment number 53.

    Tried yet again tonight. When started got those horible black lines left, botton, and right. Clicked on "More video" and selected a video and I got a thick black line on the right and the "normal" black line on the bottom. No black line on the top or left.

    Clearly the only way to watch these 24 channels in real HD will be satellite or on Virgin.

  • Comment number 54.

    So we've tweaked the way we handle bitrates today. So I'd be interested to hear back if you've seen a change - better or worse.

  • Comment number 55.

    Is there some way to disable the bitrate handling and set it manually?
    (e.g. for an unstable but fast connection it will ramp up to the maximum and then be forced to buffer frequently, or you might wish to keep it at a low bitrate when sharing an internet connection or dealing with download limits).

  • Comment number 56.

    bbc should take a leaf out of skygo player and allow the user to adjust the bandwidth. i cannot watch skygo in the default auto nor the high setting but as soon as i've set it to the medium it works fine whatever sport/tv prog i'm watching. there is going to be a heck of a lot of disgruntled license fee payers unable to watch these videos because of the constant buffering problems like i've just experienced trying to watch the tennis.

  • Comment number 57.

    Yeah I'm having the buffering problems too. I see now the picture starts up more detailed immediately, which is better than before, but really that's a marginal thing. We still have regular freezing of a stream that eats up your monthly download allowance much quicker than before for the privilege of seeing a picture that is a third smaller!
    By all means make changes, but in the early stages you have to allow the option of using the standard format, otherwise some people will have trouble with their 'experience'.

  • Comment number 58.

    This is very promising. :)

  • Comment number 59.

    @Alex Perry-a couple of comments:-

    I did try the player again yesterday and found that it was working a little bit better. There were still a few buffering issues, however, the stream didn't stop completely forcing me to refresh the page, so the experience was significantly better.

    Regarding the black bars-why don't you put the video fullscreen and then scale it down if we optionally decide to display the extra data at the bottom of the screen?

    The ability to rewind is a really nice feature, however, if play has finished on a specific court for the day access to the stream is then removed from the website, meaning you cannot view the earlier matchs played on that court. Is there any reason why the stream cannot be made available for a longer period of time?

    Finally, I can replicate exactly what poster #53 is describing.

  • Comment number 60.

    I get sound & no video with the new system. Turned on to watch the Euro Final having watched matches previously & couldn't. Annoyingly I could watch the goal highlights (2 at that point) from the home page, just not the match.
    I have Win 7 64 bit, adobe air, 11 active X (dl today) but did not have a problem watching any sport video before the update.
    Video on news site working as normal.
    Internet explorer 9.
    Disappointed to hear F1 will be on this new system too as I usually watch that as well; being bed bound my options are limited; although that said the quality of the output on the website and iplayer is usually so good it would be my first choice anyway.
    Hope you get it fixed or advise me what to try to fix it.
    Thank you

  • Comment number 61.

    I disabled hardware acceleration & it works fine now. Can anyone tell me if having that disabled will adversely effect any other application that I hitherto used?

  • Comment number 62.

    All those who are getting audio but no video - I had exactly the same problem (on Google Chrome 20, IE9 and Firefox), and rectified it by updating my graphics card drivers.

    I have an ATI Mobility Radeon HD5470 which had the latest Dell drivers on it, I updated to the latest generic driver from the ATI website.

  • Comment number 63.

    Suddenly we can no longer view sport video on an Ipad. It was working earlier today. We can still watch other video. Any ideas?

  • Comment number 64.

    Regarding the problem with the Ipad this has now been tracked down to a cookie put on Safari from the BBC site. After this was deleted things went back to normal.

  • Comment number 65.

    We now have an FAQs page for the player that pulls together answers on the most common questions that people have: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/18730691

    @lambjon - we are now promoting catch-up content as well as live so you shouldn't miss anything from now on. There will be a short delay between the end of the stream and it becoming available to watch on-demand.

    @ZPVCSPLFUIFDPEF - I'm afraid we can't offer the ability to choose the bitrate you view at currently.

  • Comment number 66.

    The new player is worse than the old one because it doesn't have full screen video.

    Why don't you make the extras appear when you put the mouse pointer over the bottom of the screen? Then we could have proper full screen video.

  • Comment number 67.

    I watched both F1 practice sessions today on a terrible broadband connection and it worked fine. The picture quality in full screen was good. There were frequent drop-outs but not as major as on the red button service.

    There was quite a delay between the black box appearing and the actual video having a play option, but I think that is due to my connection.

    I really like the new player, well done!

  • Comment number 68.

    The black bars are a joke whatever the 'extras' may add the BBC are forgetting that the main reason for watching sport is to see the action!

    The picture quality has been excellent (before the launch proper) now it's been ruined by not offering proper full screen video.

  • Comment number 69.

    I would like to know if it will be possible to watch the contents from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, please

  • Comment number 70.

    I have solved my audio/no video problem on my Dell Win7-64 laptop with a Radeon 5470 video card. Turing off the Flash hardware acceleration as suggested by Alex and AndyB (51) fixed the problem.
    I also tried DJmarcy's fix (62) with the ATI video driver - the video worked fine with Hardware acceleration re-enabled.
    Thanks for your help.

  • Comment number 71.

    The black borders are really quite stupid and there must be at least an option to have proper full-screen like before. This so-called 'feature' is unethical from a technical point of view as well. Meaning that - if you do not play a video at it's proper width and height, for example, a 1280x720 video at 1234x678 the GPU (if hardware acceleration is enabled) or CPU (if acceleration is disabled or not available) has to work harder scaling the video to fit the non-standard width and height that the programmers of the ActionScript have defined. Therefore, this increases the chances of complaints of 'lag' from clients with low-specification hardware and quality distortion (pixellation for some clients and interpolation for others).

    The player also causes video corruption on Macintosh computers which did not occur at the time the HD player was being beta tested for the first time in Formula 1 last year (2011). The latest Flash Player 11.3 causes corruption when the HD stream is initialized, but I found out recently that downgrading to Flash Player 10.x causes corruption on a lower quality stream. This is of course very strange behavior - most probably on Adobe's fault, but as usual, this might be an issue that would bounce from Adobe to Apple and back again, and I think we all know how good the relationship is between these two companies.

    I think it is about time the BBC started to adopt HTML5 as Flash is said to be phased out in the next few years. As an ActionScript and JavaScript programmer myself, I get less issues with JavaScript then I do with ActionScript, because I know that problematic code is my fault if run-time results occur on every client browser I test it with.

  • Comment number 72.

    I also want to clarify my issue with the black borders. By 'black borders', I mean, the artificial reduction in video size by the programmers to accomodate this extra 'feature', not the natural scale of video size depending on aspect ratio of display device. I use a 2560x1440 (16:9 aspect ratio) display, and I expect any 16:9 content, wether it may be 640x360, 1280x720 or 1920x1080 to exactly accomodate every pixel of my display as it normally does, which currently - it does not.

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    Be nice to try this but all I get is
    'We are unable to bring you any video at this time, please try again later'.

    Im on w7 and tried firefox, chrome and safari.

    I loloked at the faq, but there wasnt much in there apart from some pretty lame tweaks, which seem more a fault of the webpage design than the user.
    Didnt understand the tv license bit in there, must be error.

    Will this be available on the ipad?

  • Comment number 75.

    just tried this with the open golf this morning
    looking good on firefox 14
    it crashes on w7 using latest chrome browser though, when i clicked on extras.

    shame this does not work with popout
    the extras is a bit naff really. i like the rewind option and the channel changer (when olympics is live), but the extra information is not really needed and the extra interface is a bit odd looking design wise

  • Comment number 76.

    another annoyance, when you change from one live video to another the volume resets, can your volume preference not be saved?
    i was flicking to different open golf live action here https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live-video

  • Comment number 77.

    Is there any way of accessing the iplayer when you are outside the UK?? I will be working during most of the Games and would really like to be able to access it live online.

  • Comment number 78.


    Thank you for your question.

    Sorry, but BBC iPlayer Help says:

    Rights agreements mean that BBC iPlayer television programmes are only available to users in the UK.
  • Comment number 79.

    It's great to see the BBC providing the best ever coverage of the Olympic Games up to date and up to date with the latest modern technologies to show the Olympics on all platforms across the BBC.

  • Comment number 80.


    Is this player available for Ubuntu Linux?

  • Comment number 81.

    Can anyone tell me, will I be able to watch the BBC coverage on my laptop via an internet link in a campsite in Bavaria?

  • Comment number 82.

    At least you lot are getting something, all I get is 'not available in your area'!
    Obviously BBC does not have exclusive rights, someone in my country does!
    I'll have to go to one of those dubious web-sites which live stream a bootleg feed. Sounds like the pic quality will be better.

  • Comment number 83.

    I just wish I could find the link so that I can get the service.

  • Comment number 84.


    The link is at the top of the article, but is:


  • Comment number 85.

    I have a couple of comments:-

    1. I can't seem to find the function to rewind. WHat I want to be able to do is rewind sometimes only a few seconds to see an important bit again. The yellow time bar is very clumsy and as soon as you click on the white position button it jumps ahead and then it takes ages to find the correct position again. I would like rewind and fast forward buttons where i can see what is changing on screen which would help me find the exact position that i want to replay from.

    2. Finding content for a previous day is not easy. The only way seems to be is to start playing something and then use the More Video button to search for it. I would rather have the ability to locate what I want to watch before starting the player.

    Otherwise it is a good step forward.


  • Comment number 86.

    After my comments #60 & 61 just wanted to say I have been watching on my laptop live & various feeds & it has been brilliant. The picture quality sublime.
    So thank you very much.

  • Comment number 87.

    i am very thankful to bbc for the complete coverage of london olympics..i just pick that bbc is covering this olympics from foreign news journal

  • Comment number 88.

    No programmes at all should be solely displayed in HD, there must ALWAYS be a standard definition version available. People who, like myself, live in the country who cannot obtain nor afford a high bandwidth connection cannot watch any HD programmes at all. I am disappointed that it is not completely obvious to the BBC that they should always provide a lower definition service. Come on, think!

  • Comment number 89.

    @88 Can you give any examples of this?


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