• BBC iPlayer
iPlayer Help How-to Guides How to play (stream) a programme

How to play (stream) a programme

The simplest way to play a programme is known as streaming. You can stream on computers, consoles and smartphones.

What connection do I need for streaming?

We recommend an internet connection speed of at least 1 Mbps (Megabit). Broadband, cable and 3G should all provide this. Dial-up internet will not provide a good enough connection. Refer to our Internet Speed Checker FAQ for more details. 

What does my computer need for streaming?

To be able to stream programmes, your computer needs version 10.2 or higher of Adobe Flash installed.

If you’re having problems with streaming, check your computer has the latest version of Flash. Adobe provides Flash for Windows, Macintosh and Linux.

You’ll need version 10.2 or higher of Flash to watch programmes in full screen.

Get the latest version of Flash for your computer from the Adobe website.

The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.

How to use the player when streaming

Click through to a programme you want to watch. Provided you’ve got Flash installed, you’ll see an image of the programme with a Play icon.

Hit Play and the programme will load. You’ll see a short BBC trail before the main programme starts.

Player controls

Use the slider to move forward and back through the programme. The player shows the duration of the programme and how much time has passed.

You can Pause the programme at any time and adjust the Volume. You can also play the programme in Full screen. To exit Full screen, hit Escape on your keyboard.

The play controls will remain onscreen while the cursor (arrow/mouse pointer) is resting on the bar. If you move the mouse the bar will disappear.

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