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back to article Beeb's iPlayer service gets greenlight

Viewers in the UK will be able to access a full weeks' worth of BBC output via their PCs and other digital devices when the broadcaster finally launches its iPlayer service later this year. The BBC Trust received 10,500 responses from companies and individuals after it first outline proposals for the service. As a result two …

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UK only?

Does anyone know if the iPlayer service will be restricted to UK addresses? I couldn't tell from the article or the BBC statement.

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UK only

Yes, the service will be UK-only. Apparently this applies to anything which is currently UK-only; services available worldwide will continue to be made so. (As far as I can ascertain from the PDF below!).

http://www.bbcgovernorsarchive.co.uk/docs/iplayer_summary.pdf

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Silver badge

Not UK Only.

> Does anyone know if the iPlayer service will be restricted to

> UK addresses?

Well, let's put it this way: Here in Euroland, the last couple of BitTorrent downloads I made of C4 TV shows were obviously sourced from 4oD.

I don't suppose the Beebs DRM will be any more tricky to remove.

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And tough luck if you dont use Windows or a Mac...

"The iPlayer application will only be available for MS Windows initially, but the support roadmap reveals interesting priorities: cable TV service support will come first, followed by Apple Macs and then Freeview boxes."

Those of you running Linux will just have to wait until hell freezes over.

Think I'm going to ask for a refund... or maybe the BBC will pay for a Windows licence so I can use the services I'm paying for...

Once again DRM shows that its not about Rights but about Restrictions.

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Anonymous Coward

And tough luck if you dont use Windows or a Mac...

I agree, why miss out the second most used operating system and go for the third?

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Anonymous Coward

And tough luck if you dont use Windows or a Mac...

I agree, why miss out the second most used operating system and go for the third?

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Anonymous Coward

.. wait until hell freezes over.

'Those of you running Linux will just have to wait until hell freezes over.'

Preferrable to having the BBC build me a DRM kernel.

...and anyway like any self-respecting geek I've got a TV card (all of 20quid) had Sky HD for months , a VCR for decades and have far better uses for my bandwidth than replicating what any of the above do much better.

How's about putting something on the BBC worth recording?

Simon

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It's the content stupid.

TV viewing figures have continued to fall over the last few years.

The method of delivery is not the reason.

Although on demand viewing of TV streams may help slow the decline, especially if they release archive material, in the end, it's the content (or rather the lack of it) that is responsible for the downward trend in viewing figures.

The increase in radio listening figures, and the sales of iPods, etc. say it all.

You can listen while surfing the net or driving, or while doing something else, video demands too much attention for too little reward.

Lots of money is being spent trying to find new ways to view content which is shrinking in appeal, viewing TV on the train, the bus, in service areas, shops, on the garage forecourt (thank god that one died quickly) your mobile phone, instead of investing in better programming as opposed to just video wallpaper.

Next time you somewhere where there is a public Video display, look around and see how many people around you actually pay any attention to it.

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Classical music?

Why should classical music be excluded completely? If anything, classical music is the best example where the BBC *should* build a publicly available library of all the great works.

I don't see why it matters if the result is harmful to commercial CD sellers - it shouldn't be the BBC's problem! In the case of classical music (in the huge majority of cases), the composer is dead - and no amount of hypothetical royalties could encourage him/her to write any more music; thus no harm can be done by reducing the commercial value of recordings.

As for DRM, you'd think that the BBC would learn - it's a great disadvantage to legit consumers, an irritation to geeks (we just have to break it), and no deterrent to commercial "pirates".

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but...

I imagine the inclussion of DRM is more about meeting the commercial concerns of competing businesses that seem to be able to dictate the BBCs behaviour these days. If memory serves, the BBC have made statements before about their complete lack of interest ion chasing down copyright infringers. Clearly the BBC as an institution believes that it's unique position makes it the perfect vehicle for bringing quality unrestricted content to the world (and I tend to agree). However, being paid for by the licence fee, there is a legitimate claim that it enjoys unfair advantages and could damage other more commercial businesses by leveraging these unfair advantages (if I were a DVD distributor I'd be inclined to agree).

However, as hinted at above, it seems unlikely that the Beeb will spend a lot of effort making the most robust DRM it possibly can. More likely it will do enough to be seen to be observing the forms, but won't care too much if somebody is able to strip the DRm out of the latest eps of Eastenders.

The BBC is to be applauded for even undertaking these visionary programs, and with any luck they will drive the market for other commercial providers to look at new paradigms.

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Composers may be dead...

...but performers of classical music are very much alive, and income from recordings is important to them. Making the BBC's classical music output available free would be great for consumers in the short term but would undermine the orchestras and players who keep the art form alive in this country, one of our greatest cultural assets IMHO.

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Why hamstring the BBC?

Why is there always this obsession with hamstringing the BBC? The BBC has produced best of breed services in numerous areas, and yet has had to withdraw them or scale back their ambitions due to complaints from the commercial sector.

BBC Jam is a classic example - providing superb educational content which causes others to complain that they cannot compete.

As a parent, am I pleased that excellent content that was available to my son has now been withdrawn? No!

Do I feel that the state education sector should be reduced in quality to avoid problems for the private education sector? No! The government funding of state education, and in particular of IT in education has caused huge problems for many smaller private schools. Kids are coming from state primary schools with interactive whiteboards and investment in IT. Private schools can look quite poor in comparison, particularly if they have not invested much in IT recently.

Yes, the BBC is funded by the licence fee. However, as a consumer, the best argument for the licence fee is that they produce far better content than is available elsewhere. Consequently I feel that my licence fee has been well spent.

The outcome of OFCOM's restrictions is not beneficial for the consumers. Their needs are best served by getting the best content they can. Consumers benefit by being given free access to the best that the BBC can produce.

In the US, software which has been developed by government, is available for free, as it has already been paid for by taxation. Is this unfair competition? No. It is improving the public wealth.

Let the BBC strive for excellence. OFCOM should look at what is in the public interest. Restricting quality to maintain a level playing field is not in the public's interest.

If you look at the innovation which has come about through Google and others offering links in to their services, I suspect that rather than fostering competition and business, OFCOM is achieving the opposite of its intentions.

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Series Stacking?

TV shows? One word: uknova.

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Still stupid

So it wont have some things that are on 'listen again', because of a stupid non-reason.

And it's being given out to cable TV people after the Windows release, who already have time-shifting / PVR (Virgin's 'V+' service) functions that are far better than the system the BBC is foisting (for instance, iPlayer can only hold on to a program for a week, and only a tiny amount of series content will be on it. V+ allows unlimited keeping of any content, series or not, and works on any channel too).

And then they'll do a Mac version, followed by Freeview (just in time for everyone to have got one type of Freeview box for the digital switchover, they'll need to get an upgraded box for BBC iPlayer support).

Apparently the hold up is 'third parties outside of the BBC's control', which I take to mean the DRM and peer-to-peer aspects, both of which are proprietary and Windows only at the mo.

Still, at least there are regular reviews, so we can make sure the content we pay for is accessible to us correctly.

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