iPlayer, here's a long list of snags for you...
OK, I can't really see the iPlayer taking off compared to recording to a ubquitous hard disk/DVD recorder or - ahem - looking on Net for a download of a programme you missed. Here's a myriad of reasons why:
* Quality is apparently poor according to the beta iPlayer forums, particularly if you go fullscreen (which is how most people would play the programmes surely?). Much worse than your standard DivX-encoded video.
* You can only run iPlayer on Windows XP SP2, ignoring Vista (which has been out for home use for 6 months now and sold on the vast majority of new PCs - 10-20% of BBC licence fee payers maybe?), MacOS X (5%) and Linux (2-3%). This is a complete disgrace really - ignoring a quarter of all possible users would be a disaster if a commercial outfit tried to do the same.
* It's yet another video player we have to get to view BBC content and *only* BBC content. At least with Freeview, I can watch up to 30 channels, the majority of which aren't the BBC.
* They are only going to make the last 7 days worth of BBC shows available - what if you went on holiday for a couple of weeks?
* Evil, evil DRM is embedded in the iPlayer - any programmes will "expire" a pitiful 30 days after it's been downloaded.
* They claim they'll have a "stack" system for multi-episode series (whereby all episodes will remain available until 7 days after the final episode has aired), but don't commit to doing that for all series and if you decide you'd like to see any of the episodes 8 days after the last one airs, well tough luck as usual.
* The iPlayer service will only broadcast what they have online rights for, so bang goes virtually any sport, music or movies then.
* The BBC may omit certain shows that they want to release on DVD first (they've threatened to do this for classical music for example and it won't be long before other areas get similarly impacted).
Want a better scheme? How about *no* DRM, choice of quality of download in standard (e.g. DivX) format (including HD versions where possible) and have a registration system that requires you to input your TV licence fee number and also checks that your IP is in the UK before you can download anything? Too bleeding obvious? Yep, it seems so. After all, we've bleeding well *paid* for this content already via the TV licence and it's been aired DRMless, so why shouldn't be it be downable free and DRMless for licence fee payers too?
Yes, some of the non-DRM'ed content will end up on P2P networks, but so will the DRM'ed versions too, I bet (though the quality might be bad enough to put uploaders off!), so why not just bite the bullet and admit that DRM is a complete and utter waste of time?