back to article MP accuses BBC chief of illegally championing Microsoft

A House of Commons public spending watchdog has accused BBC chief Mark Thompson of illegally supporting Microsoft. In failing to ensure iPlayer on demand services are available to all licence fee payers he has been blinded by the novelty of the internet, it's charged. As part of a Public Accounts Committee session on BBC …

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IT Angle

RE:

Funny how Pugh at no point suggests a solution to the DRM issue that would actually work, isn't it?

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Flame

blah blah blah

John pugh is my local MP and he is a complete tit. He is always ready to jump on the bandwagon for any free publicity regardless of whether or not he knows anything about the topic.

I have not had a problem using firefox to view the iplayer but I still don't understand this argument about everything should be available no matter what. Before the internet, was it feasible for BBC Scotland to be forced to provide services to Wales, for the few viewers that may have wanted those programs? What about the other way around, broadcasting Welsh to the Scots?

Should I be kicking up a fuss that so far I do not have a HD ready TV, and as such cannot recieve the BBCs HD channels?

As a license payer, I fully support the notion that my money should be spent on catering for the majority instead of pandering to a very small bunch of whinging sods with big mouths.

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Stop

Rights....

"the BBC has insisted that desktop versions for Mac and Linux were not developed because it could not provide the Digital Rights Management demanded by TV production companies"

But... aren't the BBC *the* production company concerned, or don't they own the rights to their own programs?

Something fishy?

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: blah blah blah

In fairness, I think here the point Pugh's trying to make is less that everyone *must* have access, and more that interoperability is a neccessary for the iPlayer to not give Microsoft an unfair market advantage.

@Michael - "That said, if the BBC have to act then they should just cut their loses, and scrap everything bar the iplayer's flash interface. Ergo there's one player that works on all platforms, except the Amiga or something. Those of us that want / care about higher quality downloads already have the tools to get it, on whatever operating system we choose." bravo.

@AC - "But... aren't the BBC *the* production company concerned, or don't they own the rights to their own programs?" No. Regulations require it to use independent production companies too.

@AC - "Funny how Pugh at no point suggests a solution to the DRM issue that would actually work, isn't it?" The BBC obviously thinks it has one though, otherwise they'd be a bit silly to promise delivery within two years, no?

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Pirate

@blah blah blah

"As a license payer, I fully support the notion that my money should be spent on catering for the majority instead of pandering to a very small bunch of whinging sods with big mouths".

That is exactly the argument here... for EVERYONE or at least the majority to be able to access the iPlayer, and not just pandering to a small CORPORATE (MS) bunch of whinging sods and bigmouths!

Also how very arrogant of you to think that simply because you can access this player then you are the majority.

Anonymous Coward indeed.

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Codswallop

It doesn't matter wether John Pugh is a tit or not. What matters is that the BBC's design brief should have been for a multi-OS player that played only their content. They could have written their own DRM into it, such that the content could only be played on their iPlayer on any system.

Then the whole M$, Linux, Mac debate would be moot. And they wouldn't be paying my licence fee to M$ for a proprietary (and crap) DRM licence.

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Hmmm...

I thought I would give iPlayer a whirl the other day. There was a show that was about to go off air and I wanted to go to bed. So, as I have an XP (x64 edition) pc at home (for my gaming pleasure) I duly downloaded it. Imagine my surprise when I got an error message stating that I need to be running "Windows XP" to install it. When I reported this issue to the Beeb can you imagine my surprise when I received an email stating that the only OSes supported where XP and Vista. What am I running then?

No one seems able to provide a decent explanation why.

Must be that pesky x64 appellation.

I love the Streams actually. I don't have a telly any more and I can just sit back and watch the occasional show I want when I want ... so long as it's still listed on the site.

Even if Mr Pugh is a tit I hope he gets the Beeb to put their house in order.

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Unhappy

What's the alternative?

Seriously, I've yet to see one suggested.

Right now we seem to be heading towards having the iPlayer downloads removed completely from the majority of computer users to satisfy a small minority.

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Linux

iPlayer, DRM, and codecs

I heard (via the grapevine of someone that used to work at the BBC) that they DID have a DRM and codec alternative developed in house that worked under multiple platforms. It was (apparently) quite a clean solution that they were getting ready to opensource as well.

As for support within 2 years - the codebase that Microsoft have used to provide their player is slated for cross platform support in less than 2 years, so the BBC may just be relying on that happening to give them their "get out of jail free" solution.

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Anonymous Coward

What has happened to fair use?

When the BBC broadcasts the program, everyone in the UK can watch it, record it to DVD or VCR, play it back years later from their own recording.

No DRM involved there.

Why does the BBC put limits on the Internet download by UK people? Why add DRM where there was non before?

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Stop

But then again...

John Pugh is a beancounter who has never really achieved anything in his life except the ability to count beans inaccurately.

Mark Thompson and Mark Byford on the other hand are two amiable open minded chaps (and yes, I do know them both) who have the job of steering the BBC through major change and innovation in an uncharted sea where change is the only constant.

Having travelled the globe several times - I can confidently say that the quality of the BBC output ranks head and shoulders above any other media corporation on the planet and is something the UK should be proud of rather than taking every possible opportunity to bite chunks out of it.

RE the media payer - like most other things on the BBC website - it's excellent. And it remains excellent to the majority of PC users around the world.

If you own a Mac, or choose Linux... fair play, that is your choice. But you need to understand that you are in a large minority, and as we still try to work around the principle of majority rule, you should expect to wait just a little longer while the majority is catered for. If you can't wait, the answer is simple... go use a PC in your local library to use the player. If you can't possibly bear to make that effort to solve your own problems, get a digital TV recorder.

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Hyperbole

"What might be a pragmatic choice for a privately funded company becomes deeply problematic for a public corporation."

I fail to see why. The argument about it breaching state aid laws may be valid, but absent any professional legal opinion, it seems just as valid as the argument that licence-payers' money should be used to fund programmes. Not to make Linux geeks feel more included.

If the BBC stump out more money to make it compatible with Linux, I assume it'll give the same treatment to the Amiga and Workbench? Either the BBC is allowed to find its own balance between cost and accessibility, or it's forced to open it up to everybody. The BBC is one of the few public bodies that makes anything remotely resembling a contribution to humanity, so I say let it make its own choice on this one.

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Flame

re: blah blah blah

Your analogy of Scotland programmes being shown in Wales is completely wrong. This has nothing to do with content, but accessibility.

How would you feel if you had to buy, say, a Sony TV to watch the BBC because the BBC deemed Sony to be the most popular platform. This would give Sony a very unfair advantage and no competitors would be able to get a look in.

The BBC's charter specifies that it must provide equal access to all. So, I would prefer the BBC spend its (our) money on providing a proper implementation that befits its charter rather than line the pockets of a convicted monopoly!

@RE:

It's not up to John Pugh to come up with a solution. The BBC cocked up and it's their problem to solve.

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@ Barney...

But look at the stats - at the mo it's running aobut 80% streaming 20% downloads... At the mo streaming is the popular alternative!

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Gates Horns

What does it matter?

I only like the on-line version anyway, I use it on my mac, it works great, no problem! I cant stand the P2P aspect of the download player. But still, a knock against microsoft is one for the little guy.

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Anonymous Coward

RE:

"But... aren't the BBC *the* production company concerned, or don't they own the rights to their own programs?"

No, over 25% of the BBC's content must (under it's legal charter) be made by independent production companies. But indies aren't really the big problem - the BBC don't have the rights to distribute in house shows for any longer either, because they can't get the rights to the bits of content that every programme uses - the music, acting, stills, scripts and extracts. They're used by pretty much every programme, and they belong to other people who are unwilling to give the rights on anything more than a temporary basis. And if they are willing to allow non-DRM downloads, they want a heck of a lot of cash for it - but nobody seems keen on an £800 per annum licence fee.

"The BBC obviously thinks it has one though, otherwise they'd be a bit silly to promise delivery within two years, no?"

The BBC haven't (Thompson can't speak in public to save his life) - indeed, that requirement is *specifically taken out* of the BBC Trust's final service licence for iPlayer at the BBC's request, since they couldn't guarantee it. The final document just says progress will be monitored every six months, and doesn't put any time limit on it at all. However, some BBC staff have said on the Backstage podcasts that they're looking at Adobe AIR and some of the DRM that is being implemented there. It doesn't all work yet though.

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Hell hath no fury like an OS scorned

@ Michael : you are a linux devotee, I'm sorry to hear that, just like I'm sorry to hear about devotees of Windows (are there any), OSX, Free BSD, BeOS (which I liked) OS9, AmigaDOS, TOS, CPM or a multitude of others (how about TRDOS ;) )

I'm a pragmatist and use either the system best suited to the task in hand (the option I prefer) or what I am forced to use (the more usual situation).

What is the critical mass of devotees before the BBC has to support your platform of choice. What about hardware platforms, where should the line be drawn ?

For the other comments

Unfortunitly the British public are not the owners of many programmes broadcast by the BBC (TV or radio)

Ofcourse you could increase the license fee so the BBC can make all programmes in house, but then people would probably complain about that too.

In the end it's got to be DRM (whether it actually works or whether I agree with it or not dosn't matter). This means catering for the majority of potential viewers in the UK (I'm afraid that means windows).

I could start bleating about the lack of a Solaris version (I'm forced to use solaris on occasion), windows CE (for my iPaq), Free BSD for an old box I have hanging around. But in the end people would call me acward and indeed I would be exactly that

How come people just bitch about it and never come up with workable solutions.

As for the MP in question, hey those buggers as as much as balls to a monk

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Black Helicopters

RE: Production Company

But... aren't the BBC *the* production company concerned, or don't they own the rights to their own programs?

No, they also buy in programs internationally which obviously the producers want guarantees will be protected as well as from independents in the UK as previously mentioned.

However, I think that it's a fair point that it should be opened up as much as possible, 2 years for a MAC or Linux client seems extreme......

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Anonymous Coward

And for narrowband!

The BBC should be making its programmes accessible to people who don't have broadband, too!

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Tom
Silver badge

Its quite simple really:

So the BBC doesnt own all the content?

For the stuff it does - it can stream it without DRM.

For the stuff it doesnt - let the owner stream it.

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Stop

Re: Waste of Money

Michael,

Your assertation that the flash player works on all platforms is incorrect. It does not work on 64bit Linux due to Adobe's failure to release a plugin for 64bit Firefox. Given the number of machines out there now shipping with 64bit processors it is totally unacceptable that they are using a proprietary format which is not 64bit compatible across all 64bit operating systems. Especially when software exists for video streaming over the web, which are compatible.

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iPlayer name

It's sad to see that the Beeb jumped on the "i" bandwagon, rather than being original and coming-up with something new.

There again such lack of originality and inspiration is evident from their Christmas television schedule, so why am I surprised?

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Bronze badge

A few things:

The BBC didn't need to spend more to make it work on other systems, if it had been built in from the beginning.

This is about the BBC illegally pushing Microsoft's products. Windows may be the majority but things like this prevent any new comer from competing, which in the long,g term push up my costs.

As for the nutter who posted:

"Having travelled the globe several times - I can confidently say that the quality of the BBC output ranks head and shoulders above any other media corporation on the planet and is something the UK should be proud of rather than taking every possible opportunity to bite chunks out of it."

I've travelled the world too, and what you say may have been true twenty five years ago, but isn't any more (with the exception of the US). The quality of journalism and shows has steadily fallen to the point where of embarrassment!

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why???

why do the bbc have to provide for everyone, people complain that they can't get the service because they don't use windows, why not complain that you don't get the service because you don't have broadband or because you don't have computer, or complain that you can't watch TV because you don't own a television. nobody has yet managed to suggest a service, with suitable rights management, not that DRM was ever a good idea, or one that works.

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Dead Vulture

@Jeremy

'That is exactly the argument here... for EVERYONE or at least the majority to be able to access the iPlayer, and not just pandering to a small CORPORATE (MS) bunch of whinging sods and bigmouths!'

It isn't about pandering to MS. If you look at the figures, XP is by far the most widespread OS on the desktop. So it makes sense for the BBC to spend public money on providing services for that.

IF Mac or Linux had the majority share, or even close to large numbers of users then they should cater for it, but they haven't. Your argument about pandering to a SMALL CORPORATE is weak. Linux has a tiny tiny percentage of users, Mac has a few percent more but not much. Just because you may use one or the other does not automatically mean huge numbers of other people do too.

As for the accessibility, all the programs ARE accessible. Everything on the iplayer is something that has already been shown, not exclusive content. The internet in this instance is being used as nothing more than a way to catch up with something you missed. So your choices are:

Watch it when broadcast

Tape it on video for watching later

Record it to DVD for watching later

Record it on a hard disk recorder for watching later

Watch the repeat later in the week - almost everything is shown at least twice

Watch it on the iplayer

Given all these available means of watching something, how exactly are the programmes not accessible?

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Heart

Doing what?

"steering the BBC through major change and innovation in an uncharted sea where change is the only constant"

Excuse me, I think I'm becoming seasick.

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Linux

@AC - "A solution to the DRM issue"

"Funny how Pugh at no point suggests a solution to the DRM issue that would actually work, isn't it?"

There's a very simple solution. No DRM. The media market is moving away from DRM, anyway. Expect significant moves in this direction in 2008.

Unfortunately, this is unlikely to feed into iPlayer for some time yet, as the BBC has to get clearances from the rights owners for all the material supplied through iPlayer, before it can provide it DRM-free. A disappointing number of the rights owners are, right now, so obsessed with rights/restrictions management that they would need major surgery to extract their heads from the orifices into which they're presently jammed. That will change, forced by market momentum, just not tomorrow.

However, there are cross-platform DRM-enabled alternatives that work right now, even if they're still proprietary. Real's solution has been used for streaming by the BBC for years, and it is supported on Mac and Linux. An organisation with the clout of the Beeb wouldn't have problems persuading the Real execs to provide additional functionality to satisfy its needs, in order to leverage Real's technology into even more homes.

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Pirate

We already own the BBC.

The BBC is funded, let's face it, by a TAX (The TV License cannot be anything else when every registered address in the UK has to pay it!)

IMHO Everything shown by the BBC is paid for and owned by the British Public. Let's be done with this IPlayer faff and just get the Beeb to make programs available to the Public on DivX filtered by IP origin.

For those who whinge that the programs will leak out of the restriction of the UK - they're going to do so regardless, so lets have less of our BBC-TAX money spent on funding Microsoft and DRM companies and more money on content we can enjoy!

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sod the operating systems it doesn't work on my Wii

Which is a real shame as my Wii is positioned in the right place in relation to my Sofa for me to sit and watch telly, unlike my various computers with various operating systems.

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Stop

'Minorities' not the point

"As a license payer, I fully support the notion that my money should be spent on catering for the majority instead of pandering to a very small bunch of whinging sods with big mouths."

Jesus wept man, can't you see the bigger picture here? iPlayer is EXACTLY like the BBC broadcasting to people who own Sony TV exclusively and then claiming that's OK because m=ore people have Sony TVs than any other brand. The iPlayer débacle is an important watershed - up until now the BBC has broadcast in internationally STANDARDISED formats. We must not accept this notion of proprietary technologyendorsed and promoted by a publically funded resource like the BBC.

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Paris Hilton

Who cares about the OS, it's the timeline

Whether or not XP/Vista computers generate more hits than Linux/Mac isn't really the issue. The issue is it shouldn't take 2 years to make another version. 3 - 6 months is a far more acceptable timeframe. There's people who spend less than 2 years in jail for murder.

And as for the idiots who are saying why not do an Amiga/Workbench version, geez... grow up. That's a pointless statement. I'm sure the ratio of Amiga : Linux/Mac is significantly less than the ratio of Linux/Mac : Windows.

Also Alexander was right, if you want to spank someone talk about Adobe and not providing a 64-bit version of the plugin.

Paris Hilton icon - spankings, tv etc...

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Fandom has a price

For the BBCs own codec, I seem to remember the BBC being told to cut costs (by HM goverment) and rather a lot of their IT and R&D people forced to depart to pastures new. Unfortunitly you can't have your cake and eat it.

@mr Fair use et al ......

Recording to VCR, you have a shitty copy that degrades with every copy (and even each play). With a digital download, the damn thing is worldwide within minutes of broadcast, therefore killing any overseas sales of the programme that the production company where relying upon to make a profit.

In reality it's a more than just a different media, the digital media is so much more easily transported / pirated. Sadly there is no answer as DRM is inherently breakable it's not worth the effort. However for the BBC to make the content available online they must go with what the content providers insist upon.

Of course we could have a 2 tier system, wherre the BBC publish their own content without DRM (and OS independant).

Any external productions can go out through the DRM equipped player version. At least in that case minority OS fanbase can place the blame where it belongs.

@Chris

By brother has no internet access, wheres his accessability to the streaming content ? He has a right to it dosn't he ? (actually you could say that he has opted out of that right by living somewhere where broadbandisnt available, just as you have opted out by using linux).

I feel your example of a Sony TV is a poor one (actually childish is closer to my opinion). How about the BBC are hindering accessability as they insist on using PAL rather than NTSC. Your choice is being limited because the TV you want to use is only PAL compatable. Damn the BBC

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Flame

Then there's the interview...........

The Beebs recent touchy-feely interview with Bill Gates underlines all of this. Questions were *allegedly* submitted by members of the public, but not one came near putting Bill 'on the spot'

So we must be a nation of Microsoft lovers.

The other possibility, that the BBC deliberately filtered the questions to give Bill an easy ride, couldn't be true, could it?

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Flame

FFS

"If you own a Mac, or choose Linux... fair play, that is your choice. But you need to understand that you are in a large minority, and as we still try to work around the principle of majority rule, you should expect to wait just a little longer while the majority is catered for. If you can't wait, the answer is simple... go use a PC in your local library to use the player. If you can't possibly bear to make that effort to solve your own problems, get a digital TV recorder."

Tosser.

The issue here is about STANDARDS, not Windows, Mac or ANY OTHER specific computer OS. Why doesn't the BBC just start broadcasting over Freeview in WIndows Media 9?

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Pap

As a non TV watching non licence payer I've had to put up with threatening letters from the Beeb for many years. I've now noticed that they've added "using a computer" to the list of activities that are Illegal without a TV licence. Is this because I now have the potential to watch their mind rotting pap via my broadband connection?

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Sam

Harking back..

"Pugh? Who? He talks spew, the public are diddled, and fucked!"

The Trumpton Police riot gear, thanks...

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Paris Hilton

@Nardak

quote :

IMHO Everything shown by the BBC is paid for and owned by the British Public. Let's be done with this IPlayer faff and just get the Beeb to make programs available to the Public on DivX filtered by IP origin.

unqoute

You are obviously stupid, please be quiet

I think Nardak is Paris's alter ego

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Avi
Happy

Not quite the point...

"why do the bbc have to provide for everyone, people complain that they can't get the service because they don't use windows, why not complain that you don't get the service because you don't have broadband or because you don't have computer, or complain that you can't watch TV because you don't own a television."

If I don't have broadband and want the service, I can go and get broadband from any one of multiple providers. If I particularly dislike one of them, chances are there's one that I find amenable.

If I have no TV, I'd be a fool to pay for a TV licence, and then wouldn't mind not watching TV.

If they were only going to release it on one single system, why not pick the more interoperable and cheap one? If it's perfectly acceptable to tell people to change OSs in order to use this, surely it's more acceptable to make them change to a free one?

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Flame

Amiable, open-minded ...

"Mark Thompson and Mark Byford on the other hand are two amiable open minded chaps (and yes, I do know them both) who have the job of steering the BBC through major change and innovation in an uncharted sea where change is the only constant."

Not open-minded enough to start off the project saying "Actually, it needs to be cross-platform". I'm not shedding any tears for them, considering they get paid a significant amount of cash to run a massive organisation - if they'd innovated enough in the first place to think "Oh yeah, maybe if we made it cross-plaform and didn't tie people into the ridiculous world of Kontiki, we'd have a better proposition."

(Yes, I'm a Mac user. Yes, I have PC access. Yes, Kontiki sucks ass.)

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Re: What's the alternative? & more

The alternative is to save the files as MPEG2 files for download. In order to reduce the load on the BBC systems and on the UK network in general, these files could be BitTorrents that seed from the BBC.

As Tom said (and I've said before), for those things the BBC cannot put out because of rights and restrictions, don't put it up. Let the recalcitrant owner pay for their own distribution (after, of course, paying the BBC for THEIR rights).

The BBC spend MILLIONS on the iPlayer to make it work with MS technologies. Millions on top of the dropped Dirac player, which is far more effective for the BBC and cost ZERO in licensing fees. Millions and years. The flash player took weeks and thousands of pounds. Shows how expensive propriatory can be, doesn't it.

Lastly, to Rob, who now has a VCR? Surely it's all Freeview digital and a DVR, where there is NO loss in quality beyond that already put in to squash the most bang out of the bandwidth.

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@ all the morons here

The point being made is not that the BBC should *now* be implementing support for other platforms but that this support should have been there from the very beginning and that there was nothing to stop this from being the case. Was it technically feasible? Absolutely. Did the BBC choose to do it? No. Ergo the BBC is guilty of assisting MS in pushing their platform and proprietary formats to gain unfair market advantage. By tying their horse to MS during development, they prevented cross platform development from happening (and is it any surprise to know that two of the higher-ups in the iPlayer development outfit are former MS employees who self-evidently had an agenda to make sure that this is how things worked out?). It absolutely is not the role of the BBC to help support a company with known despicable ethics that has been convicted of such underhanded techniques in the past to do the exact same thing here. The BBC should be utterly ashamed of themselves for this iPlayer debacle.

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Alert

I'm getting slightly annoyed at...

The Gates worshippers who keep reminding us that we Linux users are just a tiny little group. That may well be the case, but Microsoft has a long record of unfairly leveraging their advantages so that this continues to be so. That is why Microsoft is now enjoying the attention of the European Community's antitrust people. I don't see why Auntie Beeb should assist Microsoft in their efforts towards continued world domination by requiring users of advanced operating systems to downgrade to some rancid version of Windows.

As for the content providers who insist on crippling their output with copy protection: They can always opt not to have their programs distributed by iPlayer. I'm sure the BBC can find plenty of material that is not so encumbered.

The folks who insist that there is no working copy protection for Linux should realise that there is no working copy protection for Windows either. Remember the Sony gaffe with copy protection that a) contained more malware than a porn site and b) could be circumvented by blacking out part of the CD with a permanent marker. People who still think that there is such a thing as working copy protection are deluding themselves.

There are many different file formats suitable for streaming video. The BBC would not have to build any software if they would simply use that, because software for viewing MP4, AVI or other video files already exist for Windows, Mac and Linux.

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@Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

"If you own a Mac, or choose Linux... fair play, that is your choice. But you need to understand that you are in a large minority, and as we still try to work around the principle of majority rule"

Linux/Mac users are pay the same license fee as everyone else, and are no longer an insignificant minority in terms of personal computer users.

This is not about 'majority rule', its about the BBC pandering to a monopoly software vendor when it need not necessarily have done so. It would have been technically possible to create a cross-platform iPlayer had the Beeb specified this as a requirement, but blinkered thinking still thinks of personal computers as running Windows. As long as companies continue to think short sightedly like this, Innovation in non-Windows platforms will continue to be stifled.

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Gates Halo

Pugh for PM

"John Pugh is my local MP and he is a complete tit." John Pugh is also my local MP and he is one of the very few politicians that I have ever met who understands the technical and competitive issues at stake and who does actually know something about software. For the record he is not anti ms but he is pro competition also in his choice of computing he is agnostic - I believe his home network comprises a windows, linux and mac os computer.

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Silver badge

BBC Quality (@Matt)

Has the quality of BBC programmes deteriorated significantly over the past 20 years? Of course it has and the rot of dumbing down should be stopped as soon as possible.

Is the quality still the best in the world? Of course it is. I recently enjoyed a fortnight's holiday near Strasbourg with easy access to French, German, Swiss and Italian TV. Virtually nothing worth watching on any of them (and what was worth watching was mainly US films). Fortunately our hotel had Internet access, so I could download a regular fix of 'In Our Time' (line speeds too low for iPlayer, sadly).

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IT Angle

@Jeremy: "It isn't about pandering to MS..."

... Windows XP might currently be the largest installed base of desktop computers, but it is currently coming to its end of life. Microsoft are trying very hard to get people to use Vista instead (despite a large amount of unpopularity), and Vista itself currently has a tiny fraction of market share.

So the only supported OSes are:

* XP 32 bit with SP2 which is end of life

* Vista 32 bit, which currently has nearly no market share, and it is not clear that it eventually will have the largest market share for this purpose (I would expect largest market share would be for set top boxes / DVRs-- which pretty well all run some derivative of Linux or BSD)

One suspects that a standards based approach would have been more cost effective and future proof for the BBC, even if they have to push some of the standards themselves (e.g. MP4 supports DRM, if not right now in the exact way the BBC required).

PS @James Bryant "Why?": Your analogy is erroneous. Should I choose to get broadband, I can get it from several suppliers and choose the best one for my purpose. If I want to use iPlayer my choice is limited to MS.

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IT Angle

RE

"The alternative is to save the files as MPEG2 files for download. In order to reduce the load on the BBC systems and on the UK network in general, these files could be BitTorrents that seed from the BBC.

As Tom said (and I've said before), for those things the BBC cannot put out because of rights and restrictions, don't put it up. Let the recalcitrant owner pay for their own distribution (after, of course, paying the BBC for THEIR rights)."

That's already done - rights block 99.999% of programmes. The rest are already podcasted.

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Go

Democracy TV

I imagine anyone (such as myself) can download the streams using DemocracyTV,or one of the other stream savers.

Obviously the BBC wouldn't want this, but then they shouldn't screw up in this way.

The guy at the top here would have expected this result, and if he didn't, they he's an idiot. By making the service WindowsXP only, he's ensured people will save the streams, and you can guarantee people will then share the saved streams.

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