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back to article Aussie fans of old BBC fodder get paid iPlayer offering

Australians who have lived a lifetime in the shadow of BBC reruns can now ignore them on the Internet, thanks to the launch of the Australian version of the Beeb’s iPlayer app. Unlike Brits, Aussies won’t be able to play early-run Doctor Who for free. Perhaps partly to protect its relationship with the Australian Broadcasting …

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Silver badge
FAIL

The BBC needs a big clue

Much as I love the BBC they really need a serious battering with the Internet clue stick.

I know loads of fellow Pom ex-pats who would happily pay the UK Licence fee each year for full access to the BBC. Australian-made TV is a large pile of steaming poo and mostly unwatchable.

I've seen comments that claim the cost of bandwidth is an issue but surely they just need to come to a peering arrangement with some Aussie ISPs and distribute via torrent locally? I'm sure there are other countries that have an even bigger UK ex-pat audience too.

Until then many Poms will be watching the BBC via various dodgy methods and Aunty will lose out on potential overseas revenue.

"However, the broadcaster says it will be offering access to 70 years’ worth of archival material to subscribers, for any Australians that haven’t had enough of the BBC’s archives already."

Exactly. There are several channels now running very old BBC programmes, the kind I saw when I was a kid.

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a large pile of steaming poo and mostly unwatchable

I have to say that although I agree, UK television isn't that much better either.

Atleast I don't have to pay the license fee. Have a deal with a mate where we both have a slingbox at either end.

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Anonymous Coward

re: The BBC needs a big clue

"Much as I love the BBC they really need a serious battering with the Internet clue stick."

True.

As for Oz-made tv, "Spirited" is worth checking out though. As for the rest of it, every time I see that advert saying that pirating videos is like burning the Australian film industry, I'm prompted to head for the torrent sites and allocate all bandwidth to it. Really, I'm just thinking of the children!

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Underbelly is pretty good

But as far as I'm concerned, nothing beats TAYG

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Evidently you -do- have to pay the licence fee, they just haven't caught you yet.

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Childcatcher

I don't pay te licence fee because I don't watch live

If the BBC offered everyone an online archive to every BBC show that I could stream whenever i wanted i would pay the fee. Think of all those good ole shows that kids these days will be inadvertently shielded from because box sets are just too damn expensive.

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Black Helicopters

"I have to say that although I agree, UK television isn't that much better either"

If it wasn't for the ABC the TV here wouldn't get switched on. There are enough good UK comedies or docos from the BBC or C4 to keep me happy.

And if anyone from the Big Media is reading this, I buy tonnes of TV and film DVDs to assuage my guilt. I even bought Downfall, FFS. I'd just rather have a fair, legal and affordable way to watch TV from the mothership.

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"As for Oz-made tv, "Spirited" is worth checking out though."

I'm a big fan of Aus current affairs programmes made by the ABC but that's about it. As for the commercial channels rehashing American Idol into Australian Idol when the former is a rehash of Pop Idol...just don't get me started :-)

Remakes of UK comedy such as HIGNFY -> Good News Week or Buzzcocks -> Spicks and Specks...words simply fail me (except for the ones I just typed).

The BBC is like Marmite to Pom ex-pats in Aus. You need to know where to get it from under the counter.

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Facepalm

"I have to say that although I agree, UK television isn't that much better either. Atleast I don't have to pay the license fee. Have a deal with a mate where we both have a slingbox at either end."

So in the same post you're complaining that UK television is poor, AND admitting that you view it but don't pay for it? Am I the only one who sees the irony here?

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@Ian Ferguson

Not seeing the irony; more the blatant theft. (Just paid for my TV license, and smarting a little from dropping nearly 150 notes on it - why should I subsidise some selfish dick with a Slingbox?)

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@Ian Ferguson

I don't actually watch much TV myself. The Mrs Floppy (an expat) likes it though.

But yeah .. suck it to yers! Stealing your TV!

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"Unlike Brits, Aussies won’t be able to play early-run Doctor Who for free."

News to me in the UK. As far as I'm aware to see early Dr Who (from authorised sources) we have to either buy it on DVD or have subscription TV.

If someone knows otherwise I'm all ears.

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Anonymous Coward

+1

I've certainly never seen "early run" Doctor Who on iPlayer.

Having said that I have got every John Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison and Colin Baker already.

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FAIL

Close, but not close enough.

iPad only? *groans*

TVs increasingly have integrated access to streaming services like Bigpong Movies, ABC iView and YouTube. When I watch TV, I don't want to have to buy an iPad and watch on a tiny 9" screen or pay a premium to buy a cable to connect the aforementioned fondleslab to my TV.

If I could watch the BBC on my TV using my TV remote then $10 would be a bargain.

Oh, and I expect Top Gear to be available in HD with 'the news'. Channel 9 hacks the bejesus out of it and makes it near unwatchable, plus they only offer SD.

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FAIL

"Oh, and I expect Top Gear to be available in HD with 'the news'. Channel 9 hacks the bejesus out of it and makes it near unwatchable, plus they only offer SD."

I timed it once. They cut 26 minutes out for ads and trailers. They should at least make two series out of it instead of losing all that content. Tossers.

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iPad only? *groans*

I'll wager Auntie will still be claiming it's too expensive to develop for other platforms yet - or that it's still a beta so will be coming "when it's working properly"

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WTF?

Why Bother Developing Own App?

Why don't the Beeb simply put their content for foreign markets up on iTunes (and other services when/where available) and save the bother of having their own app? No, it wouldn't be streaming, but they'd get AU$1.99 per viewer per show (after Apple's cut) and probably make much more in the end than trying to persuade a limited number of tight-fisted expat Poms, who own a particular iDevice, to fork out for a monthly or yearly subscription.

The time, money and hassle of developing and supporting their own player app, for multiple platforms, simply isn't worth it.

Some of their shows are already available this way (e.g. Dr Who and that Attenborough chap's recent efforts), why not the rest?

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Presumably the European/Australian app is based on the UK version of the app.

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Thumb Up

Nope, it's nothing like the original Iplayer, and 70 years of back catelog, doubtful.

I can watch all the new Seasons of DR Who, which when you factor into the markup they put on imported box collections here is well worth the subscription fee.

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Anonymous Coward

Are they launching in New Zealand too?

I'd happily pay for the service. Is there a Beeb source for the Aussie announcement?

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Anonymous Coward

Fair cop

This is payback for Rolf Harris, isn't it?

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Gold badge
Coat

Yup, we're square there I reckon.

I'd hate to be on the receiving end of whatever Auntie's cooking up to get us even over Clive James though.....

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Is OZ version available now or coming

Hi Folks,

Is this service actually available now or coming???

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Anonymous Coward

Wait what?

> the broadcaster says it will be offering access to 70 years’ worth of archival material to subscribers

So why do we not get this in the UK? 4OD has much archived material, but generally it is only seven days in the iPlayer.

I understood this was because much of the BBC's output was made *for* them, but not *by* them, so they do not actually own the rights. But if this is the case then how can they offer a seventy year back catalogue to the Aussies?

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Silver badge
FAIL

ipad?

BBC need to get a grip. This should be on PC's and TVs that have internet access. Apple's products may be the 'coolest' but most people either can't afford them or don't want them. What are they doing to get their content to the majority?

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Radio programming included?

The Goon Shows are still being played on the ABC and to have access to all that material on demand would be worth paying for.

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The week restriction was imposed by the BBC Trust to prevent the BBC crippling the DVD market. Which, of course, it makes money from through BBC Worldwide to supplement the licence fee.

And yes, Aussies have to pay for iPlayer because they don't already have to pay the BBC for content.

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Thumb Down

BBC aside, UK TV is easily as bad as Aussie TV

Both are dumbed down to 3rd grade level.

I simply gave up watching.

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Headmaster

How about BBC4 documentaries? They're definitely not dumbed down.

BBC4 and 6 Music are worth the license fee as far as I'm concerned.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Phuzz did you not notice that the post started "BBC aside"? Or have you been dumbed down too?

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Anonymous Coward

"Early-run Dr Who" ?

Where? Show me the tentacles.

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So Australians have to pay Apple if they want to watch the BBC?

Who in the BBC is getting a kickback?

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Anonymous Coward

For comparison - Top Gear via BBC Canada

Yeah, same here in Canada.

We get last year's Top Gear in Standard Definition (actually, lower definition than that!), and cut down to fit into an hour with about 12 minutes of commercials thrown in (10-15 minutes chopped out). BBC Canada still hasn't played all the latest episodes. It's just bad, bad, worse, and bad.

I that we're missing the most recent episodes because we also get copies of Top Gear "via other channels" - the full one-hour+ versions without commercials, right up to date and in High Definition. Watching the uncut version after watching the chopped-up version is almost like watching an entirely different show.

Every Top Gear episode ever made, plus every related Clarkson/May TV show, all fit into a 500GB portable drive with room to spare. Plug it into a WD TV gadget and enjoy.

Piracy really is 'The Better Option' (TM).

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Refund my bit of their budget?

I'd rather watch an hour of TG with about 60 minutes 'chopped out' to make room for adverts and trailers.

"Every Top Gear episode ever made, plus every related Clarkson/May TV show, all fit into a 500GB portable drive with room to spare. Plug it into a WD TV gadget and enjoy"

Urgh; just got a little bit sick in my mouth....

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Gold badge
Flame

BBC.

Spending your license fee to drum up sales for Apple in Europe and Australia.

What a wunch of bucking fankers.....

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Bronze badge

Sorry, but none of the licence fee revenue will have gone on this. BBC Worldwide is not in any way funded by the licence fee. Indeed Worldwide make so much money out of internationally popular shows like TG and DW that those shows are effectively self funding for the BBC.

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When complaining about the BBC and its net offerings, remember that there are a number of commercial organisations waiting for the opportunity to scream unfair competition and demand the BBC is broken up (NB: not made to go subscription instead of licence fee, that wouldn't suffice).

Hence they try to tread carefully - which often means they cock things up.

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Sky can do it

I'm no fan of Sky but the Skyplayer shows how it could be done. It needs a username and password from someone who doesn't mind giving Rupert money and won't permit installation on more than a handful of computers.

It'd be nice to know I could type in, say, my address and TV licence number to gain access to everything the Beeb have produced. And my sister in San Francisco would happily pay a monthly fee to have the same access too.

Hell, they'd probably make more from the international punters than from licence fees if they did it properly.

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Good luck BBC

The pricing looks just like their DVD pricing structure... Way more than anyone else charges for the same thing. On the up side, at least it sounds as if they aren't just offering a bunch of "best of" collections like their DVD sets always seem to be.

Sometimes I wonder if anyone from BBC has ever actually looked at DVDs from places like USA or Australia.

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