Category Archives: iPlayer

BBC iPlayer Streaming on the X1 (or even the Diamond or Touch Pro)

Edit: 11/12/2008 The BBC have annouced that the X1 is now supported, however it won’t run over Vodafone at the mo.

Since the BBC launched the iPlayer for the N96 I knew it wouldn’t be too long until it would be available for other phones. However I can’t wait, so spent today looking for methods in getting my X1 to stream the shows.
I managed to extract the RTSP stream of Buzzcocks and successfully got that working on my phone. My next step was to find a way that didn’t involve me using my PC opening a collection of random XML files in order, to then email a link to my phone.

Several hours of coding and I managed to strip out the opening the files on the PC to a simple web script, however I still needed the 8 letter/number code for the episode to be parsed to the page.
Then when looking at the BBC source I noticed something. They now support the Samsung I900 a Windows Mobile device.
The method for checking if your phone is a Samsung, a simple User-Agent check.

Knowing how to modify the User-Agent in Opera on my X1 I placed the code need to pass the check and BINGO my phone now loads the BBC page and plays the shows.

These are the steps for an X1i Vodafone UK Branded
Run Opera
In the address bar enter opera:config (no http://)
Scroll down to User Prefs and click
Scroll down to Custom User-Agent and at the end of the pre-filled text add sgh-i900
Scroll down some more and press Save. You will get a prompt which suggests you may need to reset the phone, but for this you don’t.

Now point your browser to http://www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/iplayer/ and enjoy.

If on your phone the Custom User-Agent is blank, try visiting something like whatsmyuseragent.com copying the User-Agent which your phone is currently displaying and then add sgh-i900 to the end.

WARNING: Please only use whilst on WIFI. I accept no responsibility for you running up HUGE bills due to large data downloads. Even if you have an “unlimited” add-on, check with your network for their Fair Usage (Vodafone’s is 500mb) as you can quickly exceed it watching TV on your mobile!

The quality isn’t exactly great on a WVGA screen as it’s been built for the Nokia N96. According to beebhack these are the specs.

Access Method: RTSP streaming
Video Codec: H.264
Video Resolution: 320 x 176
Video Bitrate: 128 kbps
Audio Codec: AAC
Audio Bitrate: 64 kbps
Overall Bitrate: 192 kbps

ps if you get a BBC 502 error, don’t worry. Looks like they are playing about with the site themselves. Just try again later.

iPlayer to allow downloads to mobile phones…

…sort of. The BBC have launched Sideloading in which you can now download programmes from the iPlayer in a lower res format to copy across to your phone or video playing handheld device.
The current restrictions are that your mobile must play DRM Windows Media files and that the downloads take place on a Windows PC.
This looks like another great bit of progress for the iPlayer project, just need to get myself a new phone which will play the files now.

BBC Conference Coverage

One of the things that you notice whilst away from Conference is the actual coverage that it gets. So far I’ve yet to see any pictures of Liverpool, but the BBC ran with “less VAT on fruit juice, more on alcohol” as their 2nd or 3rd item this morning. However whilst bored on the sofa, here were the stories on their PDA version:

OTHER TOP STORIES
Cable rethink on homes of rich
Vince Cable tells BBC News he scrapped plans for a £1m home tax over fears it would hurt middle-class voters.

SCOTLAND
Talks over scrapping council tax
Talks have taken place between ministers and the Lib Dems over scrapping the council tax, it emerges.

POLITICS
Lib Dems back Clegg health plans
Nick Clegg avoids a conference rebellion over NHS proposals but is forced to make some concessions.

HEALTH
Lib Dems propose juice tax cuts
VAT on fruit juice should be cut to 5% to encourage healthy diets, the Lib Dem spring conference is to hear.

Unfortunately the LibDems don’t seem to appear in one of the most important stories of the day:

TECHNOLOGY
BBC iPlayer comes to the iPhone
The BBC launches a version of its iPlayer video on demand service for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch.

iMP

Not a post about the Lincoln Football Team, but about the BBC Interactive Media Player.
I blogged about this back in December last year, and am now the 14th result on Google for Interactive Media Player.
Today I got my trial invite :)
Not sure if it was from the email I sent months ago, or the comment I left on the BBC stand at Federal Conference, however I’ve now got it up and running on my computer.
Finally I can get to watch those missed episodes of Spooks, or the new comedy on BBC Three that we can’t get without an aerial upgrade.
Will comment later on quality, just waiting for The Thick of It to download.