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BBC replies to Tweenies DVD/XP problem

New titles work

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Following our story last week about the BBC's Tweenies DVD not working with XP, the media organisation has kindly supplied us with the following statement.

"All BBC Worldwide DVD Videos are authored according to the official DVD Forum specifications. We test all of our releases internally on a limited number of DVD players and also on PC and Mac. In addition to this, our discs are verified by the studios who produce them with us, and are also tested externally by an independent DVD Forum-approved Verification Lab. Whilst we are happy to work with hardware providers to find solutions to compatibility issues that arise from time to time - usually when new equipment is released onto the market - responsibility for ensuring that DVD hardware conforms to DVD Forum specifications rests with hardware manufacturers, and not BBC Worldwide.

"BBC Multimedia (part of BBC Worldwide) produces PC CD-ROMs and console games/titles (PlayStation, Game Boy, etc). BBC Multimedia received the final version of Windows XP just over two weeks ago and therefore testing of our products has been carried out only on beta versions of Windows XP to date. During the course of this testing BBC Multimedia has not found any major problems operating on Windows XP with any of our titles.

"The statement on The Register on 26 October is therefore untrue - BBC Multimedia has tested all new titles and they have proved compatible with beta versions of Windows XP. We do not provide technical support, however, because at the time of production Windows XP was in no way a finished product and was going through constant changes. We continue to test our products on the latest operating systems like XP and do work with Microsoft if we find any major problems. In such cases it is Microsoft who ensure backward compatibility - Microsoft also have great incentive to retain the software users who are using their existing operating systems. I am glad to say that all BBC Multimedia titles currently in production will be fully compatible with Windows XP."

Backwards Compatible

We based our original story on the following email from BBC Multimedia to a Reg reader apologising for the fact that the Tweenies DVD doesn't work with WinXP: "BBC Multimedia titles have not been designed for use with Windows XP, and are therefore not currently supported. As Windows XP was not available when the game was designed and tested we were unable to foresee what problems might occur with the new operating system. It is difficult to diagnose your problem as the game is not supported on Windows XP and a final version of Windows XP has not yet been released to the shops. At the moment there are no plans to bring out an updated version or a downloadable patch."

But this is semantic quibbling. The BBC has tested all new titles and they work with Windows XP. And all new copies of old titles will work with WinXP. Hurrah! Unfortunately this does not help people who want to run BBC Multimedia CDs bought before last week's WinXP launch on WinXP PCs. But that's up to Microsoft to resolve, right?

In the meantime, if you've got a PC-running WinXP and you want to buy one of BBC Multimedia's very fine products, make sure with your retailer that it is a new title, or a new pressing. Old BBC Multimedia stock is still working its way through retailer shelves. ®

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