Beeb iPlayer gets Firefox-friendly
Auntie's IE hegemony broken for download client
The BBC has finally made the download version of its iPlayer on-demand TV service compatible with Firefox, after six months as an Internet Explorer-only product.
There's still no support for operating systems other than Windows, but it marks the first official break with the multi-million-pound application's Microsoft-only status. Linux and Mac versions have been promised within two years.
Anthony Rose, the ex-Kazaa tech chief who was put in charge of iPlayer development in September, said: "It's good because it's the first real non-Microsoft thing we've been able to do with the download iPlayer."
Adding Firefox compatibility for Windows PCs has taken about two months, he said. "I was surprised that Kontiki [the Verisign P2P platform that distributes video for the download client] has a strange Internet Explorer plug-in to support Firefox support, and there were problems with that. What we did was to write our own Firefox plug-in instead."
Savvy Firefox users have been able to use the iPlayer application by downloading and installing their own plug-in independent of the BBC, but today's update means mainstream licence fee payers aren't forced to use Internet Explorer if they want downloads.
The rapidly-conceived, browser and OS-agnostic, Flash-based web streaming iPlayer has proven more popular than the desktop application by a factor of eight to one. BBC sources say peer to peer will likely be developed as a secondary complement to streaming services, for cheap distribution of massive high definition video files (which are too big for streaming on the existing broadband infrastructure) for viewers who want them, for example. ®
Who watches TV on their PC anyway?
Would be nice if the BBC would work on a version that would work on TV-connected network media players and/or games consoles such as the Wii, PS3 and XBox 360. Who wants to sit in front of their PC watching a programme they missed? I'm sure they'd rather be in front of the TV that said games machine or media player is connected to.
Linux and Mac versions have NOT been promised within two years.
The article is wrong, unfortunately. The BBC Trust's *interim* conclusions of the Pubclic Value Test for the iPlayer mandated this, but the final report was watered down to a "review" every six months.
Student TV Licences
As a landlord of several student houses if you're a student living in a shared house here are some TV Licence tips for you:-
*) If you have a joint tenancy agreement (i.e. there is one tenancy agreement for the house with everyones name on it) then you only need ONE licence for the property, end of story. If you are receiving any TV Licence mail addressed to "Room 1", "Room 2" and such like then contact the TVL to have these "addresses" removed as they do not exist. Stuff about locks on internal doors is an urban legend.
*) If you have an individual tenancy agreement (i.e. Room x, Name n) then you need a seperate TV licence for each tenanted room which has a TV set. If a TV is supplied in the lounge/common room then the landlord must have a licence which covers this TV ONLY! (and the kitchen/any other common area if one is in there).
*) As mentioned in the post above, should a TV licence person knock at the door you are not obliged to let them in and advised to politely decline to answer of the questions or engage in any kind of dialogue with them.
I've seen students in a seven bedroom house shell out £948.50 for TV licences due to nasty letters from TVL when legally they only required one licecne. Above all make sure you are covered but dont get FLEECED!