In tribute to Galaxy Note 7, BBC iPlayer support goes up in flames for some Samsung TVs
Got a Sammy telly older than a few years? No iAuntie for you this Christmas, we fear
Updated Owners of some Samsung smart TVs are finding themselves suddenly unable to watch BBC iPlayer on their gear.
It's not entirely clear what's caused the tellies to suddenly crap out with the British broadcaster's online stream service. Though, we note, it is potentially fixable in software. On Monday, Samsung UK's support page posted an announcement detailing how customers can update their sets to regain support for the Beeb's iPlayer service.
Users who are unable to watch iPlayer are instructed to pull up the support menu, select "software update" and either select "update now" or "online" option depending on the set. After following the on-screen instructions, Samsung says the kit should once again be able to show iPlayer.
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Well, some of them, at least.
Samsung notes that 11 models, all sold between 2013 and 2015, in particular are not able to support the software update. While a fix for those sets is due to arrive sometime early next year, punters will have to either score themselves a new television, some sort of box to plug in that can do iPlayer, or go without the Beeb's streaming tech on the tellies over the rest of the Christmas season.
If this month's firmware update doesn't work, nor the early 2020 one, your TV will be, at this rate, out of luck with iPlayer for good.
There are plenty of complaints in the Samsung support forums from punters unable to get iPlayer working despite installing a software update, version 2900, which came out this week and presumably was supposed to make the app function as normal. It's a bit of a mess overall.
According to outage monitoring service DownDetector, there appear to be no shortage of Samsung TV owners who have been blindsided by the service shutdown. Numerous Brits have taken to the site to complain about their Samsung sets not working, causing a spike in the number of outage reports. ®
Updated to add on December 12
Samsung now says its H-series of TVs – UE22H, UE32H, UE40H, UE46H, UE48H, UE50H, UE55H, UE60H, UE65H, UE75H – do not work with the firmware update needed to watch iPlayer, and a further fix is promised.
This article was revised after publication to clear up some confusion. On Friday, the BBC ended support for 150-odd types of Samsung Blu-ray players and home theaters manufactured between 2012 and 2018, saying only that the equipment no longer met various unspecified "technical requirements."
"BBC iPlayer is no longer available on some Samsung devices... as they are unable to support the technical requirements needed to keep BBC iPlayer going," Auntie said. "Despite the challenge, we work hard to keep BBC iPlayer working on as many devices as possible."
Contrary to our initial reporting, this termination of support for Blu-ray players and home theaters is unrelated to the Monday blip involved Samsung TV sets. It was a coincidence, according to a BBC spokesperson.
"Samsung are aware of an issue preventing some of their 2013 TVs from playing back programmes in iPlayer and they are urgently working on rolling out a firmware update to fix the issue," the PR told us. "Affected users requiring more information or help should contact Samsung support."
So, in summary: on Friday, iPlayer pulled support for a big bunch of Samsung-made Blu-ray and home theater gear, and then on Monday, for unrelated reasons, some Samsung smart TVs stopped working with the streaming service. In the latter case, viewers should try to apply a software update to fix the issue, or wait for one to arrive. We apologize for any confusion, and are happy to clarify the situation.