BBC iPlayer better, but TV shows missing

The BBC iPlayer has unveiled a slew of enhancements ahead of its full publicity drive from Christmas onward. Streaming of all programmes is now available from the site for Windows, Mac and Linux users, and you don't have to register or sign-in to download. Windows Vista users are also included in the download scheme.

"Windows XP and Vista users will have an improved version of Download Manager (formerly the Library) available to them," says Jon, a BBC message board moderator.

Our first impression of the streaming is that it's actually surprisingly good in terms of quality and doesn't look too bad in full-screen mode. However, be warned: you will need to have the latest version of Adobe's Flash Player if you want to go full screen. And you'll need to reset your browser and possibly your machine in order to get it to work.

'Making the unmissable, unmissable'

However, all is not rosy, since many programmes have not been available for days. One of the board moderators seemed to suggest that the external agency providing the programme encoding had not been at the top of their game.

One of the problem programmes is Sunday's Top Gear which some people are struggling to download, and others can only stream. We've asked the Beeb to comment on this, as it rather makes a joke out of its new strapline for the iPlayer: 'making the unmissable, unmissable'.

As for other features, the BBC Radio Player has been rebranded as BBC iPlayer radio, but the two are not yet integrated apart from by cross-linking.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.