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Old 06-09-2008, 01:46 PM
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BBC iPlayer available on Nokia N96 soon

Several sites are reporting that a BBC iPlayer application will soon be available for the Nokia N96. Some N96's will ship with the application preloaded, but it will also be available for download from the BBC website. The application will support both the downloading and streaming of BBC TV and radio programmes. Read on for more.

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 06-09-2008, 03:25 PM
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Finally!

It's insane that they supported a single phone with a very low installed userbase that's only available on a single network in the UK before other platforms.

Even more insane when you consider that you can already access iPlayer on an S60 v3 phone by changing the user agent string sent by the browser to make it look like an iPhone. They could have just allowed the S60 browser user agent, and given more people access long ago.

Damn media types and their new Apple toys.

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Old 06-09-2008, 03:40 PM
Tzer2 Tzer2 is offline
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Quote:
Damn media types and their new Apple toys.
I think I mentioned these before, but the BBC apparently has an internal Apple shop where employees can buy Apple products at a discount, and when the iPhone got its first firmware update it was one of the main three items on the BBC News front page, space which is normally reserved for extremely important news about wars, disasters, elections etc.

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Old 06-09-2008, 04:46 PM
junchao8 junchao8 is offline
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The thing is that the hardware platform of n96 is one of a kind in s60 world, its has hardware acceleration for certain types of codec that is unique to itself, thus its optimpsed to minimise cpu usage and extend battery life by offloading decoding or encoding tasks to special hardware, while as much as I hate the 'upgraded' processing solution in n96, this does stand itself from the freescale and omap alternatives,i guess its likely initially only iplayer support for n96 will be there hence it has superior dedicated hardware platform suited for this task, probably the stream will be H.264. i think later there will also be 3gp version of the iplayer, as bbc wants to make this available on as many handsets as possible.

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Old 06-09-2008, 06:46 PM
srw985 srw985 is offline
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If the BBC do not make it available on all S60v3 phones then it is a disgrace.
Im sure someone could crack it for all phones like with the Ngage beta though.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:22 PM
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i suppose our tv licensing fee will double due to this.

  #7  
Old 06-09-2008, 09:29 PM
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Whilst there will be a WRT widget that will ship on the N96 (and maybe other devices) the service will run on an array of 3G phones with good web browsers. Download will be a bit more limited though as it is on the desktop.

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Old 06-09-2008, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junchao8 View Post
The thing is that the hardware platform of n96 is one of a kind in s60 world, its has hardware acceleration for certain types of codec that is unique to itself, thus its optimpsed to minimise cpu usage and extend battery life by offloading decoding or encoding tasks to special hardware, while as much as I hate the 'upgraded' processing solution in n96, this does stand itself from the freescale and omap alternatives,i guess its likely initially only iplayer support for n96 will be there hence it has superior dedicated hardware platform suited for this task, probably the stream will be H.264. i think later there will also be 3gp version of the iplayer, as bbc wants to make this available on as many handsets as possible.
I don't think that the BBC should pick devices to be able to view iPlayer based on the battery life. That's up to the user to decide if they want to use their battery life on iPlayer - just as with WiFi, GPS, games, calls, backlight brightness, etc.

Current S60 v3 devices can already access the iPlayer site and play the media on there by changing the user-agent string of the S60 browser to look like an iPhone, as I previously mentioned. The media plays perfectly adequately in the built-in realplayer, and it requires _nothing_ from the BBC other than to allow more different user-agents to access the feed. It would literally take no effort on their part.

In the BBC Royal Charter review, they claim that the universality of the BBC (that everyone has access to it) is important to them and use this as a reason to charge a license fee. That they have not opened up iPlayer to many devices that can easily view it with no effort to them and specifically focussing on a minority of the population (and not in a politically correct "positive-descrimination" way but in an elitist "only the wealthy should be able to see it" way, considering the initial price of the iPhone at the time) could be seen as going against that view.

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Old 06-09-2008, 10:34 PM
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There is nothing superior about the hardware on the n96. The n95 has much better dedicated video hardware decoders (h.264). Play a high resolution and bitrates h.264 encoded video on the n95 and you'll see it outperforms the n96.

People read a little about some video optimisation and think it's better than everything else. The n96 uses OLD ARM9 dual cpu @264mhz where as the N95 uses the newer ARM11 dual cpu @ ~332Mhz.

From initial benchmarks at smape the n96 is one of the slowest devices...
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nedrichards View Post
Whilst there will be a WRT widget that will ship on the N96 (and maybe other devices) the service will run on an array of 3G phones with good web browsers. Download will be a bit more limited though as it is on the desktop.
Thanks nedrichards for the clarification. Much appreciated.

For others - WRT is something that runs across all FP2 devices and most FP1 devices. Looks like it will essentially be a wrapper for an iPlayer website (i.e. a way of making it easier to access)...

BBC bashing - I thought this might happen when I posted the thread. Lets face it the BBC is far more forward thinking on this stuff than any other broadcaster I can think of. I for one feel they do a good job and its great to see them innovating (though yes I do think they should have done general mobile before iPhone).
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Rafe View Post
BBC bashing - I thought this might happen when I posted the thread. Lets face it the BBC is far more forward thinking on this stuff than any other broadcaster I can think of. I for one feel they do a good job and its great to see them innovating (though yes I do think they should have done general mobile before iPhone).
Apologies. I approve of much of the BBCs work. Solely supporting the iPhone smacked of the developers getting a new toy, rather than serving the public interest, as their charter demands.

If you have read the iPlayer blog, you would know that it was a huge amount of work that had to be undertaken to support it. When a few more minutes could have supported many times more devices, it raises my ire.

  #12  
Old 07-09-2008, 01:06 AM
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Thumbs down Is this because the N96 tuner won't work in the uk?

The rumours seem to be that the tuner doesn't work with freeview so presumably this is a half-hearted attempt to add some of that functionality back.

I'm sure the iplayer app will work with most symbian phones if we can get hold of the software ....

  #13  
Old 07-09-2008, 09:27 AM
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This application is just a WRT widget which presents the users with an XML driven tv listing - the same content as on the PC, the streaming is handled by realplayer.

The version I have seen didn't support download and I believe that they are looking to lock down usage to particular handsets via the UA String of the Browser/WRT Enviroment.

The real question here is can and will mobile networks support this service?

If this takes off like the PC client with traffic and the number of users go through the roof, iPlayer mobile could take down mobile operators services in highly populated areas when you get multipul users in one area all using the widget... Until MBMS, this type of service cannot be managed by mobile operators - the mobile networks are not set up for this type of service which lives outside of their walled gardens. Over night their internet connections could be saturated by iPlayer mobile traffic....

Wonder which operators will be blocking this and which operator branded devices will ship with he widget and promote this service?

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Old 07-09-2008, 10:42 AM
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Cost for data on my provider (chosen by my workplace) is so high that I would never consider using iPlayer over a mobile connection.

It's great for access around the house, and at other wifi hotspots though (this is my current usage pattern for applications like emTube and iPlayer on my phone).

I would imagine that operators would love the huge charges that people might run up with iPlayer

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Old 07-09-2008, 08:40 PM
srw985 srw985 is offline
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Could be good on Wifi and works fine now (the hard way) over 3G, but of course the BBC promoting it and people started to use it then it would eat so much bandwidth we'd find it completely blocked.
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