BBC iPlayer Open To Public Beta

Although we allowed the release of the code a few weeks ago, Freesat/BBC have today officially release for all Humax receiver owners to take part in the final beta trial of the service.

The trial is the first time BBC iPlayer has been delivered on a subscription free TV service. It was initially limited to a small number of users, however, following positive feedback from this group and high levels of interest from Freesat users, the trial is now open to all Humax owners to give it a go.

Emma Scott, Managing Director of Freesat said;

Initial feedback of the trial has been really positive, with trial users able to make sure they didn’t miss some of the fantastic programming available over Christmas. For many, it was the first time they had accessed BBC iPlayer on the television, and there were high levels of satisfaction with the service itself as well how easy it was to set up and operate. I’m really pleased that we can now expand the number of Freesat viewers who can now access BBC iPlayer.

At the same time as releasing this statement, Emma Scott also confirmed that ITV Player would also make an appearance in the first half of this year;

With ITV Player also due to launch on Freesat in the first half of this year, we will be the only TV platform to offer catch up services from both major broadcasters on a subscription free basis and without the need to buy new equipment.

The ability to access on-demand is increasingly important to viewers, and Freesat’s exclusive ability to offer this to TV viewers without a subscription demonstrates our strategy of innovation and long term growth for the platform.

91 thoughts on “BBC iPlayer Open To Public Beta”

  1. Following the BBC demonstration video on Digital Spy I bought two Homeplugs and am very impressed with the results. I wonder why the demo video wasn’t on this site or did I miss it?

  2. @ 49 yes all the time if you mean connecting your WI FI laptop Vista home premium via BT home hub 2.0 at the same time your Humax HDR is plugged in to it using Ethernet cable,???

  3. Very pleased with the iPlayer Beta trial on my samsung HD television – good performance despite a below average internet speed on the Islands of Scilly. Unfortunately the microwave connection to the islands from lands End is not fast enough for the high quality picture option.

    I had problems following the automatic update of my Humax Freesat box (losing a number of channels) – Humax technical support were excellent – guiding me through a manual update to version 25 via the USB port.

    Well done the BBC and Humax technical support.

  4. Can someone explain to me the point of the iplayer.

    I already have a humax pvr on which I can record all I need to.

    Also, my PC is in a different room from the TV, separated by two walls, so no wireless option. I certainly don’t want a tangle of additional cables, and I clearly don’t want to watch TV on a 19 inch monitor rather than a 42 inch TV.

    So what’s the iplayer for?


  5. I missed silent witness on Thursday asnd wanted to watch this first episode before Fridays conclusion. Found it on the Beta but would not play.
    Found it on my pc and it was available and played. There is obviously a difference between the two BBC I players.

  6. Tony (55) – useful when you get to work/pub and everyone’s talking about a programme you didn’t watch and didn’t record.

  7. Just tried out the iplayer and very pleased with it,I get a broadband speed of about 6 mb and the high quality played without any problems.The menu was a little slow but that’s just being picky.
    I connected using a 15m ethernet cable I got off ebay for just £3.65.
    This is very handy if one of your recording fails or if your mates tell you about a programme you didn’t know about.
    Looking forward to itv player and 4od

  8. @ Tony 55,

    Not everybody has a freesat+ box, in fact I would imagine the majority do not. So the i-player is a very useful addition for most people.

  9. @53 Robert

    Thanks for replying. I have an Asrock ION 330 running Vista Home Basic under the TV wirelessly connected to my Belkin router. When I plug the Humax FOXSAT HD into the Asrock it recognises it but the Humax doesn’t get an IP address automatically allocated. I suppose I could set it up manually, but I don’t like not understanding what’s happening!

    Any ideas – anyone?


  10. @62 THE POINT IS IF YOU DON’T HAVE A HUMAX OR DON’T WANT one you go for a FREESAT TV with everything in it,,The idea of iplayer is to give you TV on demand at a later date…

  11. Got just over 1mb ,Just not fast enough for iplayer hopefully when the Internet providers give the full speed that we pay for, things might get better,but i wont hold my breath.

  12. MikeC (61) I’d have thought you would have to connect the humax to the router directly, not via your media player. Doesn’t the Asrock have access to iplayer already, in which case you probably don’t need to worry about connecting your humax.

  13. Humax models in the pipeline include a Freesat HD set-top box with BBC iPlayer and the Foxsat-HDR2, a Freesat recorder with 500GB hard drive. Both are due out in the third quarter of 2010.

    They too will be portal-ready (via Ethernet) and incorporate Humax’s Home Networking Solution, but unlike the HD-Fox T2 they will not have 1080p upscaling capability as the UK satellite TV system doesn’t support it

  14. @65 Al Catraz

    I’m a bit sad when it comes to things like this. Yes, the Asrock has got access to iPlayer but I’d like to try out the Humax interface. I’ve set up large networks at work much more easily than Vista will let me. Why do MS have to make everything so difficult?

    Direct connection to the router would obviously be the best solution, but Mrs C would withdraw marital rights if I ran a cable from where the TV is to the router upstairs!


  15. Tried this first time last night. It rocks. Its nice to get something that actually does what it says on the tin.

    All the other channels need to follow suit now…

  16. I have tried iPlayer on my Foxsat HDR, and the HQ picture quality is OK (not satellite standard), but the big problem is using it during peak surfing hours, in the evening, is not a pleasant experience (lots of breakup, stuttering etc…). Ideally I’d like to download the program to my PC and then stream to the Foxsat. Is this going to be a possibility???

  17. Alternatively, the possibility of downloading the program to the HDR itself (viz, same options as on a PC), would be even better. However, I guess for those Freesat devices without a hard disk, this is never going to be an option, and won’t be pursued by the BBC/Freesat.

  18. Hi admin, any idea when the rollout to other equipment is happening? I have an LG TV with built in freesatHD and an ethernet connection – this TV is able to connect to my router for what the manual calls “future freesat services”, which I assume would include bbc iplayer. Is it worth my trying now to see if i can receive the beta iplayer, or will it definitely not work because it’s non-Humax equipment? How does the signal “know” if you’re using a Humax receiver or an LG one, ha ha? Thanks

  19. Feedback:
    I am using iPlayer on a FoxsatHD box with a SonyKDL32W40 The Humax is connected via a 22m cat6 ethernet cable to a Linksys Router and then to Virgin 10Mb broadband. – I usually obtain the full 10meg speed
    The Humax only seems to work in DHCP mode !. Startup of iPlayer is quick, but paging takes quite a few seconds – I do not find this using iPlayer on a laptop.
    I find the HQ picture quality acceptable , but it is not as good as watching normal satellite broadcasts. Its usually quite free from artefacts, though this varies from program to program. It is not always movement that causes them,
    sometimes just switching to a new scene throws them up.
    Question: Why are some programs not available on Freesat when i can watch them on the Laptop ? (e.g Mondays Panorama (25th Jan is not available on evening 26th Jan)
    Conclusion: Very pleased so far, hope the speed and quality can be improved.

  20. Hello folks
    Can anyone help me. I have just purchased a netgear router and 2 devolo homeplugs. I have set the system up it seems to be connected okay. But when I try to obtain bbc iplayer nothing happens. I have pressed the red button, put in the code 5483 and the connecting sign comes up but nothing happens. The ethernet connection on the back of the Humax FOXSAT-HDR is flashing yellow and green so it seems to be connecting okay. Also I have configured the ethernet connection to the correct IP address, subnet and router. Help

  21. noticed that on iPlayer on the Foxsat HD if on the main menu if you operate the i information button you get details of the iPlayer software levels.

  22. I too had the ‘connecting’ but nothing else problem. Then I switched the humax from a fixed IP address to letting my router allocate addresses using DHCP, and the iPlayer menus appeared and all worked. Hope this works for some of you…

  23. Thanks folks I used the DHCP connection and it works, I think Freesat should inform there Humax users about this.

  24. As of now, the iPlayer Beta is on the main interactive menu (Humax boxes only?) and has moved to page 7001 Keying in 5483 results in “Number not found”.

    Interestingly, pressing the red button (from BBC1 London) now results in “Connecting” being flashed up over the red button prompt and before the main interactive menu is shown. Does this mean Humax boxes, when connected, use the internet for the interactive service? Presumably if all interactive options are moved from over the air to web based, there will be more bandwidth released on the transponders.

  25. The system has now reverted to the previous settings with iPlayer accessed by keying in 5483. The new page 7001 link is now not working. Perhaps they were doing a test of the software to be used on roll out.

  26. Hi All, just recently connected our Humax Foxsat-HDR to the Internet via Buffalo Wireless-N Nfiniti to BT Broadband with 4.5Mb download. Very easy to setup and connect. Also connected our Panasonic G10 and Blue Ray Player with the same Ethernet bridge. For those wanting to avoid using their home wiring, I would recommend the Buffalo. iPlayer working fine using the Humax. No break-up of connection, only a slight delay before initial play. Results similar to our Wii. As mentioned by many on the list, HD quality could be a lot better. Hopefully this will improve after beta testing? Regarding earlier message about downloading programs to PC and then streaming to Humax, not possible with this hardware. You will need a PC to TV wireless sender available from most retailers, price starting from £30.

  27. Access changes again!

    If you are using a Humax box, when you press the red button it briefly flashes “Connecting…” over the “Please wait” prompt if you have your ethernet connection working.

    With a live connection, iPlayer beta is shown as an option with page 7001 and note 5483 is no longer recognised. Presumably this means the software checks for the connection before deciding which menu to display. If your box is not connected, a menu without the iPlayer option is displayed and neither 5483 nor 7001 are recognised.

    As noted in my previous post, this arrangement was trialled on Monday morning but the player was really slow and kept stalling on me despite having a true 10Mb cable connection with about 8Mb bandwidth available once other programs had taken a bite. Now the player is responding as normal, if nor slightly quicker.

  28. Just conected up my router. Went to BBC 1 press red button and straight in. spot on. does anyone know when itv iplayer will be available

  29. The red button access to BBC iPlayer is great and simple to use.

    Any news on ITV Player and C4OD?

  30. Just joined freesat bbc i-player It was absolutely great not miss my favorite bbc programmes now so easy Im 79 now time for us to get with it….Thanks bbc and Freestat

  31. Does anyone know what iplayer beta is – can get tv but no radio and works very well through a Humax freeset+ HDR. Thanks

  32. Hi
    I am struggling with the same problem that Howard had on post 42
    I can receive iplayer on my computer, but when I try to play the sellection chosen, I am getting the blank screen.

    Anymore idea’s?

  33. I have been using the iplayer with a humax freesat plus box since the 5483 page and even with 7001. Hoever for the last two weeks I can not now get iplayer any more as the red button just stets that there is a trial going on but there is no link. Can anyone tell me why this seems to have gone backwards ??

    Any help gratefully recieved

  34. I have the BUSH BFSAT01HD box. When I first got it, it worked fine. Set to BBC1, press the red button, select Iplayer, and it all worked fine. Now though, I press the redbutton, it flashes connecting for a few seconds, then nothing happens. I unplug the internet cable and everything works except Iplayer.. Ive looked at the settings on my internet from my PC and it shows the set top box is connected and active.. Thinks its just another unreliable TV service like Freeview thats quite good only SOME of the time..!!

  35. I Have the exact same problem as you Dave. I too have the BUSH BFSAT01HD box. Selecting the red button briefly displays PLEASE WAIT followed by the word “connecting..” and nothing happens and no red button menus appear. It had been working fine a few days ago.

  36. Really interesting to read the above comments. I carried out some trials earlier in year (circa April / May 2010) and iPlayer worked just fine through my Humax Foxsat HDR. Then I had to reconfigure our audio / video system along with refurnishing our sitting room. Imagine my surprise when I finally commissioned our new setup only to find that iPlayer no longer works!!! All goes well until you press ‘OK’ to load 7001. Most times only the heading frame loads and no content. It is just the same when using either Humax Foxsat HDR or Panasonic TX-L32V10B. I notice that the BBC representatives can’t or won’t make any comment on why the service is ‘broken’. It is now 3rd qtr of year 2010 and we are ‘going backwards’. At present this service is NOT at beta stage

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