Join Freesat

Jan 11 2010

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 Responses to “BBC iPlayer Open To Public Beta”

  1. Howard Says:

    I am using Humax HDPVR with Virgin Media Broadband (10MB).

    When I select a BBC Channel = Press the Red Button = Enter the Pin 5483 = IPlayer loads = After I menu thru to the programme I wish to view, I see loading then the Screen goes blank nothing else happends until I select Exit from the handdeld Remote.

    I’ve checked the network config I get all the settings from my router ie IP Address DNS etc

    Any ideas



  2. Jonathan Poston Says:

    I don’t know about other platforms but the iplayer has been available on play tv Freeview with the PS3 for over a year now.


  3. Jonathan Poston Says:

    I don’t know about other platforms but iplayer has been available on the PS3 play tv Freeview service for over a year now.


  4. tony Says:

    anyone know how to use it now.i have humax nothing on the menu and you still need to put in the pin/page 5483.will we get a software update?


  5. glyn Says:

    i have a humax foxsat hdpvr with talk talk broadband,How do i connect to the iplayer,do i need a code of somesort and how easy is it,Are there any pitfalls as i don’t want to compromise any of my equipment.


  6. Steven.V Says:

    all people need to put BBC 1 in first then press the red button then the code( live 5483) then it will connect as long as you have the latest version of software

    i would recommend that people first do a software scan before trying BBC iPlayer
    I have 02 broadband and live in the sticks receiving 1.5 ish meg and it works fine


  7. john s Says:

    When can I get iplayer on my goodmans freesat HD box?


  8. admin Says:

    When can I get iplayer on my goodmans freesat HD box?

    As per the post above, only Humax at this stage.


  9. Russ Says:

    @ glyn,

    You will first need to connect your modem to your humax receiver with either a ethernet cable or a set of homeplugs.


  10. Rob H Says:

    I’m looking forward to the ITV Player – hope it’s not the cock up that ITV HD has been.


  11. Mark Says:

    Works great. I like the choice of high or low quality.


  12. cid Says:

    Iplayer is realy good and I look forward to itv player also would love to see eurosport player. but I’m still guted about how little freesat has to offer :-(


  13. Jimmy R Says:

    Will the Freesat I player be extended to include Radio ? It would be good to listen to late junction at an earlier hour.


  14. Howard Says:

    What causes IPlayer to freeze once you have selected the programme to view, just Loading then Blank Sceen. I Phoned FreeSat they said the service was in Beta and other customers had report a similar problem.

    Box is a Humax HDPVR

    Any ideas?


  15. Yorky Says:

    Are there definite plans to release iPlayer across all receivers, or is this the start of a two-tier Freesat service?


  16. Robert Hudson Says:

    Yes I sometimes get a blank screen, if I press fast forward I can get it to play!!!
    Humax HDPVR


  17. Jacques Says:

    I connected and chose high quality, I noticed the picture wasn’t as good as my BT Vision on demand pictures,they looked a bit softer. It also pixilated quite a lot especially with moving images, I have a 7.6MB BT ADSL connection, so I am not sure whether the problem is a streaming bandwidth issue and if so at which end. However even with the above issues that I am sure will be resolved, it is still a good step forward.


  18. Lee B Says:

    Works like a charm on my HDR box with Virgin 10 meg broadband. High quality looks good but normal quality too soft.


  19. glyn Says:

    I plugged my ethernet cable into my hd pvr , cant find iplayer what menu do i access.


  20. Russ Says:

    @ glyn

    press your text button on your humax remote, when the text menu appear on screen type in code 5483


  21. Stewart Says:

    I have been quite happy using iPlayer on my Humax using the code. However when I select “Search” I get a screen explaining how to enter text but whatever I press no text goes into the search text field. Any ideas or is this a bug?


  22. glyn Says:

    @ russ many thanks.


  23. Peter R Says:

    It’s not immediately obvious that you have to access the Red Button Service from BBC1 and THEN just enter the PIN 5483; there’s no intermediate button press. As soon as you press the “5” a new Menu appears asking what page to go to. In effect, the iPlayer is on Page 5483 of the Red Button Service.

    I didn’t have any lockups or issues (Humax FoxSat HDR) but didn’t think the picture quality was that great, even on High Quality, but perhaps that’s because the picture’s blown up to 50″. That said, the streaming seemed fine. It would probably be more watchable on a smaller TV.

    I don’t think I’d use it again until the picture quality improved.


  24. tony Says:



  25. colin Says:

    @ Stewart (21)
    Press the down arrow below OK and you should then be able to enter text for searching.


  26. BBC iPlayer on Freesat Team Says:

    Hi everyone,
    If you have questions that people here can’t answer, you have suggestions/feedback or you’d like to know more about the how the service works, please leave a comment on the launch blog post ( or on the Digital Spy forums ( We’ll try to be as swift in our responses as possible.
    Thanks for your interest,
    BBC iPlayer on Freesat Team


  27. admin Says:

    @BBC iPlayer on Freesat Team

    It would be better if you also answer questions on here, after all, this is where most beta trial users gained access from originally and check for information.


  28. glyn Says:

    I phoned freesat and they said iplayer was not available to everyone yet,I live in south wales.


  29. BBC iPlayer on Freesat Team Says:

    We’ll try :-)

    It takes a while to check all the sites, so there are some where responses will be quicker than others. A lot of questions have already been answered so we’d encourage people to check out the blog comments or the large Digital Spy thread to see if their query has already been answered.


  30. admin Says:


    BBC iPlayer is available on public BETA test to any one with a Humax FOXSAT-HD or HDR receiver; it doesn’t matter where you live.


  31. admin Says:

    @BBC iPlayer on Freesat Team

    This site gets more action and more visits; make it a priority 😉 😀


  32. Galvatron Says:

    I know iPlayer isn’t available on the Goodmans/Bush/Alba boxes and the answer we’ve been given is “Not yet”, I would like to know when, at least roughly.


  33. glyn Says:

    @Admin ,I get the notification message connecting ,but that’s about it ,does it take a certain amount of time to load for the first time.


  34. Eskimo Sympathiser Says:


    The search foxed my initially, the focus is still highlighting the top of the screen press the down button and the focus switches to the search box. You can then type in text as you would a text message.


  35. Howard Says:

    That’s what I see Connecting followed by Blank Screen. If I then press Fast Forward and bar appears without any sign of a program. Any ideas may box is a Humax HDPVR


  36. darnall42 Says:

    BBCiPlayer has been great over the christmas and new year holidays ,lets hope that ITV player is just as good and Lets Hope 4OD and Five on Demand are waiting in the wings :)


  37. BBC iPlayer on Freesat Team Says:

    @Howard, do you get the iPlayer interface? Do you get “swirly circles” while the video is loading?

    @glyn, if the “Connecting” message is visible in the top right but doesn’t disappear within about 5 seconds this means your set top box cannot get to the internet, double check your setup (if you don’t know how to do this, see the guides at

    Regarding manufacturers other than Humax, all Freesat HD boxes will be updated to enable access to iPlayer. The timetable for this is up to the individual manufacturer. Bear in mind that over-the-air downloads are subject to rigorous testing so keep an eye on for details of when your device is receiving updates. We’ll try to let you know which versions support BBC iPlayer in advance of release.


  38. Howard Says:

    I get the IPlayer interface and able to navigate across to Channels then down to BBC1 also able to select a Day and even Programme, however when I try and play Either low or High Res screen goes Blank.

    I do not see a ‘Swirly circles’


  39. glyn Says:

    @ Admin, Got my Ethernet cable connected as advised still not connecting,i think my broadband to slow,Only just over 1MB.


  40. Sparky Says:

    Oh Snow snow snow,
    And even though I wanted to watch the iplayer via Freesat , I couldn’t due to a thick layer of white stuff outdoors on my dish! Didn’t dawn on me that iplayer wouldn’t work if I couldn’t get a sat signal for BB1 to press the red button !


  41. byfo Says:

    I’ve been using iplayer on my TV since the code was available. I must say well done BBC. Great picture…..but I do have a good internet connection about 16 meg with O2.


  42. BBC iPlayer on Freesat Team Says:

    @Howard, this means that for some reason you’re not able to get a connection to the video servers. Determining the exact reason could be tricky, and I’m not sure how technical you are. Can you play videos on BBC iPlayer via your PC on the same internet connection? (Need to check that your ISP isn’t routing your connection overseas, as streaming rights for the iPlayer are subject to a geo-IP restriction).
    @Sparky, yes you’ll need to access a BBC channel (any except Children’s) to launch the BBC iPlayer, as access is part of the BBC digital text service.


  43. marc Says:

    Hi, i live in south wales, i have the humax HD box and BBCi Player works fine, all u have to do is connect an Ethernet cable, then go to a BBC channel, then push the red button, input the code 5483 it will then connect and you are able to use the BBCi Player



  44. soxie Says:

    does it work with the humax if you are outside the uk (reception of all ukstations superb onnhumax) or does your ipaddress matter like the bbc iplayer on the internet


  45. Alan M Says:

    The BBC’s iPlayer TV catch-up software will be built directly into TVs that will be widely available in the UK within months, the Corporation has confirmed. Samsung has become the first major manufacturer to officially announce that its Internet@TV service will be updated to include full access to the iPlayer, as well as an online version of the popular LoveFilm DVD-rental service. The development confirms indications reported from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week.

    In December of 2009, Marks and Spencer signed a deal with manufacturer Cello to exclusively stock the iViewer TV, which offered a similar service, but forthcoming models from other TV-makers are likely to offer significantly higher specifications.


  46. stig Says:

    when you look at a list of programs why does it show the picture from the bottom program on the list. or is it just my box? other than that i think i runs very well!
    well done guys at the bbc!


  47. Stephen Bamforth Says:

    I got 2 Dlink home plugs from Amazon and connected to my O2 router worked first time, picture quality just short of SD on 40 inch Sony TV only odd problem being the top menu Home : Channel :Search seams to go direct to the option you move to without needing a confirmation if you are not quick enough. As someone who is still amazed at colour TV I find it astounding that I can get a menu driven system with decent picture quality down a pair of copper wires to a router then via my house mains to a Humax Foxsat PVR for free.


  48. Al Catraz Says:

    @26 BBC iPlayer on Freesat Team: the digital spy forum is not free for all users (those of us with google, hotmail, yahoo addresses have to pay a registry cost of £5), so I’ll stick to the FREE site, thanks!

    My panny G15 says “connecting…” when I go to page 5483 which got my hopes up for a brief moment, but I suppose this simply means that you are broadcasting the pages neccessary for this to work on the red button, but until panasonic upgrade the software on my TV that’s as far as I’m going to get.


  49. MikeC Says:

    Has anyone managed to connect the Freesat-based iPlayer using Internet Connection Sharing on a PC running Vista Home?

    I can’t get it to work :-(


  50. Michael O'B Says:

    I live in southern Ireland. Can get the iplayer on my computer. Now we are not supposed to receive the iplayer on the Freesat. Have got the Humax freesat box but when I set it up, it states “connecting”…a few weeks ago up came the menu for the iplayer but not anymore. I presume it registers as being outside the UK. A shame really as we can receive the BBC via sky. Anyone any ideas how to get around this (legally of course)!!


  51. Michael Bath Says:

    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?


  52. admin Says:

    You mean this one 😉 It was posted on here first but we crashed their server 😀


  53. Robert Hudson Says:

    @ 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,???


  54. John Says:

    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.


  55. tony mcallister Says:

    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?



  56. colin Says:

    Why does the BBC One listing page on iPlayer Beta think that today is Sun 10?
    Or is it just me?


  57. Geoff Spink Says:

    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.


  58. Al Catraz Says:

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


  59. Ian Says:

    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


  60. Russ Says:

    @ 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.


  61. MikeC Says:

    @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?



  62. Tony Hales Says:

    @45 Alan M
    And you point is?


  63. Alan M Says:

    @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…


  64. glyn Says:

    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.


  65. Al Catraz Says:

    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.


  66. Alan M Says:

    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


  67. MikeC Says:

    @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!



  68. TheDukeOfHunslet Says:

    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…


  69. lunatrick Says:

    any idea when this will be released on the the Technisat box?


  70. RecursiveLoop Says:

    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???


  71. RecursiveLoop Says:

    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.


  72. earthorbit Says:

    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


  73. AJ Says:

    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.


  74. Peter Says:

    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


  75. Stephen Bamforth Says:

    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.


  76. Martin Brewer Says:

    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…


  77. Peter Says:

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


  78. Mick Says:

    Just tried it I am on talktalk 2.3 meg works in low res ok but hi res keeps stopping


  79. Peter Says:

    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.


  80. Peter Says:

    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.


  81. Andrew Says:

    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.


  82. Peter Says:

    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.


  83. Paul Says:

    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


  84. Vyv Says:

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

    Any news on ITV Player and C4OD?


  85. John Richards Says:

    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


  86. Stuart Says:

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


  87. Mickc Says:

    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?


  88. Phil B Says:

    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


  89. Dave Says:

    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..!!


  90. Rod Says:

    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.


  91. Dereks Says:

    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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