please empty your brain below

As more and more streaming video content arrives on the internet, and if people start using it, I guess our adsl connections will soon get as slow as the dial up used to be!
The traditional TV broadcasters are already losing viewers to the competition of the Internet.
I shall go to the cinema on Christmas Day afternoon and watch "Nightmare before Christmas" in 3D, and then maybe "The Golden Compass". My escape from the Turkey and mince tarts!

I'm torn between the two options.

On the one hand, the standalone player gives *WAY* better video quality once it's on your PC and they download pretty quick now that the "beta" is wide open to anyone.

On the other hand, the Flash-based one doesn't leave secret services running in the background even after you've closed the iPlayer. And said service will quietly take ALL your bandwidth if you're not clever enough to disable or block it - which most people aren't.

I've been using the iPlayer for a while now, and liked it for precisely the reasons you didn't, DG. I downloaded stuff to watch while sat on the train commuting - and for that it was absolutely grand.

I caught up on the entire of the last series of Doctor Who, and watched all the current series of Top Gear - until the last episode, which has so far "not been available for download". Which sucks.

I've got Sky+ for home use, so the on-demand thing never really bothered me. But being able to download and watch while travelling was really useful, and is the way I'll probably continue to use the player.

Where does that leave us blissfully TV-free, TV licence authority defying broadband enabled computer owners? Does this mean the bastards have got us at last?

>I prefer the here and now
that was ironic, right?

Ah well, maybe I'm just bitter since I won't be able to use this service where I live in Germany. At least I've got BBC radio online. Life would be pretty dull without that...

Try doing anything on a 512 broadband connection... even looking at a lot of sites now feels like the old days of dialup.

Sarah - good luck - a 76 year old lady I know had a 'raid' from TV licensing on Tuesday night - at almost 9pm - silly person didn't put her safety catch on before opening the door and they shoved their ID in her face and pushed past her, then looked all round before saying, "Right, we can't find it this time, but, we'll be back!" She hasn't had a TV since 1989, and constantly returns the letters to the licensing authority - with curt notes on them. When I met her in town yesterday she was still shaken up.

The only problem (apart from the spyware issues) with this service is that you have to find something worth watching that has been broadcast in the past 7 days.

My TV hasnt been on for 8 days now, apart from QI - and you're a lot better downloading a torrent so you have it to watch whenever you want..........

This is how iplayer should have been from the start. The one thing I didn't like was having to install separate software for each channel I wanted to watch and streaming is the way to go (with a download option). Roll on Project Kangaroo.

> a 76 year old lady I know had a 'raid' from TV licensing on Tuesday night

People aged 75 or over are entitled to a free TV licence. Why doesn't she just apply for a free one (even if she has no tv) to stop the hassle?

I was beta testing the iPlayer and gave up, mainly because

* It took so long to browse for content
* It was pretty slow
* Then I had to download the whole prog (500mb per hour) before realising the prog was crap.
* Even if it was good I'd only get to see it once before it self-destructed in seven days, so I had to find time for it quickly.

I too am a TV Licence refusenik. Even had my MP writing to the authority asking them to get off my back.

Anyway, I approached the TVLA media dept for clarification on the TV licence issue re iPlayer. The official response:

No licence is needed if content is not being watched at moment of on-air transmission.

So if the program has already been broadcast on air, and your iPlayer use is playing on demand from a recording, then no problem: no licence needed.

However, if you are using a computer to watch it streamed *live* over the web, technically that does need a licence, although they acknowledged that that will be a grey area for some time, until the law clarifies.

All along I've not objected to the principle of the TV licence, merely the snooping and the invasion of privacy and the tricks.

For example, they sometimes send you warning letters dressed up as red 'final demand' bills like gas or electricity. That stinks.

I also wouldn't object so much if the TV licence wasn't funding so much crap stuff that should really be on commercial TV. I am also happy to pay a subscription for BBC radio, if I had the opportunity.

'And now I can write "Did you see Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe Xmas Special last night, it was great?" and you can all click through and watch it for yourself.'

well, I could, except as an inhabitant of Ireland, I'm not allowed access. This despite the fact that BBC1, 2, 3 and 4 are all part of my cable TV package. Back to MythTV and YouTube for me...

"Sorry, this programme is only available to play in the UK".


Could ms sign language go away please?

Another non-TV owner here.
Who'd have thought so many of us read DG?

You're right, Christmas Day is an odd day to launch. But there will be plenty of folk munching mince pies and complaining about the canteen inside Television Centre and the Broadcast Centre, hoping nothing falls over.

I caught the arse end of Charlie, so thanks for the link - tho I've started using iPlayer now it's streaming. The download aspect was crap in the extreme.

As for those of you out of the UK - apply for a TV licence - I'm happy to pay it just for the fact that I get no bleeding adverts, um apart from the ones in the show.

Merry Midwinter all - it starts getting lighter from now on!

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