back to article BBC to launch iPlayer for Wii

The BBC is set to launch a version of its popular streaming iPlayer catch-up service for Nintendo Wii owners in the UK today. The first games console release for iPlayer is being unveiled at a media conference in Cannes. It comes just over a month after Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch became the first mobile devices to get …


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  1. Scott Thomson
    Gates Horns


    Can I have iPlayer for Linux please?

  2. James Whale
    Thumb Up

    Excellent news!

    Being able to watch iPlayer through Opera on the Wii was the only reason I downloaded the browser last month, so I was quite disappointed when I found out it wasn't supported at that time.

    This is welcome news - can't wait to get home and try it out. =D

  3. John H Woods Silver badge

    Internet Choking?

    Apparently only the last mile is choking. But who needs rewiring? The last mile can and should be wireless. The ISPs are protesting too much.

  4. J Thompson

    A wonderful FriiBii

    Now I'll be able to watch the programmes that I've been missing due to a Lego Star Wars addiction.

  5. Turv

    Opera Browser?

    Last time I checked this was not free (or hasn't been since some time last year), so Wii users will need to shell out for points to access iPlayer?

  6. jonathan keith

    Good news... Adobe are being utterly rubbish in their release of the Flash 8 or 9 SDK to companies like opera, making the Wii browser useless for certain sites and functions

  7. Mark Fell-Crook


    This is fantastic, saves everyone crowding round the iMac to catch up!!

    Does this mean I have to spend 500 wii points on the opera browser though?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    that is good news now you can watch tv on a tv. novel!

    now build in a pvr and tuner and who needs a set top box.. wiimote control for tv hmmm..

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smart Move

    Very, very, very smart move.

    Not only do licence payers get better value for money since BBC has embraced web-technology it has helped to cut back and avoid the problems of pirated rips across the internet.

    If people can access what they want when they want it. BBC remain in control over their content.

    There is room for improvement.

    For example, I'd like to see for a running series for ALL previous episodes to be shown on the iplayer for people to catch up with. This is a common problem for series, people don't want to start half way through

    (with the exception of eastenders/emmerdale...because that would just be ridiculous!)

  10. Steve Mason
    Thumb Up

    browser based video

    I assume that any device with a compatible browser (flash based video I'm assuming again) will be able to access this version of iplayer given the correct url.

    If so, then linux and even ps3 users should be able to use this so long as flash is enabled/supported in their browser of choice.

  11. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Brill!

    Hi Mark,

    I just put your question to the Beeb, and the answer is yes, you'll have to pay for the browser.

    - Chris

  12. Matt Smart

    @Mark Fell-Crook

    Afraid so... mind, that's only £3.50. Granted, it's £2.50 in the states (sigh), and the Internet should be free, etc etc, but you're paying for the ability to browse the net whilst sitting on your arse in front of the TV. Money well spent to me!

    Tux because I too would like to see a Linux iPlayer...

  13. Neil Hoskins

    @various - Linux and Opera

    As I and others have pointed out many times, the streaming, Flash-based version of iPlayer will work on most GNU/Linux distros with most hardware. (Yes, OK, it won't work on your Wombat-Linux-powered Cray... I said *most* distros on *most* hardware.)

    Opera for Wii costs 500 Wii points, or around £3.50, but I suppose hardcore freetards will refuse to pay even this and prefer to spend six weeks hacking the stream so that they can play it on the aforementioned rig.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Outside UK?

    I assume that it will, as always, use the IP address to determine if you're in the UK or not?

    Unfortunately I'm heading back to Europe with my newly-purchased Wii tomorrow, so won't get a chance to try it out while I'm at home in the UK... :(

  15. david gomm

    cost of Opera

    The cost of the Opera browser (which gives you overall internet capability and not just iPlayer) at 500 points is £3.50, at roughly 1/8 of the cost of a game or 1/4 of the cost of a nunchuk it's already excellent value.

  16. paul
    Thumb Up


    Im looking forwards to this. Good work beeb and nintendo. I can't believe the BBC actually did this, I bet their MS managers are going to be pis*ed!

    Also , Im going to try the wii mote with my MythTV setup. See how that works. Just a pity their linux (other os) support is so crap , otherwise my MythBox (x86) would already have iplayer.

  17. Anonymous Coward

    So us freetards can ...

    ... still f*ck off. Right?

    It would be nice to see the BBC webstats for Wii users going to the Beeb using Opera vs. Linux users using a browser like Firefox.

    Or perhaps not.

    What do you think, Ashley?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Glad that I downloaded Opera when it was still free. </smug>

    I've been wanting this for ages, no titting about with scan converters, or watching on monitors for mii.

  19. DB

    Xbox 1

    While this may be the first official iPlayer for a console, a player for the original xbox already exists if you have it modded and use XBMC.

  20. Anonymous Coward


    @paytards - I am a true frretard, and got the opera wii browser for free when they were giving it away for the first few months - an early adopter perk :) , feel for anyone who bought there wii after June 07 though.

    @John H Woods

    Would you care to elaborate as to which wireless tech would be suitable for providing last mile wireless broadband @ > 8mbs (though an actual 2mbps for every user would be acceptable) to 20 million homes and buisnesses with equal latencies to current wired broadband? the infastructure costs of having to supply 2 million or so wireless basestations to provide the throughput would be even more costly than upgrading the last mile network, and would still only give us the same speed we get today.

  21. Adam

    Opera Wii

    You don't have to pay for Opera if you got your console in the first 6 months though (Which admittedly was a little difficult unless you like standing out in the cold at midnight).

  22. Danny

    Nintendo Stars

    You can convert the stars you get in nintendo games to Wii points. I didn't know what else to do with them so I got my 500 points and got the browser for free. (OK, maybe not free, I had to spend a fair whack on games first, but I was going to buy them anyway)

  23. Alex Tomkins

    Quality seems too low

    I've quickly tried it and there are two main problems:

    - Quality is too low, I know the iPlayer quality isn't perfect but if they don't improve it then I seriously doubt many people would bother with it. Very blocky and the FPS was far too low.

    - No quick or easy way of going full screen.

    It's nice to see that they're actually trying to go for Wii users. If the quality isn't improved though I'd either continue to watch it on the computer or connect the laptop to the TV. I'm not sure if it's a Wii limitation or if the BBC have lowered the quality for the sake of it.

  24. Paul


    Does anyone know what quality this video is going to be on the Wii. Is it flash player quality or the slightly better iwhatever quality? Still as on VM I will only be of use for about a week or so before the full iplayer comes to VM (hopefully!).

  25. thomasthetanker


    If (theoretically) I didnt have a license and watched i Player through my Wii will i get a fine?

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Wii Shop 'Browser' Hack

    If you dont have the Opera Browser, I dont know if it will work but why not try thr Wii Shopt 'browser' Hack?

    "Want to browse the internet before WII's Opera is launched? Heres how:: Step One: Download Simple DNS Plus at; Install Simple DNS Plus; Step Two: Once you have Simple DNS Plus opened goto Tools -> Edit DNS Records; In the DNS records goto tools --> Quick Domain Wizard; In the domain field type ""; for the webserver ip type in the ip of the website to goto (if you want to find out the ip goto cmd prompt and type ping google's IP is; so bascially put that in as the "Web Server IP"; Erase the secondary DNS Server and press OK

    On the WII; Goto the Wii Menu --> Wii Settings --> Internet --> Connection Settings --> Chose your connection -- >Change settings; click next 3 times until you get to the DNS setup; Click Advanced Settings; Then enter the primary DNS as your computers IP address: (to get that goto cmd prompt on the computer and type ipconfig) click ok and launch the Shopping Channel, it should bring up google now; Check Home Page for Video"

    Stolen from the internet.

    Im not sure this will work with the iPlayer though.

  27. Richard Kilpatrick

    Linux? *prods Eee*

    I watched iPlayer programmes on my Eee, so I assume Linux is already supported just fine. The iPhone implementation impressed me a lot, too.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    @ Danny


  29. wratty


    Do we know if this is a new channel that directs you to the opera channel depending on what program you use? Or is the message we get today simply going to tell us that there is an update for the internet channel? Whats the deal?

  30. Christian Dannemann

    Window size

    Just installed the internet channel on my Wii and gave it a go ...

    The playback window for iplayer is quite small - so don't expect a full-screen playback.

  31. Dave Cumming


    Not unless your playing your Wii on a monitor as you need a license to own a tv, not to watch it. Quite how the rules work if you don't own a tv but you do watch BBC on an iPhone or iPod I have no idea!

  32. Declan


    I recently discovered that downloaded iplayer files play through the xbox 360 via windows media player 11's built-in upnp media server (until the DRM expires). This would probably work on the ps3 too (although I haven't tested it). The quality of the downloads will be better than the flash streams. I agree that launching iplayer on the wii is a significant step toward bringing the iplayer in to the living room.

  33. Neil Docherty


    Anyone know when iPlayer will work from a PS3? Admittedly the streamed version could look slightly pixelated when scaled up to larger screens but it's better than nothing if you've missed something.

    Also, anyone know if HD content on it's way (even at 720p)?

  34. JK


    As I understand it, if you're watching an internet stream that mirrors the live broadcast, you need a license. If it's not a mirror, you don't. Could be wrong though, these things are made to be complex and arcane so as to catch people out.

  35. paul


    Didn't realise there was code for xbox (non-melting version) XBMC , thanks for enlightening me.

    I wonder how they do it.....

  36. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Up

    Must be Flash

    As all you do to access iPlayer on the Wii is go to the BBC iPlayer site, I assume that all the BBC have done is port iPlayer to Flash 7 so that the Wii can use it. I'm guessing that the site recognises the Wii Opera browser and 'downgrades' to Flash 7 and formats for the low res Wii screen.

    I Assume that I will get similar performance / quality to YouTube, which is also Flash 7 based.

    Will give it a go when I get home. Hope it works as the missus might forgive me for forgetting to record Casualty on Saturday......

  37. Michael B.
    Thumb Up

    Bit of resizing needed

    Just checked out this version of the iPlayer earlier and the quality isn't great, it's blocky but watchable. You do have to know how to zoom in and recentre the screen though or you get a postage stamp sized video in the middle of your screen. A little tweaking of the interface and it could be a nice option to view the BBC's content.

  38. Mark
    Gates Horns

    Big Whoop, PS3 does this already.

    Been using iPlayer on PS3 for several months (since iPlayer launched infact). Nothing special here at all.

    And I don't have to pay for access, like Wii owners do, to get Opera. the PS3 Opera browser is free.

    Install Linux

    Install Opera

    Install Flash9

    Watch iPlayer, fullscreen if you wish.

    Nothing to pay, and works fine.. Of course it would be nicer if I didn't have to boot into Linux, but that's just as added advantage, the fact is, it works TODAY.

  39. Sean Aaron

    Sounds groovy. hopefully we'll get an update for the flash plugin as well...

    I purchased the Internet Channel after I bought my Wii without complaint, but I don't use it much to be honest. Viewing YouTube or iPlayer through it might get me some use, but if it's a smaller window-within-a-window, that's not a big seller...Still, I might give it a go just because I can.

  40. Hugh Cowan

    Big Deal?

    What's the big deal? They only downgraded the Flash content so it can play on the Wii. I don't get what the fuss is about. I hope you Wii users enjoy your Youtube quality iPlayer. The rest of us (who are not abroad like me) can enjoy the full quality iPlayer, yes even on Linux!!

  41. Rachel
    Thumb Up

    BBC License

    AFAIR, there is no requirement for a TV license to use the BBC iplayer service, since the license only refers to broadcasts (and use of broadcast reception equipment) and not to watching tv as 'catch-ups'. Shady recollection of a BBC boffin telling us that since the proportion of people who have a 'net connection and no TV license is so small, there is no need to chase that demographic at the present time. This may undoubtedly change...

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Anyone know

    If you can copy Opera from one Wii to another using the SD card?

  43. Colin MacLean


    It'll probably be easier to copy £3.50 to a Wii Shop Channel account.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Re: Linux

    "Can I have iPlayer for Linux please?"

    The Flash version of iPlayer works fine on my Linux boxen. All it lacks are programmes worth watching.

    iPlayer on the Wii is an interesting concept, but on the other hand it means there's the potential of another remote control to lose down the back of the sofa :-)

  45. Danny

    RE AC How?

    Go to

    and follow the instructions. It will cost you 300 stars per 100 points. They only release a certain amount every day so if there are none left you will have to try again tomorrow.

  46. Carl Williams


    A media centre PC serves up free iplayer via Vista on the TV and as an early Wii adopter (no I didn't queue till midnight, I got lucky at Tescos) I downloaded Opera when it was free too. So I am a true freetard.

  47. David Wood

    A nice gimmic

    You have to go through the internet channel to get to iplayer, there's no dedicated channel. It runs through the flash player - all the BBC have really done is encoded the programs using a codec which works on flash 7. Because the codec is old they have to use a bit rate of 820kbps rather than the 500kbps which the original iplayer uses - and the quality is lower.

    I haven't been able to get it to run smoothly on my wii, but that's probably because my bandwidth is throttled at this time of day.

  48. Anonymous Coward

    Clever BBC

    How very clever of the BBC to run rings around the ISPs to get them to deliver all the content to me for free.

  49. James Whale

    Wha...? No full screen?

    They definitely need to add a full screen toggle switch, and the quality is low at present. Does still have a "beta" stamp in the corner though...

  50. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Up

    Works a treat!

    If you center the Flash applet and zoom in, the flash panel fills the screen. You still see the control panel at the bottom, but that's not such a bad thing.

    Quality is only passable, but its certainly watchable. On the whole a bloody good effort by the BBC.

    Missus downstairs now, watching Casualty on the Wii, I'm forgiven for forgetting to record it on Saturday and peace is restored in the Cowherd household.

    Now if only they could get the radio stuff through Flash 7 instead of RealPlayer I'd be really happy.

  51. Daniel Hall

    eye eye eye

    iwtih iall ithis iitalk iand ieverything istarting iwith i..i..ii ithought ii iwould iget iinvolved

    my name is idan, and i live in iuk, and dont have a bloody ipod!

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Well done to the guy who "simply" bought a PS3 at £300+, downloaded linux installation disks, installed it on his PS3, installed Opera, installed Flash. Simple. Obviously much easier than buying a £130 Wii and clicking on the Internet channel.

    The big deal is the average family who've bought a Wii and don't have the tech savvy to mess around can "simply" watch iPlayer on their tv with very minimal fuss and expense. Its about bringing it to the masses, not to the half a dozen folk who insist on running Linux on a PS3.

    I've just tried it, works fairly well, quality is a bit poor but about as good as on PC blown up full screen. Incidently its pretty simple to get full screen, just set your toolbar to auto-hide and double ++ click on the video.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns


    Actually, looking into this more, it turns out BBC are changing iPlayer to serve Flash7 content as well as Flash9 content, this means the PS3 will be able to play it natively, without the need to boot Linux.


    Details on the Flash7 stuff..

  54. DB


    The XBMC iPlayer script works by pretending to be an iphone. The BBC website will send an iPhone a DRM-Free MP4 file ;-)

  55. Mark
    Paris Hilton

    Native PS3 iPlayer now live...

    Looks like BBC are a bunch of clueless numpties, as a single coder has created s script that allows the PS3 to view BBC iPlayer.

    Works nicely. Not as nice as if BBC had coded their UserAgent to identify PS3 browser and serve flash7 content in the first place...

    Paris, becase even she know how to code UserAgent detection in Javascript, and serve the appriopiate content.

  56. David Ross Smith

    @AC - Wii Shop Browser

    No dice... one of the first firmware updates rendered that hack useless.

    I don't really mind either way... being in Australia, I < sarcasm > couldn't get it even if I wanted to < /sarcasm>. And if I did, I don't know if anyone here has heard of it, but there's this new thing called BitTorrent...

    Of course, we who keep an ear to the ground about TV online know that region protection is doomed to fail... see the ITV F1 stream, apparently someone's hacked the player to allow anyone to watch it, not just those in England.

    Sounds good to me, given when it gets put on TV here...

    Back on topic... um, yes, Wii Shop Browser hack doesn't work.

    Mine's the one with the Wii Points card still firmly in the pocket (I got one at launch)...

  57. Mat Phillips

    License not needed

    For clarity, a TV License is not needed for this service.

    A TV License is required to recieve television broadcasts as they are transmitted. Live TV in other words. Downloading yesterdays tv using a torrent or iplayer does not require a license.

    You DO NOT need a license in order to own a TV as stated further up in these comments, the license police would like you to think you do, but it's not true.

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