back to article BBC goes live... over Wi-Fi

No telly in your office? No problem, because the BBC has launched a live TV service for smartphones. BBC_Live_TV The BBC's Live TV service (left) also supports live radio (right) Although still in beta, the Live TV service is designed to let you watch a selection of TV channels, including One, Two and BBC News, live over a …


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  1. Charles Tsang
    Black Helicopters

    wacky jacqui influences BBC criminalisation progrom

    Heh, have the BBC been taking lessons from the Home Office?

    If the statement about watching TV on the phone is policed anything like the TV licence, then possession of a smart phone is as good as signing yourself up as a criminal!

  2. V
    Thumb Down


    Says my Nokia N95 is not a supporter device.

  3. Jess

    Criminal offense

    then they should require you to enter your license number (and a password) to watch it.

  4. Peter Sommer
    Thumb Down

    Not working on Nokia E71!

    Not working on Nokia E71!

  5. M

    Cue BBC Hand-wringing

    Roll out free live internet telly, then state to the government that people without licenses are 'stealing' tv. Bish hash bosh, a flat rate internet tax 'in case' you decide to watch tv.

  6. Ian Willcock
    Paris Hilton

    It's not just iPhones!

    It doesn't work on my N95 8GB either... although I can listen the the radio 4 live feed directly from Real Player!

    Paris - because it seemed like a nice idea!

  7. Defiant
    Thumb Down

    Scrap The BBC TAX!

    You guys do know the BBC is only doing this because their pushing for an Internet Licence to replace the TV one?. I myself haven't paid them in 19yrs and never will because I hate everything the left wingers mouth piece does.

  8. Simon Proctor


    Well I just tried it with my G1 and got a lovely 'Your phone is not supported page'. Maybe they mean it'll work after the next update which is possibly bringing us Flash?

    Or maybe not.

  9. Jon Brunson

    Doesn't work

    On my G1:

    "Your device appears to be unable to support this service."

    Shame really, it'd be nice if I could watch a bit of TV during my lunch break

  10. It wasnt me

    @Charles Tsang

    "If the statement about watching TV on the phone is policed anything like the TV licence, then possession of a smart phone is as good as signing yourself up as a criminal!"

    Unless, of course, you just buy a sodding TV licence and worry about the more important things in your life.

    Bring on the 800 comments from the BBCtards.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    TV driving licence

    Tell me when it works then, to cancel my TV driving licence

  12. Tony

    BBC goes live... over Wi-Fi

    Does not work on my N95 - reports "Your device appears to be unable to support this service"

  13. Neil Hoskins
    Thumb Up


    <picks self off floor because the Reg have covered a smartphone story that's not about the iPhone>

    Currently only 5800 and N96 AFAIK, presumably because of DRM issues. My N95-1 just shows "unsupported".

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Just tried it on my iPhone over home wireless network and according to the beeb I'm not on a wireless network so they ain't playing. Just me?

  15. Andrew

    Wifi/smartphone only?

    Since when did (or should) the connection methodology or the platform used matter? Why suddenly is it important to stream TV to wirelessly connected smartphones but still not a good idea to stream to wired PCs?

    Let's see if we can't come up with a slashdot car analogy... Isn't this like selling petrol which will only power blue cars?

    Oh, and when will iplayer-dl have a version to handle the live stream?

  16. hugh
    Thumb Down

    Not working on Android

    "Your device appears to be unable to support this service"

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    poor quality

    Considering we are only allowed to view over wifi at present, why the terrible low resolution? All the phones they currently support have at least 320 x 240 displays.

  18. Mark Marsh
    Thumb Down

    Not working on N79

    Has anyone got it to work?

  19. Ryan Cullen

    way old news

    I've been able to watch live TV via the mobile BBC website for months on my X1. And to Andrew, you can watch live TV on your wired PC

  20. darkmooink
    Thumb Up


    works fine on the omnia, now all i need is a headphone cable that also allows me to charge it

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't work in Scotland

    My Nokia via wi-fi over BT Broadband says... "Sorry. Programmes cannot be watched outside the UK. I didn't know Scotland had declared UDI

  22. Matt Ryan
    Thumb Down

    HTC S620

    Not supported.

  23. Jim Coleman
    Gates Halo


    ...they've put a very desireable service online, and then you're breaking the law if you use it (assuming you don't have a TV licence). Isn't that "Entrapment"?

    Haven't managed to get further than the "only works on Wifi" thing 'cos I'm running over 3G at the moment, shame it doesn't support 3G but I guess the beeb doesn't want to ruffle the phone companies' feathers just yet.

    I assume it will support Windows Mobile? Sorry, I meant "Windows Phone".

  24. Aaron Singh

    Rant Alert!

    Once again like the iPlayer this doesn't work on the Nokia N82 or the N95 it seems. 2 devices that are more than capable of running live TV. I'm gonna take a wild guess that this crap works on the N96, a device which is less powerful than the N82. So it seems the BBC have teamed up with Nokia to make it work on only the newest devices. So much for unbiased.

    Rant Over..

  25. Vortigern

    Not on N85

    Says unsupported on N85 too.... why couldn't they just put it in the iplayer application, surely that can't be hard!

    Doesn't seem to be somewhere I can enter my TV licence number with pride either to prove I'm not some sort of scrounger or foreigner.

  26. Steve


    I get all the way to choosing a channel (on an N95 8GB) but then get "Programmes cannot be watched outside the UK". Well, OK, I *am* outside the UK, but... Must get that proxy working

  27. Anonymous Coward

    I would like to know

    where the author got the info that it will work with Android? AFAIK the G1 does not even support flash, never mind a browser which has streaming video support. Is there to be an Android App perhaps?

  28. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    So, another...

    Platform I won't watch TV on.

    Do people seriously have nothing better to do.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BlackBerry Bold

    Goes into media player, seems to suck down data then does nothing.

  30. Tim
    Thumb Down

    Not working on Android ++

    "Your device appears to be unable to support this service"

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Has anyone got this going?

    I get the not suppreed message on my Iphone. I may crank up my old FSC PDA on WLAN. I bet it only works on WinMo handsets.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    in fact failed completely...

    Just tried it on my laptop as well and seemingly its not on a wireless network either which is clever since I'm typing this on it.

  33. Steven Lawson
    Thumb Up

    It works fine on my Nokia N96

    Only two live programmes available, but they were in-synch and certainly watchable over my home network. Quite straightforward to use, too. The programmes loaded in Real Player.

  34. F Cage
    Thumb Down

    When is WiFi not WiFI?

    Also getting the false error stating that I am not on WiFi when I clearly am.

  35. Mike P
    Thumb Up

    Blimey it works!

    Works on a HTC Touch!

  36. Steve Walker

    Working on a LG Renoir (910?)

    Works fine, small(ish) picture but for the news catch up would be fine. None of the radio links work as they are all 404s and no Radio 5 Live :( Which makes it crap to me.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fought the war for you lot....

    Grumble, grumble, license, grumble, moan, license, grumble, WHY, WHY!!!, grumble, license, grumble....

  38. Marco Alfarrobinha

    On my N96...

    ... it has been working for over two months now. Old news then.


  39. Neil Hoskins

    @various: It's not an error it's a feature.

    When you get the warning about WiFi only, you just hit "continue" and it takes you through.

    And to those complaining about support on earlier N-series devices; it's the same problem they have with iPlayer. You have to admit the access point handling on FP1 devices is crap, and how long do you think it would be before assorted numpties who don't realise the RealPlayer setting is different from the global setting ring the Daily Mail because they've run up a £3000 data bill? Although I'm an N95 owner myself, I do rather sympathise with the BBC on that one. Thankfully, the access point handling on FP2 and S60 5th edition is much better, but you've then got the DRM stuff to consider.

  40. Tony Hoyle

    Not wifi?

    I'm sure my Wifi is Wifi.. unless it's some kind of transmission method previously undocumented.

    Nope, definately says Wifi on the router...

  41. Anonymous Coward

    On wired PC's...

    To Andrew.... I use this service on my wired PC, can't fault it at all!!

  42. Emo

    TV License

    I thought portable battery powered TV's were exempt?

  43. Corin

    Blackberry Bold

    Works fine using the Blackberry Bold 9000. I'm connected to O2 LLU Broadband (4mbit sync speed) via wi-fi, and it's streaming nicely.

  44. Peter Griffith


    Touch HD says no.

  45. /\/\j17
    Thumb Down


    To launch a service and not even post a list of compatable hardware/system requirements is an out and out fail - even more so when you're talking about a beta service that won't have blanket compatibility.

    Nokia E90 says no.

  46. Chris
    Thumb Down


    With the trend being toward larger and larger screen size at higher and higher resolution, why anyone would want to forgo such a thing and watch TV on a teeny tiny phone screen is beyond me. What's that you say? "Watch while away from home"? That's what DVRs and Slingbox are for, you twit.

    Until they can wirelessly transmit images directly to my optic nerve, I'll pass, thank you.

  47. Chris - LG


    This licence issue - Does it apply to the iplayer and your laptop as well? I haven't seen to much on the subject

  48. Paul Boocock
    Thumb Up


    Can confirm it works on the Blackberry Bold. Not too shabby either.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Maybe it's just me?

    But anything Real Player (on PC) related I'd much prefer to bodyswerve.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't work on N810 either

    Also says unsupported device

  51. Huw Davies


    To all those saying it doesn't work, you may also wish to check that whatever streaming software you have on your smartphone is set to stream via wifi/the internet, rather than WAP/any other option.

    That's all it took to get it working on my Omnia.

  52. Patrick Slattery
    Thumb Down

    Cannot be watched outside the UK

    Won't work in Ireland :(

  53. Edward Miles
    Thumb Up

    Blackberry Bold...

    ...Working Well :D

    Just a shame about wifi only. Unless I get bored in a Starbucks, is a little pointless! Give it me over 3G, and we'll talk!

  54. Scott Mckenzie


    So how does it work then, i mean I have a TV license at my home address but say i connected to this via WiFi at my work address, where we don't have a TV license, am i breaking the law, or not?

  55. Jon


    You do not need a license if its not live. So iplayer is exempt (at the moment) I would have no trouble if they made you need a license for iplayer as us license payers pay for that content you want. However I do think if you don't view live bbc or iplayer on your PC the bbc are entitled to nothing even if you watch 4od.

    Also wit hregard to battery power devices being excempt. False: They are different in that wherever you watch them you are covered by the persons licenses not where you are, but a license is still needed somewhere.

  56. Andrew

    N96? Don't Think So.

    For N-Series people, you need a hacked phone, python and the user agent changer thingy.

    Google it.

    Then again, my phone is set to be an N96 (its an N82 really) and it doesn't like it (although I can use the iplayer app fine!)

  57. mittfh

    To the anti-BBCers

    The TV license is used to pay for all the BBC's UK services - TV as well as radio. At some point in future they may be able to adopt a subscription model, but because they're still the UK's premier PSB, they could only do so if free subscriptions were handed out to the poor / elderly etc. who couldn't afford the £200+/year (accounting for inflation and a bit extra for those that decide not to subscribe) - besides which, you can't easily do encryption on analogue services.

    As for the alternative - allowing advertising - one of the reasons those who like the BBC like the BBC is that programming isn't interrupted every 10 minutes by 5 minutes of advertising. OK, so they fill the space between programmes with about 5 minutes of trailers, but that's a policy also followed by the majority of TV / radio channels - including non-BBC commercial offerings (e.g. 4Music / TMF).

    The BBC currently has to walk a very narrow tightrope between PSB commitments (which politicians like but only attract a small audience share) and populist programming (which politicians hate but attract a much larger audience share) - hence the recent 'brainwave' of wrapping science documentaries up in dramatic reconstructions, thus killing two birds with one stone. But one thing the BBC can do much more quickly than a commercial broadcaster is interrupt the schedules when there's an event of major (inter)national importance (e.g. WTC attacks, Di's death), because they don't need to worry about losing revenue from the adverts in between programmes that have been dropped.

    With the recent controversy over BBC Worldwide ( big is Lonely Planet's market share amongst travel books? How could the BBC owning it impair competition, when competition presumably wasn't impaired when it was in other hands?) they could perhaps stop advertising BBC Worldwide publications on air, and / or if necessary increase the price of some magazines to make them less competitive (e.g. the Radio Times is significantly more expensive than most other listings magazines - but then again it is a more weighty tome than most...)

    Bear in mind that the license currently costs a meagre £11.88 / month or 39p / day - significantly cheaper than most subscription packages, and you get 9 TV channels, 10 national radio stations, 9 regional radio stations, and numerous local radio stations.

    Although controversy and non-payment could be significantly reduced if it was possible to buy a license to cover all residents in a house of multiple occupation (e.g. student halls of residence) - evidently the cost would be higher than a standard license but it could be recouped by an extra few pounds on the rent :)

    And just before I sign off, another potentially good idea: charter renewal should be carried out by a completely independent body rather than the government of the day. The BBC is supposed to be independent of government interference, but as its charter is renewed by the government of the day, it tends to toe the government line in case their charter is meddled around with too much at renewal time (e.g. forcing them to hand over part of the license fee to rivals - the fee is already subsiding digital switchover).

  58. Leigh
    Thumb Up

    Works beautifully

    ....working beautifully on my Blackberry Bold! Although, it does have to be said - only Ceebebies and BBC2 are currently broadcasting (To me anyway!)

  59. Leigh

    I've got it working on 3G...

    It seems the Beeb have had an oversight - it's working beautifully (As before) over 3G on my Blackberry Bold (Vodafone)!

  60. Leigh

    Showing Blackberry Bold without WIFI

    Blackberry Bold 9000 (Vodafone UK) showing 3G or GPRS use only. No WiFi connection.

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    ipod & nokia 5800

    No luck on the iPod Touch - Not Compatible (Surprise surprise)

    Works on my Nokia 5800 although its terrible quality

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