back to article Beeb iPlayer blocked by Xbox velvet rope

Xbox 360 owners in the UK must wait "indefinitely" for the BBC iPlayer on their game consoles because Microsoft insists that only paying subscribers can have access to online extras. According to the Telegraph, citing sources "close to the BBC's Future Media and Technology" unit, negotiations to adapt the iPlayer for the Xbox …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Seems a shame, I for one would love to see it, but at the end of the day it's MS's console and it's their business what they allow to be run on it I suppose!

  2. Daniel Bennett

    But the BBC arent charging

    The BBC arent imposing the charge, MS are... therefore wheres BBCs problem?

    They aren't getting any of the money charged. The charge is for the xbox live online service.

    I dont see the problem :s. fools

    1. SuperTim

      The charge still stands though

      Nobody can charge for it, which means the BBC can't give it to MS if they do.

  3. SuperTim
    Gates Horns

    Xbox = boooooo!

    "While Redmond schemes of making the Xbox 360 a complete media hub for households by adding more and more popular third-party services, it insists on retaining complete control over the environment (in a very Apple-like fashion, really). "

    Interestingly the iplayer is available for no extra charge on the iphone. My xbox360 is now gathering dust as i find it more and more unpalatable to pay for services that EVERYONE else gives for free. I dont care how good GOLD is, it isnt even remotely worth the cost. Those who think it is have never had to choose between eating and paying the bills before (I'm looking at you, spotty geeks!)

    Come on microsoft, how's about a bit of freedom with the live service, i mean, we still have to pay for our internet access!

    In the mean time, my PS3 is looking like the best thing i ever bought (as it's the phat one with all the extras).

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. SuperTim

        I guess you dont know....

        how to access the iphone iplayer via wifi.... A prepay iphone requires no subs and will access the iplayer via wifi (free in some places). I grant that if you have a contract phone, then i guess you could call it a fee, but then MS charges for access to the online system which you still need Broadband for two (two charges).

        I am not adding double standards, just pointing out that there IS a free option with the iphone, where there ISNT with the xbox.

      2. The BigYin

        I am sure...

        ...Tim has already paid for an internet connection. Why should he pay MS again to use the same connection and download content that would otherwise be free?

  4. Anon the mouse

    Almost a title

    So We pay for the BBC Licence fee, and now Microsoft want 360 users to stump up another £40 to get something that has already been paid for.

    Why am I not surprised?

  5. Mal Franks
    Thumb Up

    Good for the Beeb...

    for sticking to their guns. Apart from the iPlayer software download, what service would Microsoft provide to justify the requirement for users to pay their online multiplayer tax?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Lets make sure...

    ...that everyone is aware this is a MS issue, not a Beeb issue.

    In fact in my home, the new iPlayer channel on the Wii is used more often now than the "real" beeb channels...

  7. Nigel 9


    MS are behaving is a very "Apple" way on this one, and I cant believe Im saying that....

    iPlayer has changed from a dog-slow and annoying app to a Sky-Plus style "Bloody hell thats handy" part of my viewing life - I've used it on the Wii (white useless piece of Apple wannabe kit that it is) and it actually works really well :)

    I have no issue with paying some points for the App itself (because believe it or not, developers have to EAT (shock)) but to restrict access to a free service is bonkers, as they arent responsible for the App!

    Methinks they dont want it (even though it would shift more units) as it will expose the SKY Player for the overpriced piece of shoddyness that it is :)

  8. Paul_Murphy

    Where do you want to go today?

    Where ever it is, it won't be on the Xbox.

    Well done MS - way to raise your profile.


  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "[Microsoft] insists on retaining complete control over the environment (in a very Apple-like fashion, really)"

    The irony is not lost on us Xbox users, especially those of us who avoid the iPhone and Mac for just that very reason. The girlfriend is getting a Wii for Christmas ... purely co-incidentally, of course!

  10. Andy 97

    M$ - those crazy Yanks!


    "While Redmond schemes of making the Xbox 360 a complete media hub for households by adding more and more popular third-party services,"

    They could also go a long way to making this happen if they sorted out the fans that make more noise than any other console on the market, awful overheating and reliability issues etc..... just a thought......

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Sour grapes much???

        I don't know which branch of Cash Converters you bought your Wii from but I can't hear mine at all (a year old this xmas).

        I detect the ravings a disappointed person with PS envy. (I bet you slag off the iPhone too because you haven't got one of those either).

        Hmmm...360. Aptly named considering the PS3 runs rings round it.

        1. SuperTim

          Spot on....

          Well said.

      2. SuperTim

        Nice try Mr Gates....

        But give the RRoD was only finally (mostly) solved a year ago *(not 3 when it first came out) you sound like an MS beyotch....

        The PS3 has an AVERAGE failure rate (your watchdog-friendly YLoD) and the Wii just gets hot (no noise or failure).

        I hate MS fanbois, they seem so detached from the real world. "Bill, i want your babies...and charge me handsomely for the privelege).

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Wot 'ee said.

      I have a 360 and a Wii, and I have to say, the 360 is loud- I wouldn't use it for watching TV or films. The Wii iplayer isn't quite full DTT quality, but it's not bad, it's easy and it's quiet, so that wins there- it's less faff than finding the HDMI adaptor for my laptop and plugging it into the TV etc...

      You can get a low noise Lian Li case for the 360, but it's not cheap, and fitting it is a right pain, to say hte least..

  11. g e

    PS3 goodness

    I got sick of my XBOX making it up as it goes along and bought a PS3 slim the day before yesterday.

    It. Just. Works.

    Very impressed with it as a system. Everyone probably already knows this but out of the box - after a firmware update online to latest rev: iPlayer (works a treat), web browser (yep FB and twitter if you want plus everything else), loads of configurable stuff if you want to get into the nitty gritty of setup, clear easy to read menus instead of those huge flippy things xbox uses, media player just works (need to get ogg transcoding sorted on Mediatomb), rips CD's to local HD, no hardware lock-in to HD swaps - just buy a bigger one if you need it.

    From the get-go it was like moving from a v-tec kiddie computer to something more grown up, slicker, faster & more responsive, it obviously has more grunt than an xbox (certainly looks & feels that way). Yet to try BD out and gotta buy some more games for it but highly recommended if you're growing weary of MS's way of doing things.

    Can cancel my xbox gold subscription now as I barely use it anyway (PS3 network is free though not tried any multiplayer online stuff yet to compare) :oD

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Why the fuck (to use your charming phrase) should Microsoft be allowed to charge a monthly fee for something which is available for free to all UK internet users? Are there any other companies you'd like to charge you for access to the BBC? Presumably they'd all be great too and you'd think the BBC were arseholes for not letting other companies do fuck all but charge for it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    C'mon MS - get wiv it?

    I can't help but feel that MS might somehow be missing an opportunity here.

  14. harrydeo

    Microsot is a giant Money Sucker

    Microsoft always tries to make money where others are giving it for free. For XBOX 360 the list goes like this :

    1. XBOX Live Gaming | Free on PS3

    2. XBOX Social Networking Features | Free on PS3

    3. Microsoft charges separately for Optical Audio Cable | In built on PS3

    4. Microsoft charges for Play and Charge Kit | in built with PS3 Controller

    They are simply a plague to video gaming industry.

  15. Dave Fox


    If it is Microsoft who is charging for access to XBox Live Gold and keeping all the revenue, how is it that the BBC unable to offer the iPlayer regardless since crucially the BBC is not charging anything themselves for access, and Microsoft is not levying a *specific* charge in relation to iPlayer access - the charge is for "premium" access to their own closed network, XBox Live.

    After all, in order to access the iPlayer, I have to have a broadband service, which means I am paying my ISP for access to their network. The same is true if I wanted to access iPlayer over a WiFi hotspot such as BT Openzone (I know it's free over The Cloud!). With respect to WiFi hotspots especially (The Cloud excepted), I see no particular difference between this and XBox Live.

    1. SuperTim


      You need to also have an ISP for xbox gold......

      so thats..... Broadband access (£5-£10 a month) AND Gold Membership £5 a month (and WIFI adapter@£60) if you want to watch iplayer on an xbox wirelessly.

      on the PS3 its just broadband

      on the Iphone it's Just broadband (if you watch at home via wifi) as you dont need to pay subs to access the service, such as on a prepay iphone.

      on the wii i beleive the app costs, but watching just requires broadband.

      The Broadband aspect is universal if you want to get data to the home (so is not beyond the licence). Paying a monthly sub to be able to access it is not allowed by the BBC licence.

      Let me also point out that the service is not hosted by MS, it is hosted by the BBC, so why are MS charging as if it was theirs? It doesnt particularly need a lot of coding either, though MS have always found a way to make a small program really massive!

      1. noboard

        Errr please tell me...

        "Let me also point out that the service is not hosted by MS, it is hosted by the BBC, so why are MS charging as if it was theirs?"

        How are MS charging me for iPlayer coming to XBox Live if my £25 a year fee isn't going up? As the original poster pointed out, XBox live is a closed system and MS only want to allow Gold subscribers access, otherwise their overheads go up and revenue stays the same. Not a great business move.

        As for PS3 and Wii being free, one simple reason, people can access the iPlayer through the games consoles web browser before they integrated it, so charging for alternate access wouldn't have worked.

        Come on BBC, get the iPlayer on the 360.

        1. SuperTim
          Gates Horns

          Ha Ha!!! Aim at foot, fire, shoot one's self in foot!

          So you are saying that there was no point in charging for it on the other two consoles because it WAS ALREADY FREE? Doesn't that tell you how much you are being ripped off by micro$oft? Sony and Nintendo actually made a version for their consoles even though it wasn't necessary.

          You can't get it free on the 360. The BBC cannot allow the Iplayer on a system where one needs to pay to access it, so unless the government ease the BBC's restrictions or M$ put the iplayer on silver. There is no other way!

          Now go and have a good cry into your xbox, it might cool it down long enough to stop it RRoDing!

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Devil's advocate

    "The BBC, meanwhile, cannot charge the British public for access to the iPlayer because it's already paid for by the UK television license fee."

    Surely the BBC aren't the ones charging for access to it? Surely the distributor can charge separately to the BBC? I don't see the BBC offering free internet access for iPlayer - by this logic, they're already "charging" for iPlayer access.

    "Microsoft's policy of demanding gamegeld stands in stark contrast to the Xbox 360's rival consoles: Nintendo's Wii and Sony's Playstation 3. Both already offer free access to the iPlayer."

    The PS3 actually only offers access to the iPlayer through the bundled browser, since (IIRC) the PS3 browser supports Flash. The Wii has a dedicated app for it.

    You can understand Microsoft's reasoning for wanting to keep this service Gold-only - they need to make the £40 a year a good value proposition, since they're the only console manufacturer charging for aspects of their online service.

    As a Gold subscriber, I do find it stupid that Microsoft won't allow iPlayer to be available for everyone - there are still plenty of other services that are Gold-only.

    1. Gordon is not a Moron

      Advocate this...

      "I don't see the BBC offering free internet access for iPlayer"

      You also don't see dear Auntie Beeb offering free TV sets and antenna installation, but I wouldn't call either of those charging for access either.

      It's the difference between the medium and the message. The BBC has to provide the message for free, but the medium is your problem and your cost. What Microsoft want to do is charge for the message, which isn't allowed.

  17. Gerard Krupa
    Gates Horns

    Where does that subscription go

    Do any of the application providers get a share of the XBox Live Gold subscription or are you simply paying Microsoft to use the fruits of other people's work and the Internet connection for which you already pay?

  18. The BigYin
    Thumb Down

    This... why you hack/mod. If I am not using MS's network, I don't see why I should pay MS anything. It's *my* xBox and I will do with it as *I* see fit. Unless MS want to supply it for "free" on some kind of Sky-like subscription service...

    iPlayer on the Wii was something I'd forgotten about, but seeing as how poorly Flash runs inside the Wii's version of Opera, I don't hold out much hope of it being usable.

    1. Jon 52

      new channel

      I think for the very reason of opera=shit there is a now a BBC branded dedicated channel available in the wiishop to play iplayer (currently free) so you never have to open opera again.

  19. NightFox

    That is Illogical, Auntie

    I'm glad to see Auntie sticking to her principals, but isn't there a flaw in the BBC's logic? Netflix and Sky require a payment on top of the XBL Gold Subscription, so surely this element is what is considered "charging for the service". If iPlayer is free on top of the XBL subscription cost, then I don't really see the issue any more than the need for me to pay an ISP to watch iPlayer over the Internet.

    1. SuperTim

      no, not illogical

      The BBC cannot allow the service to be charged for..... Sky can do what they want!

      The public broadcast aspect of this is that they must allow public access. That is, the public can access the service without any restriction (or with minimum possble restriction). Having an internet connection is all that is needed for the iplayer, but that does not hold true if it is on GOLD live. Sky on the other hand can charge you for subscription to their channels, and then charge you extra for every way you do that. Sky cannot charge for access to BBC channels, which is why they work with no subsciption.

      BBC HD even works on a sky box that hasnt got a card in it, much to the annoyance of rupert murdoch!

  20. Mark C Casey


    I say good, it looks as though the PS3 is now edging past the 360 in terms of monthly sales although not total overall sales. If MS wants to make the 360 look like an even less nicer proposition than the Wii/PS3 then by all means let them go ahead.

    I've never liked Live for the precise reason that you're paying for something that is free everywhere else, Live doesn't even give you dedicated servers to play on. You're paying for players hosting the online games.

    Don't even get me started on Natal, MS had it good last year but it looks to me like MS has totally lost the plot. They can't seem to decide what to do with the 360, one moment it's "yeah, we're a hard core gaming console!" and the next it's "look! we can be like the wii too!".. jack of all trades master of none.

    I'm totally behind the BBC on the iPlayer demand, the iPlayer should not be behind a paywall like Live gold.

    If it means making the PS3 even more competitive (iPlayer works surprisingly well on the PS3) then great, hopefully at some point MS will realise their mistake and get rid of the Live charge. (not bloody likely though)

    Disclaimer: I owned a Wii and currently own a 360 and PS3.

  21. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge

    Sony must be laughing all the way to the bank

    What with this already being fitted pretty nicely into the PS3, for free, as part of their regular software update process. Who knows what Microsoft are thinking to shoot themselves so thoroughly in the foot?

  22. John H Woods Silver badge


    A "complete media hub" ... can you even hear the sound of your TV or Music over the jet engine that appears to be in the XBOX 360? There's also a serious pricing issue here ... the PS3 only looks more expensive in the shops because online services are a hidden cost on the XBOX.

    The PS3 slim is nearly quiet enough but older PS3s are too noisy for this job. For the last god knows how long MS and Apple have been trying to get the computer into the living room as a media centre but without making it as quiet and visually unobtrusive as necessary.

    Even now, the best solution is to buy a laptop (broken screen ones from Ebay are ideal), and use that ... almost the only way (apart from a custom build) to get a box that can comfortably sit in the living room when you are watching iPlayer.

    1. SuperTim

      i agree *

      * though i find my phat PS3 more than quiet enough as it is in a cabinet. Something i wouldnt attempt with my 360anks to its really ineffiecient cooling and the RRoD!. I run the PS3 for hours as a media hub and gaming console and i've never had any issue in the two years i have had it.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    No change there then.

    Microsoft have always been happy to charge clueless idiots for things everyone else gets for free... They tell them they offer a better service, and the idiots paying the money believe it, as it helps justifying paying the £40 a year..

    I can get Twitter, Last-FM, Facebook and iPlayer on my PS3 without paying a penny, why does Microsoft feel the need to charge £40 for these "premium" services? Because they can, there are enough idiots willing to pay...

    Don't even get me started on the Peer-Peer lag-fest that Microsoft call XboxLive, when Sony offer fast dedicated servers for free...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fine until the end

    ..whereupon, you lazily drank the iso trader kool-aid and conflated fitting boot roms for running pirated games with the noble pursuit of modding.

    There's a huge difference between doing new and interesting things with a machine, and buying moody ROMs to allow you to play Super John Madden's Need For Fifa 17 without paying.

  25. James Hughes 1


    I'm pretty sure you don't know what you are talking about.

    The BBC by law (or whatever quasi legal thing it is) is required not to charge for its services to people in the UK. Which means since you have to pay MS to use iPlayer, you are effectively being charge to use iPlayer (even if the money doesnt go to the BBC). So the BBC cannot allow it, they would be breaking their remit. If you are daft enough to want to pay MS for something you, as a UK resident are entitled to for FREE, then that's your issue, whatever your platform. The BBC are trying to ensure you get that service for FREE. BTW, I think the BBC actually do the development of iPlayer on the consoles, not the console manufactureres. So, you can pay MS for the privilege of using software that was developed by someone else with the aim of watch BBC TV for free.

    Meanwhile, all the other console manufacturers allow use of the iPlayer for free on their consoles.

  26. djhworld

    Support for the BBC

    I fully support the BBC's position on this.

    It would be wrong to allow Microsoft to profiteer off the back off the BBC.

    The only argument I can think of in favour of Microsoft's case is that the 360 does not have an in built web browser. The iPlayer on the PS3 is just a link to the PS3 version of the iPlayer website, using the browser to render it.

    I'd imagine the 360 would require a custom application that accesses all the relevant iPlayer APIs to return content and I'd imagine MS would want to foot the bill for this.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Titular Appendage

    It's a crock.

    Sorry but there is BBC content on BT Vision that is charged for. So how come BT can charge, but Microsoft can't? And given that BT Vision boxes are Windows based how come it's so hard to get iPlayer on there in the first place?

    I'm not a fan of MS, but in this case I think it's the Beeb that aren't playing fair. I agree that we should not have to pay for any content that we've already paid for through the licence fee, that bit's fine. However I think that the same rule should apply to all providers, be it MS, BT or anybody else.

    Level playing field? We've heard of it.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      BBC content != BBC iPlayer

      BBC content on BT Vision is licensed by BBC Worldwide, the same guys who are part of Dave.

      The difference between BBC 1 and iPlayer on one hand and Dave and BT Vision on the other, is that genuine BBC content gets first broadcast rights on BBC and iPlayer. The BBC are allowed to license it out a year after first broadcast, when it is considered archive material. BBC 1 and iPlayer also carry material supplied by third party studios, which is contractually bound to be only supplied as part of the BBC's license-funded services.

  28. Anonymous Coward


    If MS want to charge for access then fine, but in turn the BBC should charge MS for access to their massive library of content on MS's platform and make access worldwide.

    I don't mind a bit of subsidy for the license fee, not that I'm bothered about paying it, the best value for money of any fee I pay. Long may it continue.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 1029 - You get what you pay for....

    Whilst it's annoying that iPlayer isn't on XBox yet, I don't mind paying the 77p/week (11p/day) it costs for XBox Live.

    I have both a PS3 and XBox and have found that, WRT online gaming, you really do get what you pay for. PSN is slower (much fewer games so match-making takes longer, and let's not mention the lag...) and seems to attract the most annoying online gamers you can imagine.

    I've given up on the number of times that (mainly USA based, but not exclusively so) kids have sat there playing music down their mics all the way through a game (thank goodness you can mute them nowadays). Also, the language used by these gamers would make the late Bernard Manning blush!

    Whilst you do occasionally get these on XBox as well, as least you can leave them feedback/complain and hopefully get them a 24+ hr ban!

    I've also found that the quality of players is better on Xbox Live as well.

    And that's without mentioning the most un-ergonomic, non-vibrating controller in the world, or the noise from my 60GB (US spec) PS3 that drowns out my XBox as soon as it does anything other than idle.

    However, the PS3 hardware does represent good value for money nowadays (especially if they dropped the price to £199!) and I'm thinking of getting a slim just to act as a BD player/media machine for my divx/wmv movies. Just as long as it's quieter than my 60GB version!

    As for Sony lauging all the way to the bank - have they actually made a profit on the PS3 yet?

    1. SuperTim

      Exsqueeze me? Baking powder?

      "And that's without mentioning the most un-ergonomic, non-vibrating controller in the world, or the noise from my 60GB (US spec) PS3 that drowns out my XBox as soon as it does anything other than idle."

      The PS3 controller is not as ergonomic as the big ol lump on the xbox but you can get vibrating ones, it is also better than it used to be, but unless your hearing is in a range completely different from the rest of us the PS3 is about 10 times quieter than the 360. My PS3 is almost inaudible but the 360 sounds like the wifes hairdryer.

      I take you point on the gamers, though i think some of that is down to the fact it is free. Little johnny doesnt need to spend his pocket money on gold if he gets given a ps3. You can still get them banned though (i know as i have got at least two of em kicked off).

      I have all the consoles and the PS3 is the only one that gets any regular usage, mainly because it does everything so well. The others dont even remotely compete. The 360 has lots of games, but i dont really play a lot of games. If i were a hardcore gamer i may consider using the 360 more but it is not remotely good enough as an allround entertainment device.

      And i bloody hate microsoft which colours my judgement somewhat.

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Do all UK Xbox users pay UK TV License?

    Are all UK Xbox users paying for UK TV License?

    I assume there must be some xbox live iplayer interaction to stop all the "johnny foreigners" from undermining revenue from BBC Worldwide pay/syndication services?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      A mate of mine has a 360 hooked up to a monitor via HDMI, and no TV/TV license..

  31. Jason Sweby
    Gates Horns

    I pay for Xbox Live but...

    ... even I disagree with MS on this one. iPlayer is free in the UK so take the opportunity to add it to the list of features that the Xbox provides and use it as a marketing tool for selling consoles, rather than being pig-headed and trying to extract less money via Xbx Live. I know people who have chosen a PS3 because it supports the iPlayer where the Xbox doesn't.

  32. Christopher Rogers
    Thumb Down

    MS own goal?

    the Iplayer party is where its at.

  33. goggyturk

    What noise?

    "The PS3 slim is nearly quiet enough but older PS3s are too noisy for this job."

    Got to disagree, I have an older 80 Gb PS3 and it's virtually silent. It's replaced my stereo and DVD player and may soon replace the Sky box too via PlayTV. Possibly the best £300 I've ever spent.

  34. Anonymous Coward

    Media Hub?

    Not possible with a 360, they're simply too loud, even at idle!

    Tried it for a while, but unless the TV is on high then the 360 is louder, a total distraction.

    In the end I just built a HTPC, which is virtually silent.

    Nice idea, but the reality is very different.

  35. SynnerCal

    Too many idiots in control

    I agree with the Beeb on this - if they're not getting a slice of the money, then they're right to say "no". MS will be able to tell how many times iPlayer360's used - so a suitable fee per use is definitely possible. If the Beeb aren't getting paid then iPlayer360 should be free to use - I don't pay for it on Nokia tablet, various Linuxen and the iPod's in the house, so why the heck should I pay for it on the '360?

    Nice to see that - as usual - anything XBox,PS3,Wii related has the foaming-at-the-mouth PS3 fanbois out in force. Big deal that you get it for free at the moment, I'm not impressed, (and yes I was going to buy a PS3 - a technically better machine - until I found that Sony had been, and still are, stripping out features year-on-year. Oh, and having "BluRay" isn't anything I'd consider a plus).

    Microshaft are being a bunch of bl**dy idiots in this - hopefully sense will prevail and, as many above has said, iPlayer360 will become a free feature - as it should be.

  36. Yorkshirepudding

    love it

    deep breath............




    ahem i love it when micro$haft shoot themselves in the foot

    well done auntie beeb

    /goes back to watching TG on ps3 iplayer

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    BBC remit is a joke

    Only for licence payers?

    A) Why do non-payers have access in the UK?

    B) Why do licence payers temporarily abroad not have access?

    I can't help feeling that this entire iPlayer business is just the first step towards blocking home recording. As this provides the means for catching up with missed programmes, there is no justification for home recorders any more. Add in DRM for HD transmissions and that is the start of the end for home recording. Just as the VHS recorders are no longer available, the DVD/hard disk ones will quietly vanish from the shelves. Existing ones will continue to work until they inevitably pack up, but they are only for standard definition which few people want once they have tasted 720p or better on a large screen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Abroad brush

      Shall we all demand that our ISP's allow us free internet access when we're abroad too? After all we've paid a monthly fee, we should be able to use the service from anywhere in the world, telco's too. In your world these bastards have been getting away with it for far too long already.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Abroad brush

        "Shall we all demand that our ISP's allow us free internet access when we're abroad too? After all we've paid a monthly fee, we should be able to use the service from anywhere in the world, telco's too. In your world these bastards have been getting away with it for far too long already."

        As most ISP's don't offer access when you're as far away as next door, this isn't exactly the cleverest analogy. A closer analogy to what the BBC do would be for an ISP to block access

        to your e-mail whilst abroad. Every ISP I've ever used goes out of their way to ensure this is

        not the case, e.g. by adding web mail access. In YOUR world ISP's should also allow

        people who just happen to be in the vicinity to tap into your broadband connection without paying.


    2. James Hughes 1

      Licence is based on location..

      Not on who pays the bill.

      1. Jon 52


        close but it also allows the license payer use of portable devices away from home, this used to be used to stick a tv in your caravan, but I don't see why it can't be used for (non plugged in) laptops

  38. Sandy Ritchie


    BT Charge you get access to their v-box iplayer content?

    You have to pay for BT Broadband, and have a Vision contract.... so its not free!

    If you've already paid for your gold on your xbox whats the problem? Your not paying for the iplayer content, your paying to get onto the full live account. Anyway, what tight ass' don't pay for xbox gold?

    1. SuperTim

      tight ass' list.

      the ones that dont live with their mums anymore and have other bills to pay now.

      the ones that think it is a lot of money for no real benefit

      normal people

      people who understand what money is and how it works

      people who dont want bill gate's love babies.

      People who had to work hard to earn that money, rather than pretend to be hurt in a car crash or by scalding themselves on McDonalds HOT coffee and then litigating!

    2. Paul M 1


      No, Vision is free (apart from a one-off admin charge for the box).

      BBC replay is also free, whereas ITV, Channel 4 and 5 are charged.

      Some BBC content, notably HD programmes are charged, not sure how that works.

  39. Urbanpanda

    back to the future

    Wow, perhaps we can talk about whether the Megadrive (blast processing!) is better than the SNES (mode 7!) next?

    Jesus christ i swear to god console fanboys are the biggest bunch of brain dead FUD dribbling tools on the internet. All 3 consoles are good, all have their good and bad points and there are legitimate reasons to own any (or all) of them. Get over yourselves!

    Iplayer on the 360? Should be free really but as aready mentioned how do BT get away for charging for BBC content over BTvision (crock of shit that it is)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Because Iplayer isn't in BT vision its called TV Replay it's part of their 7 day catch up service. Iplayer has access to back catalog stuff. Reply on BT vison is purely selected shows from the last 7 days. No where on BT Vision is there Iplayer branding, my mate has it and it's rubbish.

  40. Richard Porter

    Never mind the x-box

    While you're waiting for Microsoft, please can we have an iPlayer for RISC OS?

  41. Deadlock Victim

    I bought my last console...

    I bought my last console not for the various online extras it provides but the number and quality of games available for it. (let's face it, in the early days of the PS3, the xbox 360 was already mature and had plenty of titles available) i.e.: I will never buy a Wii.

    It'd be nice if Microsoft made the various video services available for free, but I'm not about to buy a PS3 because of it. (and I'm not going to fork over the money for Xbox Live)

    And of course, El Reg forgot to mention, "Last month, Microsoft even went so far as to ban what's been estimated to be several thousands of users from Xbox Live network for modifying their Xbox 360 consoles" so that they could steal games.

  42. Andrew Barratt
    Thumb Down

    big deal

    Why don't you just turn your xbox OFF, and switch your tv, sky+ or freeview+ ON. Why we insist on using the most inappropriate medium to watch, what is effectively broadcast television is beyond me.

    Your bandwidth cap will be gone faster than you can blink if you start watching the crap on iplayer regularly. The best thing the bbc could do with iplayer is sell the service abroad to bring in some more money so they can make some decent shows instead of pissing our license fees away on yet another distribution model....

  43. Joseph Lord
    Thumb Up

    BBC Syndication policy for iplayer

    Policy says must be offered free or on lowest available price tier. E.g. Virgin Media can't restrict it to higher packages and therefore extract more cash from customers who want to get iplayer. As I understand xbox live silver is lowest tier so it must be available there.

    If the principle was broken for xbox then Virgin, BT and others could remove iplayer from basic customers and it could reduce the number of people able to access it.

    For these reasons I support the BBC's decision as I think the policy will lead to widest access even xbox gold customers lose out in the short term.

  44. PaulStuffins

    What is the problem?

    In my opinion there is no reason to get so het up over this.

    What is the difference between charging for the iPlayer on XBL and charging for the Sky Player?

    Oh yes, you have to be paying Sky for the Sky Player, as well as Microsoft and your ISP, whereas you do not need to pay for the iPlayer, other than the licence fee.

    Yes, I do have an XBox

    Yes, I do have a premium subscription

    Yes, I do pay for it myself

    Would I use the iPlayer if it showed up on XBL, Hell no, I have a laptop and an Internet connection for that, my XBox is for games!


  45. TeeCee Gold badge

    Utterly bloody stupid.

    Of course if the BBC were to do this then all Xbox owners would be instantaneously denied access to any and all methods of accessing BBC content for free.

    No? So the beeb's argument is a fallacious load of complete bollocks then.

    Hint: Just 'cos you own an Xbox doesn't mean your telly and PC stop working. Dickheads.

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