BBC iPlayer launches Wii channel

iPlayer Wii Channel
iPlayer Wii Channel
Well it finally happened. It was hinted at long ago when the Beeb first made the iPlayer available for the Wii via its internet browser, but now it seems that there will be a dedicated channel on the Wii.

I’m glad that it finally came along. After the recent Internet Channel update, the iPlayer hasn’t been working. Seeing as there is a supposed Flash upgrade in the update, it seemed daft that it would be disabled.

Hopefully the new channel will stream the video more smoothly. It’s been over a year in the making…

Read more at BBC iPlayer launches Wii channel.

How to download BBC iPlayer programmes

I’ve found the BBC iPlayer client very frustrating to use. Even though the client is cross-platform thanks to Adobe Air – it’s slow and sometimes doesn’t allow you to download a programme when you should be able to.

Also, it doesn’t work properly on 64-bit platforms such as Ubuntu (which is what I use), so the process becomes even more difficult.

So, after getting quite fed up with iPlayer still not quite delivering – I had a scoot around the internet and found a very useful program which will download those videos very nicely.

get_iplayer boasts that it can download BBC TV, radio and ITV onto your computer. Not only this, but it can also be scheduled to download your favourite programmes just like a PVR. So it’s like Sky+ or TiVo, but better. But bear in mind the disclaimer:

Of course, to respect the content providers’ wishes and fair-use legislation, you should keep the recorded content for no longer than 30 days (in the UK), not attempt to obtain it from outside of the UK and not redistribute it. get_iplayer is not intended for use in making illegal copies of copyrighted content. Please respect the rights of the content owners when recording. get_iplayer will attempt to remove its recorded content which is more than 30 days old.

Getting Started
First thing’s first, we need to install it. I’ll assume that you’re using Ubuntu Linux for this, but you can install this on Linux, Mac or Windows.

First of all, download the get_iplayer package from the download page. You’ll also need the flvstreamer package to download the high quality videos.

Once downloaded and installed, you’ll be all set to start downloading. The first thing to do is get an up to date list of programmes. Running


On its own will refresh the BBC feed and list all the programmes curently available. There may be a lot so you might want to search by the title of the programme:

<code>get_iplayer "Top Gear"</code>

will list all of the BBC iPlayer programmes matching the phrase “Top Gear”

Now you decide that you want to download all of the “Top Gear” series, you can download them with:

<code>get_iplayer "Top Gear" --get</code>

This will download all the available episodes of Top Gear as a .mov file. Using additional parameters, you can also download in various formats such as HD .mp4 files.

Alternatively, if you’ve got the link to a program and you want to download it without any fuss – then you just need the URL or the ID of the programme to download it instantly:

<code>get_iplayer --get --pid</code>

This will download the radio show The Tao of Bergerac onto  your computer without the need for searching for the programme through the get_iplayer command line tools.

There is loads more you can do, such as using get_iplayer as a PVR. The documentation covers the different commands well, and is definitely worth having a squint through. Just remember to watch how much you’re downloading if you have capped bandwidth from you internet provider.

If you feel like something a bit more graphical, the is also a get_iplayer PVR Manager available to try.

Happy downloading!

BBC iPlayer on Wii!

Well, I’m very excited.

The Beeb have made it possible for Wii users to watch streaming video with the iPlayer.

Right now, UK Wii owners who use the Internet Channel (£3.50 to you squire) can visit the iPlayer website and watch TV right now.

There are also hints that an iPlayer channel for the Wii will be available some time in the future (hopefully for free, but likely to be bundled with the Internet Channel).

This is great for that media convergent home. Ironically, the Wii is the console least likely to be touted as a multimedia center – and yet it’s the first of the current generation of consoles to be able to play the content.

Word is that the Playstation 3 will not be far behind – but Microsoft’s XBox360 will be unlikely to take part unless a deal can be made between MS and BBC.

I think that if the iPlayer Channel does manifest itself – I’ll be spending much more time on the Wii. Potentially, this could knock out a whole load of the Sky+ box’s usefulness along with it.

Elephants on the Moon

I’ve just ‘played’ Sky One’s viral marketing campagin promoting the new series of 24 through the website.

A mildly entertaining diversion which has you looking at YouTube and other sites that present themselves as authentic.

It’s the first time that I’ve actually participated in one of these marketing campaigns – but I quite enjoyed the anonymous phone calls and text messages.

Once you get to the end, you have the change to win a holiday and HD TV, which can’t be bad.

I won’t go into how to solve it (it’s not particularly hard), but if you do have Sky TV, then I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it if you try it out.

Battlestart Galactica: Epiphanies

This was the first time that I’ve actually been annoyed with the resolution of am episode of BSG.

After building up to what is basically an inevitable death for a lead character, the sci-fi engine kicks in and saves Roslin from dying of terminal cancer. Not only that – but she’s completely cured!

Nevermind the final ‘twist’ at the end which was completely unneccesary and unwarranted. I can’t fathom how that could have even be pulled off.

It’s a shame because the episode had some really good strengths. When Boomer started banging her head against the glass window, it was a shocking display or raw emotion.

Tigh’s restrained jubilation as Adama grabbed the terrorist by the throat was an excellently executed.

And of course, there was the issue of Baltar’s motivations which now even he’s confusing himself. With two clear motivations available to him for helping Roslin and saving her life, it seems he’s deluded himself into thinking that he was doing it out of the kindness of his heart. The root motivation of course is that he’s trying to save Boomer’s child.

Yep – not a bad episode in the least, just let down by a few quirks in the storyline.

Sky+ Engineer Menu

I’ve recently been getting various failed messages recording on my Sky+ box.

Annoyingly, this is simply a shortcoming of the box’s ability to manage the hard disk drive that’s inside.

To that end (and before I forget again), I thought I’d better post the remote command to access the engineer’s menu which I found on an Overclockers blog this time round.

While watching the TV normally, press the following combination on the remote (don’t worry about what happens on screen as you do so):


Once in the menu, select Sky+ Planner Rebuild. The Sky+ Box will go off-line as the planner is rebuilt, you will have to turn it back on when the process is complete. It’s a hairy few moments, but solves the issues of failed recordings and reported low disk space.