get_iplayer v.v. HiDownload Platinum

Clive roadcone at
Sun Jul 15 09:35:53 EDT 2012

On 15/07/12 11:13, Chris J Brady wrote:
> Hi - I'm not promoting alternatives to get_iplayer - its one of the best.
> However I have been experimenting with other downloaders. In particular I tried HiDownload Platinum (trial). When I play a t.v. programme from the iPlayer site the HDP sniffer seems to detect the raw URL - for many iPlayer t.v. programmes. As - I guess - does get_iplayer.
> However I have noticed that the downloaded files from get_iplayer are far superior to those from HiDownload.
> The HiDownload files seem to be at a far lower resolution and frequently pixelate when played. The get_iplayer files seems to be smooth playing with higher resolution and detail.
> How is this so if the downloaded files come from the same source.
> Chris B.
For TV programs, there are a number of different qualities available for 
download. Those available vary from broadcast to broadcast, but where 
available, the quality can be determined by the --mode= command:


will bring down the HD version, where it is available. You can set the 
mode command in the preferences file in descending order so you will 
always get the best available.

mplayer takes the stream, an FLV file, and remuxes it into an mp4. It 
does this with no quality loss.

This much I know. I have no knowledge of HiDownloader but it may be that 
it is getting a version which is not the highest available, then it may 
be transcoding the stream to another format. And transcoding looses 
quality whereas remuxing does not.

What is the pixel size and format of the resultant file from 
HiDownloader? HD is 1280 x 724 whereas standard definition is 832 x 468 
and the files have the extension mp4. Smaller resolution files can also 
be available.

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