BBC Watchdog 25 April 2018 and catchup

Alan Milewczyk alan at
Wed Apr 25 17:43:04 PDT 2018

On 25/04/2018 23:58, RS wrote:
> On 25/04/18 23:37,  wrote:
>> A few days ago we discussed the possible effect of changes in the way 
>> the BBC presented programme information on smart televisions.  On 
>> Watchdog this evening, about 28 minutes into the programme, there was 
>> an item where people were complaining that catchup services, 
>> including the iPlayer, had stopped working on their smart televisions.
>> What I found surprising was that an investigative BBC programme 
>> appeared to have made no attempt to interview the iPlayer team about 
>> the causes of the smart televisions' having ceased working.
>> _______________________________________________
>> get_iplayer mailing list
>> get_iplayer at
> I posted that before I had downloaded the programme from the iPlayer. 
> The item is 25min 44s from the start of the programme. My first 
> sentence should read, "A few days ago we discussed the possible effect 
> on smart televisions of changes in the way the BBC presented programme 
> information."

These issues are nothing new. Technology moves on and manufacturers are 
unwilling/unable to modify their equipment to keep them working. It 
enables them to sell new items to a gullible public (not having a pop at 

We had it way back with the 405/625 switchover and more recently the 
digital switch. A few years back DAB was introduced which, if the BBC FM 
shutdown programme had continued to the original schedule would have 
meant millions of radios with FM being rendered obsolete. In any case, 
the vast majority of people who bought DAB radios will be unable to 
receive DAB2 if that ever goes ahead (although I believe new models may 
be able to). Early customers on Sky would have found their old boxes 
unable to do HD when that was introduced.

I don't have a smart TV and wouldn't waste my money on one as I'm not 
prepared to throw money down the drain when systems change and the TV 
manufacturers decide they can't be bothered to upgrade older models. 
It's far cheaper and easier upgrading a set top box. I've got a Humax 
Freesat box which had the facility to watch BBC iPlayer and the ITV 
equivalent - a year or so back the BBC changed the way iPlayer was made 
available on satellite which rendered that facility useless on my set 
top box. Mind you, it was pretty clunky in the first place, so I never 
bothered using it. It's far easier doing iPlayer on my PC. If I want to 
watch it on my TV, then I use the NVIDIA Shield. I've had my TV for 
about 8 or 9 years now (32 inch Panasonic that's "HD ready") and from 
day one it's been connected to my computer network. For the same reason 
(flexibility), I never bothered with those "all in one box" music 
centres, preferring to stick with separates, i.e. amplifier, tuner, 
record deck, DVD player, etc.

I've spent a fair portion of my working life in IT and long appreciated 
that things change (these days faster than ever) - for that reason I'm 
unwilling to commit to hardware that isn't flexible enough to cope with 
those changes. Also, beware of adopting "new technology", there's an old 
expression in the industry, "pioneers risk getting arrows in their 
backs!" What price 3D?

Just my tuppence.


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