BBC fixes iPlayer streaming glitches

BBC fixes iPlayer streaming glitches

Summary: The BBC has remedied two issues with its iPlayer streaming service that were causing problems for people trying to stream content, often returning "insufficient bandwidth" or "this content is not available" error messages.ZDNet UK contacted the BBC in response to reports that users were struggling to stream on the iPlayer, but a spokeswoman said that it had previously been unaware of the issues and had received no direct complaints.

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TOPICS: Mobility
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The BBC has remedied two issues with its iPlayer streaming service that were causing problems for people trying to stream content, often returning "insufficient bandwidth" or "this content is not available" error messages.

ZDNet UK contacted the BBC in response to reports that users were struggling to stream on the iPlayer, but a spokeswoman said that it had previously been unaware of the issues and had received no direct complaints.

However, she then confirmed to ZDNet UK on Friday that, following the enquiry, the iPlayer technical team had identified two problems responsible for the poor streaming performance. Users had been reporting issues across a variety of different platforms, including PCs, and PlayStation 3 and Wii gaming consoles.

"There have been a couple of problems for some users who upgraded to Flash 11. It looks like there was a bug at Adobe's end. It was resolved on Thursday afternoon," the spokeswoman said.

The crux of the problem was that Adobe had set the local file storage capacity to zero, meaning that the iPlayer was unable to set a Flash cookie, resulting in an inability to load files or interrupted playback, she added.

However, separately to this problem, the iPlayer service had also been suffering from a "media availability database issue" which resulted in some programmes saying that the content was unavailable, the spokeswoman added.

Topic: Mobility

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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4 comments
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  • This issue is still prevalent and getting worse. I can't even stream low bandwidth radio from the BBC iplayer. Every few minutes I get the 'Insufficient Bandwidth' message. If it is a Flash player issue then the BBC will be loosing iplayer users in droves.
    dustmagic
  • Yours is the first site I've found with this news. I've been wondering why the old PC with Flash Player 10 has been loading up iplayer content, while the newer one with Flash 11 the latest is a dog.

    With endless updates and upgrades to Flash, I am not a fan after this experience, but what alternative is there when even BBC iplayer is using Adobe Flashplayer?
    macroslop
  • Amazing! Thanks to your news, I had the nerve to go backward from Flashplayer 11 to the archived version 10 on my Ubuntu Lucid desktop. Immediately, the BBC iplayer starts playing content properly again.

    According to your report...
    "There have been a couple of problems for some users who upgraded to Flash 11. It looks like there was a bug at Adobe's end. It was resolved on Thursday afternoon," the spokeswoman said.

    Flash 11 has been out for over a month. It took that long for someone to notice a problem? And what does it mean that the bug was resolved on Thursday afternoon? Resolved by which end, Adobe, or BBC? Because the latest Adobe version 11, the one that was on their site today, was still causing this stupid problem.

    What's the point of our having technology if so few people understand it, that when it fails, nobody notices until many moons that it has failed?
    macroslop
  • Has taken me a month to see this post and realise where the problem lay - I have had the same streaming issues with iplayer since Flash Player 11 upgrade - even with radio over a (supposedly) 30Mb connection. For anyone else experiencing the problem here is the link to the adobe archive for Flash 10.3.183.11 - the uninstall/reinstall is very simple (suggest turning off auto-updates in Flash Player control panel) and I confirm what macroslop says - revert to Flash Player 10 and problem goes away :
    http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/get/flashplayer/installers/archive/fp_10.3.183.11_archive.zip
    i0t0s0