BBC to listen to Open Source concerns re on-demand TV

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BBC to listen to Open Source concerns re on-demand TV

Postby Fitzcarraldo » Fri Jul 13, 2007 18:10

BBC to listen to Open Source concerns regarding its on-demand TV service (when it launches later this month it will only work with Microsoft Windows):

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6897050.stm
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Postby dave_p_b » Fri Jul 13, 2007 20:58

Hi

Yeh, I've been reading this article with some interest lately. I wander whether Linux will still open videos with mplayerplugin like it does at the moment. Also, you get the choice of realplayer or WMP on the bbc website at the moment. I wander whether this option will remain or will they ditch realplayer support?

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Postby Fitzcarraldo » Sat Jul 14, 2007 14:54

Hi Dave.

I have a love-hate feeling about RealPlayer. The "hate" part is because, at least under Windows, it is very snoopy: if you install RealPlayer under Windows it slips in tkbell.exe (or whatever it's called), which runs at startup and is tricky to get rid of for the average punter as it re-enables itself even if you have used msconfig, System Mechanic or whatever to disable it. Mind you, I expect Microsoft's WMP is just as bad. The "love" part is because RealPlayer a) is an alternative to Microsoft and b) is available under Linux. However, I have noticed that the quality of streaming video in RealPlayer under Windows is not as good as Microsoft's WMP streaming video. I have to take my hat off to Microsoft: WMV is a good video protocol. But at least RealPlayer exists as an alternative and is -- as far as I know -- totally independent of Microsoft. For that reason I will continue to support Real Media. And at least the BBC uses RealPlayer for its live radio broadcasts and 'listen again' radio broadcasts, and supports it well. I do hope the Beeb continue to do that.

As far as the BBC on-demand TV player (iPlayer) is concerned, I was surprised that the BBC decided to launch a version of iPlayer only for Windows XP. I'm sure the BBC could have produced a Linux version too. I fully understand that the Beeb want DRM built into the TV player, but they could have done this for Linux too if they'd used a non-Microsoft DRM protocol. OK, the Beeb's argument that the majority of users would be using Microsoft Windows is true, but the BBC, of all organisations, should understand the importance of being independent. Let's hope the OSC keep the pressure up and the BBC develop a Linux version of iPlayer.
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