Why is BBC iPlayer so shit?

I accept that my broadband connection is slow and may be congested sometimes but there is nothing more annoying than an error message that is blatantly untrue. BBC iPlayer quite often shows the rotating pink doughnut which is annoying enough but what really pisses me off is when it suddenly just gives up and shows the ‘insufficient bandwidth’ error without even trying. Other times it will freeze without the doughnut then miss out a chunk of program before it starts again. This is not acceptable and is bad programming, nothing else. This has been going on for years without a fix. if it is down to Adobe then it is time they found a better alternative. The YouTube video player is much better. Why can’t iPlayer buffer the stream when you hit pause to go for a pee? On return, the buffered video makes later freezing much less likely. The new iPlayer radio is shite too. No wonder the BBC closed the iPlayer discussion board a while ago.

13 thoughts on “Why is BBC iPlayer so shit?

  1. It is nothing to do with your connection. I have a constant 20mb connection which never falters from that speed. From all other sites i can stream movies with no problem at all. It is only the bbc that i have problems with. I am still confused as to why we even pay a tv licence.

  2. Have you tried the iPlayer app on Android? That is equally shite. I don’t know what the iPhone version is like. Comments? Every operation takes ages to complete, god knows what it is doing, maybe downloading pictures to go with each radio show. How about an option to turn off the pictures? Again, as for the web version, it wimps out and tells you you have insufficient bandwidth even on radio programs (we have 37Mbit unlimited fibre which runs Netflix all day without any dropouts). The program navigation bar is very insensitive and unresponsive and almost unusable. The last annoying and completely nuts behavior of this piss poor app (cr-app) is that the display has to be on showing some pointless picture when playing radio shows. If you lock the screen, the player stops. So on a mobile device with limited battery power, you have to have the LCD backlight running all the time!
    Come on BBC, justify that £12 a month license fee and sort out your shit!

  3. I watch bbc on my ipad. It is always slow. I have no problems with netflix, youtube, etc . It’s only bbc iplayer !

  4. BBC iplayer is the biggest load of shit I have encountered with the exception of itv player. I’ve been trying to watch hostages for two nights now, I’ll never eat another donut again. 4OD no problem, 5 no problem, netflix is a joy to behold but the BBCs attempt has me contemplating throwing my TV out the window. So infuriating.

  5. BBC iPlayer latest: Would have been nice if they’d fixed it’s many faults, but no. iPlayer radio has been separated from TV iPlayer, at least on Android and the new app won’t work on anything less than version 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) which leaves me high and dry with my old v2.3.3 HTC Desire Z. Have to use web version which is hopeless. Very pissed off! I guess the overpaid BBC tossers assume we can all afford to shell out on a new phone.

  6. For ages the BBC just used real player. They like to pretend they are at the cutting edge of technology but in reality they are bringing up the rear. You get shit service with auntie for your £150 a year TV license. While constantly spouting none sense about how wonderful they are. They love nothing more than giving there customers shit service then patting themselves on the back for how great they are. Scum.

    • I remember when they used Real Player. The move to Macromedia Flash Player was a bad one; why did they do that?

  7. Spotify on my old Gingerbread (2.3) Android phone has started cutting out during play since the recent updates. It is so bad as to be unlistenable. Modern day media companies don’t seem interested in making their software work on old (4 years for the HTC Desire Z) technology. For one thing it is a shame to throw away a working (if slow) phone and for another, I don’t have enough disposable income to get a new phone contract. It is CPU cycle starvation and not a bandwidth issue. Maybe the new Spotify relies on two or more processor cores now?

  8. Worst service that I’ve encountered from around the world . AND ITS THE ONE I PAY FOR ! Without the pickpocketing antics of BBC .doubt it would last a year,
    of course it would a sin to miss to miss all the quality programs … I’AM JOKING !

  9. How easy is it to have a player that works? The BBC is one of the biggest broadcasting corporation in the world and yet they cant fix a simple problem. With so many people complaining, I don’t understand how the bosses of BBC find this acceptable. When I click on Play, I would like the program to play, which is the least it will have to do to qualify as an iPlayer. Otherwise take your iPlayer down and save the tax payers money and frustration.

  10. The missus gave me a new Android tablet for Christmas and now I know what I was missing. The new radio player is actually pretty good. I still think they should support older devices better though.

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