Wednesday, 13 February 2008
Posted by Dave
After an extensive trial (in which they only wanted women from the Isle of Man apparently), BBC launched the iPlayer. It's basically an on-demand thing, well only it isn't. It's a sort of sliding-window archive of stuff you can download to watch, which is encumbered perhaps necessarily with DRM. The site has things up for a week, or so, but not all shows. And if you download them you have to watch them before some time limit or they wont play.
BBC iPlayer in practical terms is a sort of half arsed browser-based thing that installs a plug-in to manage downloads and then shoves the whole thing onto P2P. I gave it a go with Jools Holland's Later, which I always miss on Friday night. It was over 600MB for an hour so basically a pretty big bitrate, I was expecting good things. Only my P2P downloader thing only found 30 or 40 odd peers and I got 47k/s. No clue what ports it's using, assuming it's basically just bittorrent ripped off. No clue what to forward to get it to work better. 47k/s is pretty damn lame, and so is that number of peers.
So anyway it's leeched. Overnight. Sigh. I go to watch it, click watch and it trashes the HD for awhile and then says acquiring a licence for content and then fires up an extremely basic media player window thing. It does full screen but that's about it. Worse still, the video is blocky as hell, it essentially looks like a very badly encoded mpeg2. It gets worse, whoever coded this completely fucked up the player and it suffers from massive tearing as the rendering isn't synched to actual frame rate. It's just plain nasty.
So that's why 30-40 people were seeding this thing. It's fucking shit. You'd just go onto Usenet or whatever and download someone who will have done a proper goddamn encode and play in a real video player without any goddamn DRM.
Gah, I was hoping this would be half way useful. I bet they spent a ton of money coming up with this rubbish too.