The BBC has famously made all kinds of excuses about why they can not support Windows Phone with an iPlayer app, ranging from blaming OS bugs to small market share.
It seems however these issues did not represent an insurmountable obstacle to the developers of TVCatchup, who already have a Windows 8 app, and are looking to expand to Windows Phone.
They showed the app to AAWP, who posted the screen shots above.
The app does not quite allow one to watch TV on demand however, and really only streams Live TV, either over 3G or WIFI.
Together with a built-in program guide that is however better than nothing, and the app features Live tiles allowing oneâ€™s favourite channels to be pinned.
Streaming is only allowed by UK residents (a restriction of the law) and the app should hit the store in the next few weeks.
Maybe now that they see it is possible to stream their content on Windows Phone BBC may have a change of heart? We are not holding our breaths however.
Hey guys, just receive email from BBC, officially said to me:
Thank you for contacting the BBC iPlayer support team.
I understand youâ€™re happy with the BBC iPlayer service and would like a BBC iPlayer application for Windows Phone 7.
The BBC wants to bring BBC iPlayer to as many audiences as possible, across a range of devices.
Unfortunately, as the Windows Phone 7 doesn’t support HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) or Adobe Flash, the formats we use for streaming videos, we can’t make BBC iPlayer available on this phone at the moment.
I realise this may be disappointing however I hope this helps to clarify the situation.
Once again thank you for contacting BBC iPlayer.
Finally, I have attached an invitation from the Head of BBC Audience Services, asking you to participate in our customer survey. We would welcome your views on our service.
Usha Devi Peri
BBC Audience Services
(While the BBC has a case, I suspect that they would be happy to adapt their technology to fit Windows Phone 7 if it had a larger market share, so maybe next year. …Surur)
Craftyb from xda-developers just posted his new application for HTC Touch Diamond that basically enables the user to browse, stream or download content from BBC’s iPlayer.
The software that reminds the HTC’s Youtube applicationÂ and works like the iPhone iPlayer alternative, has the following features:
Finger friendly UI including flick kinetic scrolling, swipe gestures and vibration feedback.
Supports Nav Sensor and Stylus Removal (thanks koush)!
Higher quality video/audio than Samsung User Agent hack (483×272 h.264 video stream).
Browse content by Highlights, Popular, Channel, Category or Date.
Search for content and save history.
Checks for latest version of player and AppToDate support.
Downloads video to device for later viewing (I download at home over wifi and then watch videos on the tube on the way to work).
Video launched in your default player associated with ‘.mov’ files (I use CorePlayer).
I have tried the application for just a few minutes and I have to admit that it looks great. In this early 0.1 version, bugs and error screens are expected, but the application has definitely a lot of potential.
Unfortunately iPlayer is only available for HTC Touch Diamond (I tried it on my Touch Pro and wasn’t working), but craftyb could port it for more devices if there is enough interest. in addition, the content seems to be available only for users in the UK.
To try iPlayer or find more information click here.
We have already discovered support for the Samsung Omnia in the BBC iPlayer code (and exploted it for other devices), but the BBC has officially announced support for the Samsung Omnia and Sony Ericsson Xperia X1. The service has previously only been officially available for the iPhone and Nokia N96.
Speaking of the expansion, Jon Billings, head of technology for mobile for the BBC, says of the decision to support the Omnia and Xperia:
“These phones have been selected as they hit our requirements of Wi-Fi and 3G support with great browsing and media playback experience (i.e. the video and audio look and sound good), and it’s also great to broaden our platform support out to Windows Mobile smartphones as well as our first feature phone offering on the C905″.
The BBC iPlayer service is only available for UK residents and offer live TV and radio alongside the catch-up services.
The BBC says they will be extending the portal out to other compatible devices in the coming weeks.
The BBC’s iPlayer service has been rolling out and supporting more and more smartphones, but as they do it on a device by device basis that has left the varied ecosystem of Windows Mobile at a distinct disadvantage.
Fortunately we have more control than most over our devices, and the following hack will allow the video streaming service to work on any device.
You need to change the user agent in Opera Mobile to spoof the Samsung Omnia, the only supported Windows Mobile phone.
The instructions are as follow:
In the address bar enter opera:config (no http://)
Scroll down to User Prefs and click
Scroll down to Custom User-Agent and at the end of the pre-filled text add sgh-i900
Scroll down some more and press Save. You will get a prompt which suggests you may need to reset the phone, but for this you donâ€™t.
Now point your browser to http://www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/iplayer/ and enjoy. The video opens in HTC Streaming Player on HTC smartphones.
The hint is courtesty of the Artesea blog. The steaming service likely works only in UK. To get your streaming TV on elsewhere it was recently noted that Skyfire allows non-US residents watch Hulu from anywhere in the world.