BBC IPlayer downloading and bandwidth?

  spuds 12:17 20 Jun 2013

This is a rather new thing for me, using BBC IPlayer and downloading a programme from that, so I hope there is an easy straight answer to the question I wish to place?.

Seeing a very recent programme on BBC I decided to check if it was available via IPlayer, which it was. I was given the option of downloading for possible later viewing, so I chose this option. The programme was a 581MB 21 minute download. on downloading and part way through I was met with "insufficient bandwidth to stream this programme", but the download continued, and on checking the first part of the actual programme, it appears to have downloaded, but I haven't check the full download to see it it as indeed downloaded completely. (I hope this makes sense?).

So question, why would I get this "insufficient bandwidth to stream this programme". Would add that I apparently have an 'unlimited' bandwidth contract with the ISP.

Can someone explain all this to me?.

  northumbria61 12:41 20 Jun 2013

spuds - See here enter link description here

  spuds 13:02 20 Jun 2013

northumbria61 - thanks for that,very interesting. I have check the diagnostic tool with the results > Downloading speed 5861 kbps/ Streaming speed (1) 481 kbps (2) 821 kbps (3) 735 kbps.

It would also seem to suggest on the information on the website, that the ISP might need to be contacted?.

Does any of this make sense, especially on the three given Streaming speeds?.

I would add a further question, on the linked website, the background appears very dark, which makes some of the information unreadable. Is there a way of changing this colour or print situation, because I have made attempts but cannot seem to find a solution there?.

  Woolwell 13:25 20 Jun 2013

Which browser are you using? You can select colours in IE through its settings. The background of the iPlayer help is very dark grey with white text. I suggest that if you are having difficulty in reading it (I find it very clear) then you may need to adjust your monitor's contrast and/or brightness.

  spuds 13:44 20 Jun 2013

Woolwell - I have virtually given up with IE due to many issues. The only time I use IE nowadays if for banking, because Barclays seem to have a problem with other browsers, and 'insist' I use IE?.

I'll give IE a try on that website, and see if there are any improvements. I probably won't bother going the monitor adjustment route for that one website. Normally don't have colour problems with other site?.

  Woolwell 14:50 20 Jun 2013

I use IE with Barclays and also Chrome without any snags. Think that I've used Firefox in the past too.

  T0SH 16:13 20 Jun 2013

I think this issue depends a lot on your isp, some seem to take issue with you streaming lots of video content from sources other than theirs ?, I say this based on my own past experiences while using iPlayer with both BT and Sky broadband

With BT I would fairly regularly get buffering and lack of bandwidth issues wile watching bbc news or iplayer catchup content mostly but not always at peak times

With Sky I frequently get buffering and bandwidth issues while watching bbc news but almost never with iplayer catchup content

I think in my case the difference can be explained by understanding that quite a lot of the iplayer catchup content is also available on Sky Go Desktop, so it would make no sense for sky to throttle back on this ?

On the bbc news streaming via flash player at times can become unusable, but oddly enough when this is at its worse I can and do regularly switch over to the Aljezeera English stream also via flash player without any issues ?

Maybe I am developing paranoia but I do not think so :¬)

Cheers HC

  spuds 16:38 20 Jun 2013


I started to download at about 12.45pm, so not sure if talkTalk would class this a peak on a unlimited contract.

First time I have tried this streaming from IPlayer, hence whether it was the ISP or something else?.

I use to get buffering with YouTube clips, but this now seems a thing in the past?.

  spuds 16:47 20 Jun 2013


Off subject, but it would be interesting to find out if Firefox and Chrome works for you with Barclays. I did a previous post in this forum on this, because I had a number of problems with Firefox and Chrome, especially getting into various sections on the secure website, including trying to get print-off's, which was impossible because the pages would not open.

Took this up with Barclays customer services, and was informed that IE was the only browser to use. That enquiry and a couple more at the same time, got me a £50 goodwill gesture straight into my account.

  difarn 17:03 20 Jun 2013

You mention streaming but in fact you are downloading it. Streaming is when you watch it directly from the iPlayer. How are you downloading it - via an ethernet connected pc or wifi? An ethernet connection is more reliable. Where are you downloading it to? You are sometimes given options of Windows Media Player or iPlayer desktop. If you choose the latter then you will have to download the desktop first before it can be recorded.

You should have ample bandwidth to download according to your figures. The insufficient bandwidth message may have just been a temporary glitch in your connection.

  spuds 17:11 20 Jun 2013


I think that you might have got the solution.

I was using the IPlayer download facility which i think went through Windows Media (not too sure) and at the same time was partially watching the programme on screen, so it appears there might have been an overload if my thinking is correct. Perhaps trying to do two things at once?.

If that is the answer, then next time I may need to look out for that?.

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