Posts tagged: tv

Jun 25 2009

Simplified Live BBC TV and Radio Support in get_iplayer

get_iplayer v2.04 now has very much simplified Live TV and Radio support.

Two new programme types have been added: ‘livetv’ and ‘liveradio’. These types, if selected, will list the available programmes in the familiar listing format:

get_iplayer --type=livetv
80000:  BBC Four - live
80001:  BBC News 24 - live
80002:  BBC One - live
80003:  BBC Parliament - live
80004:  BBC Three - live
80005:  BBC Two - live
80006:  CBBC - live
80007:  CBeebies - live

INFO: 8 Matching Programmes

Or you can just search, stream or playback by channel/programme name:

get_iplayer --type=liveradio 'Radio 1'
80132:  BBC Radio 1 - live

INFO: 1 Matching Programmes

To directly stream a selected live programme in all OSes (except Win32) you can use:

get_iplayer --stream 80001 --player='mplayer -cache 256 -'

Where –player can refer to any player command than can play programmes from STDIN. Or simply use:

get_iplayer --stream 80001 | mplayer -cache 256 -

The advantage of the –player option is that it can be saved in your default options as follows:

get_iplayer --prefs-add --player='mplayer -cache 256 -'

Then you can just stream via mplayer using:

get_iplayer --stream 80001

( –stream is just a synonym for –stdout –nowrite )

To record a live stream use:

get_iplayer --get 80001

Specifying modes has changed a little. –amode has become –radiomode and –vmode is now –tvmode. Additionally, –modes=<modelist> can be used to set a general default set of modes for all programme types.

Likewise, embedded media web pages can be played more easily. e.g.:

get_iplayer --stream --type=radio

Or recorded using:

get_iplayer --get --type=radio

The only major thing I’ve not been able to get working is direct streamed playback under native Windows. If anyone knows why it won’t work or has a fix or workaround please let me know! I’ve tried with ‘vlc -‘, ‘ffplay -‘ and ‘mplayer -‘ and all seem to just fail.

Mar 17 2009

BBC Readies new iPlayer HD 720×404 streams

It would appear that the BBC have started to serve the new High(er) Definition iPlayer streams with the following stream quality:

  • Resolution: 720 x 404 pixels
  • Video Codec: H.264
  • Audio Codec: AAC
  • Bitrate: 1500 kbps

I’ve managed to watch some of the content and the quality looks excellent and a marked improvement over the existing 640 x 360 / 800kbps content.

So, to stop all the speculation, yes, it does seem that this new BBC iPlayer HD (well not quite 720p) will be served via the web based flash player.

Also, please update to the newest get_iplayer because flashhigh support has now been fixed after the BBC changed it today.

Update: For BBC HD content please use get_iplayer –vmode=flashvhigh … with get_iplayer v1.47 and rtmpdump v1.4. The fedora, ubuntu, MacOSX and Windows binaries on this site are already at v1.4.
For the programmes that have this new mode available this seems to work mostly reliably now.
Another Update (16/04/2009): You probably already noticed my newer post and that the BBC have released 1280×720 3.2Mbps HD streams now – and that the SD stream is now 832×468 (no longer 720×404) but still 1.5Mbps

Jan 06 2009

get_iplayer Indexes, Searches and Downloads ITV player TV Programmes

Happy New Year!
For all of those who desperately want to watch UK ITV programmes, get_iplayer (v1.13 onwards) can now download them for you! (just specify –type=itv)

Normally ITV programmes can be streamed in real-time, on-demand, from the website. However you need microsoft Silverlight to watch them in a web browser. On the back-end provides these programmes as obfuscated asf (wmv/wma) streams.

get_iplayer scrapes the Catch-Up parts of the ITV site and indexes all of the available programmes. You can then search and download them as you would with BBC iPlayer programmes.

For example,

get_iplayer --type=itv 'Rising Damp' --get

Due to the advertisement breaks, many of the ITV programmes are split into a handful of approximately 15 minute segments. get_iplayer will find all of the segments and download them in parallel. At present I have not found a way to download the segments in anything except real-time so the parallelism means that most programmes only take around 15 minutes to download.

And before you ask – No, I’m not planning on adding 4oD or DemandFive because they use Windows based DRM and I’m not going to play that game. DRM will eat itself.


get_iplayer v1.17+ now indexes the ITV ‘TV Classics’ programmes in addition to the ITV ‘Catch Up’ programmes. This adds over 300 episodes to the avaiable list.

Update (16th September 2009):

Looks like ITV have completely redesigned their site and back end which has broken the existing ITV plugin. Maybe someone would like to write a new plugin?

Dec 25 2008

get_iplayer gets High Quality Flash BBC iPlayer RTMP Downloading Capability

Merry Christmas!

Another great feature has been added to get_iplayer. You can now download programmes from the high quality flash version of the BBC iPlayer (640×360 resolution) using the optional rtmpdump tool. This means that you will be able to download ANY programme as soon as it is available on the iPlayer Flash web page.

Andrej Stepanchuk has very kindly written and released rtmpdump. If installed, get_iplayer (v1.04 or above) can use it by adding the –vmode=rtmp option to any TV download. This feature is currently an alpha test.
Pre-requisites are:

  • Installation of rtmpdump
  • ffmpeg (to convert the flv file into mp4 format)

You can get rtmpdump here (compiled for Linux/x86-32bit, MacOSX/x86 and cygwin). The Home Page and C++ source is here. I recommend you compile your own – it is very easy – just make sure you have the boost libraries installed.

In get_iplayer you’ll need to specify the location of rtmpdump binary (using –rtmpdump) if it is not already in the path.

Let me know how it goes.

Update (28th December 2008)

Andrej has released rtmpdump-v1.1 this addresses issues with 64-bit Linux and adds download resume support. Use in conjunction with the latest get_iplayer 1.05 or newer.

If you come across problems specifically related to rtmpdump (i.e. not get_iplayer) you can post them at the Sourceforge page for rtmpdump.

Update (2nd January 2009)

For get_iplayer 1.09 and above to use the RTMP features you’ll need rtmpdump-v1.2+ this addresses issues with Normal quality RTMP Flash downloads and adds download resume support for this quality.

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