By December 1, 2008

BBC iPlayer Streaming on Windows Mobile

Since the BBC launched the iPlayer for the N96 I knew it wouldn’t be too long until it would be available for other phones. However I can’t wait, so spent today looking for methods in getting my X1 to stream the shows.

I managed to extract the RTSP stream of Buzzcocks and successfully got that working on my phone. My next step was to find a way that didn’t involve me using my PC opening a collection of random XML files in order, to then email a link to my phone.

Several hours of coding and I managed to strip out the opening the files on the PC to a simple web script, however I still needed the 8 letter/number code for the episode to be parsed to the page.

Then when looking at the BBC source I noticed something. They now support the Samsung I900 a Windows Mobile device.
The method for checking if your phone is a Samsung, a simple User-Agent check.

Knowing how to modify the User-Agent in Opera on my X1 I placed the code need to pass the check and BINGO my phone now loads the BBC page and plays the shows.

These are the steps for an X1i Vodafone UK Branded
Run Opera
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 don’t.

Now point your browser to http://www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/iplayer/ and enjoy.

If on your phone the Custom User-Agent is blank, try visiting something like whatsmyuseragent.com copying the User-Agent which your phone is currently displaying and then add sgh-i900 to the end.

WARNING: Please only use whilst on WIFI. I accept no responsibility for you running up HUGE bills due to large data downloads. Even if you have an “unlimited” add-on, check with your network for their Fair Usage (Vodafone’s is 500mb) as you can quickly exceed it watching TV on your mobile!

The quality isn’t exactly great on a WVGA screen as it’s been built for the Nokia N96. According to beebhack these are the specs.

Access Method: RTSP streaming
Video Codec: H.264
Video Resolution: 320 x 176
Video Bitrate: 128 kbps
Audio Codec: AAC
Audio Bitrate: 64 kbps
Overall Bitrate: 192 kbps

ps if you get a BBC 502 error, don’t worry. Looks like they are playing about with the site themselves. Just try again later.

Story & text courtesy of: http://blog.artesea.co.uk

Posted by: John

Posted in: News

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