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BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

Last post 08-03-2010, 4:50 by jsoap1. 37 replies.
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  •  02-16-2008, 3:04 121080

    BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Hi,

    is anyone able to play WMV9 files downloaded with the BBC iPlayer?

    I can play downloaded files in Windows Media Player 11 ok. But when I share them via Windows Media Player to the Showcenter, the DRM license files seem to transfer ok,  but when the file starts to play, I get the message "not supported", and sound only i.e. no video.

    I don't think that this is a DRM issue since the same thing happens if I play one of the non-DRM  "channel intro" files  e.g. http://rapidshare.com/files/91464582/BBC4_LAKE.wmv   (800kb).


     

  •  03-22-2008, 5:13 142466 in reply to 121080

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    We have the same problem on Windows Vista Ultimate, but we also have Intel ViiV enabled as a server and although that is the same for the DRM files, the showcenter plays the BBC4 Lake when served by ViiV. We updated our showcenter 200 to the latest Beta firmware 21-81 which supposedly has a fix for a similar problem using the showcenter XP software. Interestingly the release notes say that a new feature in this firmware is that Windows Vista is supported using WMP11 which is a bit odd because it was working with Vista using the pervious firmware update.  We did have an error reported on the PC so maybe the Vista support isn't as good as it could be.

    C00D118E

    The device does not support sync. Contact the device manufacturer to find out if an updated driver is available.

  •  03-25-2008, 5:12 143615 in reply to 142466

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    ViiV is most likely automatically transcoding the file into a format that the Showcenter can play.

    I've discounted media server compatibility issues by using the a SD card reader plugged directly into the front USB port. Transcoding isn't really an otpion since my media sever (wizd) runs on a NAS (Linksys NSLU2), and I don't have a powerfull enough PC.

    If I re-encode the WMV file, using the same size and profile, it plays fine, but again this is slow.

    Have been tring to get tech support to look at this, but the only answer I can get is the confirmation that file won't play, without any attempt to find out why.

    Interstingly Channel 4's  4OD downloads, will play fine, and they use the same distribution system (kontiki)

    Seems a real shame, iPlayer support could be a very powerfull marketing tool! 

     

  •  09-24-2008, 14:09 237301 in reply to 143615

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    I'm getting this problem too. It's real shame it doesn't work.

    I've tried WMV with and without DRM (removed the DRM from a file for testing and tried one  of the little BBC ident files that don;t have DRM) and streamed them to my SC200 over the network and through the USB with the same results.

    So, I'm convinced it isn't a DRM issue. I wonder if this firmware has actually broken WMV playback. It is mentioned on the page.

    jsoap, how are you re-encoding these files? 

     


     

  •  09-24-2008, 14:32 237309 in reply to 237301

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Quick update;

    I can play WMV files created by Windows Movie Maker, but no iPlayer stuff. 

  •  09-25-2008, 4:50 237481 in reply to 237309

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Tanky:

    Quick update;

    I can play WMV files created by Windows Movie Maker, but no iPlayer stuff. 

     

    To be honest I download so few programs from iPlayer, I tend to watch on the PC.

    I also tried using Windows Media Player 11 with uPnP, but the same problem, no picture.

    I've also tried streaming from VLC, with poor results.

    So if you want to convert I have used 2 methods

    1) Windows Media Encoder 9 - there is a wizard that allows you to convert files to wmv, and these files play OK. Easy to use but seems very slow.

    2) VirtualDub 1.8.6 with  WMV plugin 1.7 (by fccHandler), and xvid codec to convert to .avi files. This works well, about twice the speed of WME9, however there is a steep learning curve.

  •  09-25-2008, 9:12 237557 in reply to 237481

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    jsoap,

    I've seen those methods recommended. I'll try both.

    It's just a shame the SC200 doesn't handle it natively.

    What firmware are you running on your SC?

     

    Paul 

  •  09-25-2008, 9:36 237561 in reply to 237557

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Tanky:

    jsoap,

    I've seen those methods recommended. I'll try both.

    It's just a shame the SC200 doesn't handle it natively.

    What firmware are you running on your SC?

     

    Paul 

     Hi,

    Currently using 21-81, although I had the same problem with the previous firmware. It is a real shame that the player can't handle the files since the tricky bit (DRM support)  is already there. Also it did appear to be working  a year ago - see http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/jasonjenkins/0,139101823,49292006,00.htm

    Interestingly 4OD files without DRM play just fine.

    I spent about six weeks on and off trying to get tech support to look at this. I gave up after the final suggestion that file was probably corrupt :-(

    Trevor

     

  •  09-25-2008, 9:52 237566 in reply to 237561

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Oh, so rolling back to previous firmware isn't likely to solve this? I think re-encoding is the only way, then. :(

    I did read that Jason Jenkins review about adding the iPlayer storage directory to the list of folders that SC looks at. He seemed to have it working. I can only agree with his other comment about filenames.

    I think I'll lay into Pinnacle support too. The more the merrier!  

  •  09-27-2008, 12:08 238230 in reply to 237566

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Right. Here's my solution. Perfect, it aint, but work, it does.

    Basically, the files need to be re-encoded. I messed around with a number of re-encoders, but eventually settled on Microsoft Windows Media Encoder. Now, settle down all of you. I know what you're thinking, but let me tell you all why I chose this.

    Firstly, it supports WMV encoding properly because that's it's primary function. It's designed to take OTHER formats and output them in WMV format. For it to take in a WMV and spit out another is a breeze for this application.

    There's limited messing around with codecs and such like because WMV doesn't really do codecs and stuff in the same way other file formats do. There's no cocking around adding plugins. So, it's simple.

    It's pretty damn fast too. It makes good use of my dual core CPU, which none of the other encoders did.

    It doesn't break any DRM removal tools, such as FU4WM, you may or may not have installed.

    It's free.

    Here endeth the lesson. Of course, I stand to be corrected by those better informed than me, for well informed in the intricacies of PC media I am most definitely not. There may be better ways of doing this, but I can tell you this. It works.

     

    Paul
     

     

  •  10-01-2008, 7:48 239317 in reply to 238230

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Yet another update that might be of interest.

    If you install the Windows Media Encoder SDK, you get the Batch Encoder too. Now this is where it starts to get really useful. I set it off re-encoding 9 hours and 7 files of WMV content that previously wouldn't play on the SC200. It took 8 hous to do, but it was batched and all done unattended, overnight.

    You have to create an encoding profile, but there's a profile editor that can take an existing profile and change it to suit your needs.  

    Now, I'm no Windows guru, far from it, but given a days trying and a little searching, I can make this work for me. There's not much help on the web as these applications are not used much.

    Paul 

  •  10-02-2008, 9:42 239719 in reply to 239317

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Tanky:

    Yet another update that might be of interest.

    If you install the Windows Media Encoder SDK, you get the Batch Encoder too. Now this is where it starts to get really useful. I set it off re-encoding 9 hours and 7 files of WMV content that previously wouldn't play on the SC200. It took 8 hous to do, but it was batched and all done unattended, overnight.

    You have to create an encoding profile, but there's a profile editor that can take an existing profile and change it to suit your needs.  

    Now, I'm no Windows guru, far from it, but given a days trying and a little searching, I can make this work for me. There's not much help on the web as these applications are not used much.

    Paul 

     

    Glad you got something that that works for you. I spent a lot of time looking at the headers of these files, down to byte level, and could find no difference between the originals that don't play and the re-encoded files which do play.

    One other thing that I noticed was that VLC really struggles to play the originals, but has no problem with the re-encoded files.

    Trevor

     

  •  10-02-2008, 10:52 239742 in reply to 239719

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Trevor,

    I don't know if you've looked at the applications I've mentioned, but the WME SDK includes all kinds of whizzy apps that I didn't try, maybe it could look into whatever prevents it working.

    The reason I say this is that the encoder can add DRM, so maybe it can either remove it too or give you some where to look for unusual code? 

     

    Paul 

  •  10-09-2008, 12:03 241973 in reply to 239742

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Tanky:

    Trevor,

    I don't know if you've looked at the applications I've mentioned, but the WME SDK includes all kinds of whizzy apps that I didn't try, maybe it could look into whatever prevents it working.

    The reason I say this is that the encoder can add DRM, so maybe it can either remove it too or give you some where to look for unusual code? 

     

    Paul 

     

    Well, the BBC have just added support for "mobile" devices, on the iPlayer download pages. These are lower resolution 320X180 wmv files, with DRM, and are direct downloads rather tham P2P.

    Guess what, the showcenter plays the files just fine. Have only tried using Windows Media Connect, rather than WMP11, and the showcenter grabs the licence  and plays. Quality is OK ish.

    Trevor

  •  10-23-2008, 11:53 246442 in reply to 121080

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Hi There, I'm completely new to this forum, I have just purchased a Showcenter 200 with one of the main reasons being to play back BBC iPlayer WMV9 files via Media Player 11.  After setting everything up I pressed play on my first iPlayer file to be greeted with just the audio!! After faffing about for a while I realised video was never going to appear!

    After many years of frustrating computer problems I always find the first place to get the real low down is the user forums so voila, here I am.

    Now I thought to myself ok I can stomach a little inconvieniance converting the files that I have downloaded, so decided on the Tanky way by using Windows Media Encoder 9.  I've not used this converter before but it didn't look too challenging.  Upon trying to convert my first file I'm being told that I need a license to perform the requested operation on this media file.  Any ideas where I'm going wrong? Any ideas will be gratefully accepted.

  •  10-23-2008, 12:18 246451 in reply to 246442

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Hi,

     the lower quality "mobile" downloads do work without conversion.

    Or if you would like to experiment a little, I hear that fairuse4wm with Media Player 10 may be an option.

  •  10-23-2008, 16:19 246517 in reply to 246442

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Steve,

    Hi mate. Yes, it's two stage process.

    Firstly you need to remove the digital rights management (DRM) from the file. The application to do this is called fu4wm13fix. I can't tell you much about it as it's pretty underground, but Google is your freind. It's a bit of a faff to set up, but once its going, it's fine. You'll need an old version of Windows Media Player though. I use WMP9.

    Once the DRM is gone, then you can re-encode it with Media Encoder. Try to use a profile that offers an output picture size the same is the input file. I use Windows Media Server (streaming) and select the Full Screen video from the video bit rate drop down. The 1128 Kbps makes your files slightly larger once encoded but they should play in the SC.

     

  •  10-26-2008, 13:27 247435 in reply to 246517

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Phew I finally got there, wot a mission!!

    Ended up having to install Virtual PC though, as every pc in the house is running Vista with the latest version of media player.  Now got XP Pro running on virtual pc, running media player 10,  this allows fu4wm13fix to do its stuff, although I'm also having to use Mirakagi to access the keys, but it strips out the DRM just fine.  I find Windows Media encoder ok but painfully slow, there must be something else out there that will recode a tad faster, still at least I can now use thr SC200 with i player programmes so shouldn't complain too much!!

    Now that's what I call Plug and Play!!!

    Thanks for the advice, it was invaluable.

    Steve

  •  10-26-2008, 17:08 247505 in reply to 247435

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    It is a bit of a expedition, but I do believe it's worth doing.Yes you have to use mirakagi, but you only do it once. Just remember to NEVER update your media player or the keys become obsolete. I've got FU4WM as a desktop shortcut. I just drag and drop the files onto the shortcut and it goes away and does it's stuff. Make sure WMP isn't running at the time or FU4 will error.

    WME is really slow, but to be honest, any media encoding is. It's very CPU intensive and will benefit from multicore processors.Which compression did you go for? I went for Destination = WM Streaming and Video = FullScreen and bit rate = 1128. I know it's a slightly higher bit rate than the source file and so is bloating the filesize needlessy, but it's the only one that would output the picture size the same as input. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has experimented with other settings, because I haven't.

    If you're feeling really brave, you could use the Windows Media Batch Encoder. This can encode files in (as you probably guessed) in batches. It's good for overnight runs.

    Also, Encoder (and Batch Encoder) can re-encode from files other than WMV. The application gets a bit slow and unresponsive for reasons I only partially understand, but it does work. It's another weapon to keep in your arsenal, alongside AutoGK.

  •  10-26-2008, 17:11 247506 in reply to 246451

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    jsoap1:

     the lower quality "mobile" downloads do work without conversion.

    It didn't work for me. As usual with the SC200, there was a message of which only a few words or which were visible, then the usual "unsupported" message, then nothing.

    I'm not actually convinced my SC can get on the 'net to acquire licenses, or maybe it's because the machine that serves the media to the SC *is not* the one that originally downloaded them.

  •  10-27-2008, 7:22 247661 in reply to 247506

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Tanky:

    It didn't work for me. As usual with the SC200, there was a message of which only a few words or which were visible, then the usual "unsupported" message, then nothing.

    I'm not actually convinced my SC can get on the 'net to acquire licenses, or maybe it's because the machine that serves the media to the SC *is not* the one that originally downloaded them.

    Hi, its bit irrelevant now, since any attempt to download the portable files, are met with a message "Your Windows Media Player requires an update".

    Unfortunately there is no indication as to what the update should be, other than a link to a page recommending the latest Media Player version.

    Needless to say I'll not be doing that..

     

  •  10-28-2008, 16:51 248410 in reply to 247661

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    I got the update needed message too, but just switched browser (I think to IE from FF) and the download worked fine. Was plenty quick too.
  •  10-29-2008, 10:23 248697 in reply to 248410

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Tanky:
    I got the update needed message too, but just switched browser (I think to IE from FF) and the download worked fine. Was plenty quick too.

    Thanks, for that FF worked ok. From what I can tell the Showcenter is not able to retrieve licence files by itself. I tested with both WMP11 and Media connect, using the Showcenter uPnP client, and the licence transferred successfully.Attempting to play the file from USB or from my media server (wizd), failed, with some partial message about "content" being displayed.

    I set WMP on the PC to manually download licence files.After downloading a file, and attempting to play the file in WMP,  I got a popup requesting a connection the BBC licence server. When this is clicked IE requests to run a DRM ActiveX control, before downloading the licence. You then have the option of playing the file or not.

    As and aside, if you do not play the file, and right click the file in the playlist, you can view the licence file properties, which will show the final "play until" date ie 30days. If you play the file on WMP, or on the Showcenter, and check the properties again, you can see that that the play until date changes to 7days.

    Additionally, these files are not tied to the machine that they are downloaded from. I copied some files between computers and each computer downloaded it's own licence files when played in WMP.
  •  10-29-2008, 16:43 248842 in reply to 248697

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    jsoap1:
    As and aside, if you do not play the file, and right click the file in the playlist, you can view the licence file properties, which will show the final "play until" date ie 30days. If you play the file on WMP, or on the Showcenter, and check the properties again, you can see that that the play until date changes to 7days.

    This is normal iPlayer behaviour, I think. We you first download the file, you can keep it for 30 days. Once you start watching it, you can only keep it for 7.

  •  10-30-2008, 4:52 248968 in reply to 248842

    Re: BBC iPlayer WMV9 files

    Tanky:

    jsoap1:
    As and aside, if you do not play the file, and right click the file in the playlist, you can view the licence file properties, which will show the final "play until" date ie 30days. If you play the file on WMP, or on the Showcenter, and check the properties again, you can see that that the play until date changes to 7days.

    This is normal iPlayer behaviour, I think. We you first download the file, you can keep it for 30 days. Once you start watching it, you can only keep it for 7.

    Yes, the only reason I mentioned it was that the default settings in WMP, mean that you need to be online to start watching the program, and then the  7 day timer starts. By manually retrieving the licence, and not playing the file, you can retain the 30 day window. So for example you could download a bunch of programs and their licences, before going abroad on holiday, and still have 30 days to start watching the progams. Of course the 7 day timer would start as soon as you started to watch a program.

    The other reason I mentioned this, was to show that the Showcenter uses the licence issued to the PC rather than retreiving its own licence.

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