The joys of the TV iPlayer (discovered)
I've always been very dubious about using the iPlayer to watch TV programmes I've missed. Sitting in front of a computer to watch the iPlayer isn't exactly my idea of pleasure!
However, I recently bought a new all singing and dancing PC which has a HDMI socket on the back so, out of curiosity, I experimented connecting the PC to my TV with a HDMI cable - and it worked perfectly (after setting the TV as a clone of my monitor and temporarily setting the TV as the default sound while I was using it). So I bought a long HDMI cable and can use my TV to watch iPlayer programmes (together with any videos, etc I have on my PC).
I know this is a trivial post but connecting up my TV in this way means that the TV iPlayer is now something that is useful for me, rather than being vaguely irritating and something to only use as a last resort.
Do the BBC still have detector vans? I thought I read somewhere that televisions now would have iplayer built into them? I'd love to watch on my tv but it's a pretty ancient model and nowhere near the computer (or would involve miles of cabling if it was possible) Also, again not sure if I am right, I thought the BBC would be including programmes from ITV and other commercial stations on iplayer?
Originally Posted by french frank
I sometimes use the iPlayer, though now I tend to use it via our Humax PVR box, and on the whole I still try to avoid it. The PVR is a bit clunky to get going with iPlayer, but once it's up and running it's usually OK. Using it via a laptop feeding a VGA cable also works, though I'd guess an HDMI cable would be better. One irritation which I've not fully overcome is stopping the screen from going to sleep, or the screen saver kicking in. For the most part I try to anticipate anything we might want to watch, and get it recorded, but using computers, games consoles, blu ray players or PVRs for catchup services is a useful fallback if all else fails. Sadly the independent stations seem to have created players which do actually force you to watch the adverts - or at least do something else for a few minutes - which can generally be avoided/minimised by planning a recording.
For personal use an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch should quite well with the iPlayer, and I guess there are Android versions as well.
This is a separate issue from the one johnb was mentioning (how to link his computer up to the TV to watch iPlayer programmes).
Originally Posted by Anna
Detector vans are not used much as they are apparently less cost effective than having people knocking on doors and asking whether there is a TV within.
If you don't have a licence, it is perfectly all right to watch On Demand TV programmes, but you should not watch live programmes as they are being broadcast - there is normally a warning that if you are watching them over the internet you need a licence. I imagine most new computers will allow you to watch live TV. (But I don't as, if I wanted to watch it I would get a television set).
Do the BBC still have detector vans?
The vans are believed to have inspired ' Call My Bluff '
This aerodynamic version was spotted in the Monmouth area a while back
Just as an aside - perhaps the one thing that has given me the most satisfaction in moving from my old laptop to the new PC is that I've rescued a very old IBM 'M' type clickerty keyboard from my store cupboard (aka the junk room), cleaned it up and got it working with the PC. I doubt whether anyone would believe me if I said that the difference it makes is truly phenomenal! It isn't just the physical design of the keys and their touch (though those aspects are on another planet) but I find that I type much, much more accurately and much quicker.
The IBM 'M' keyboard is a real joy to use, even though it is pretty noisy. (Well, it does have the reputation of being the best keyboard ever made.) If anyone has a chance to get hold of one - please do try it out. They are still to be found on ebay and they are almost indestructible. There is also a company in the US, called Unicomp, who still make the IBM model 'M' keyboard and they have models with USB connections and the UK keyboard layout. Anyone who does a lot of typing should definitely investigate further.
PS Unicomp's prices are $79+$51 shipping, i.e. $131 or roughly £82 (plus any VAT, etc that the Royal Mail might levy). It seems a lot but an original IBM 'M' keyboard was sold recently on ebay for £91 and it was missing its connecting lead and the 'Home' keycap!
[Edit] If anyone looks on ebay do NOT buy a terminal or POS keyboard as they are useless for a PC, and make sure that the keyboard has its original connecting lead. With the Unicomp keyboard - make sure you select the 'Buckle Spring' version.
Last edited by johnb; 17-05-11 at 10:23.