BBC still not making a Windows Phone iPlayer app, blames Windows Phone 8, bugs

imageWPCentral reports that the BBC has written to a reader explaining why they are not making a Windows Phone 7 app for their streaming TV service.

Daniel Danker, General Manager of Programmes & On Demand for the BBC in short laid the blame squarely on the Windows Phone OS.

He blamed Windows Phone users “different technologies” for streaming than iPhone and Android, presumably referring to HTTP Live Streaming, a proprietary Apple streaming technology.

This reason is rather specious, given that the BBC supports numerous platforms, including ones such as  Ubuntu, with many using their own unique streaming technologies.

iPlayer supports the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PS3, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry Bold2, Blackberry Storm 2, Linux, Apple Mac, Windows computers,  and Netgear and Linksys home media hubs, amongst others. Its hard to see how they could not have spared to effort to support Windows Phone also.

He also blamed the impeding arrival for Windows Phone 8, which according to Daniel means they will need to rewrite their apps.

He wrote:

"Unfortunately Microsoft have also announced that Windows Phone 8 apps will be different yet again, so any Windows Phone 7 app we make would have to be rebuilt from the ground up for the next version of Windows Phone."

We of course know this is bogus, as Microsoft has repeatedly confirmed Windows Phone 7 apps will work on Windows Phone 8.

Lastly he blamed the fact that web streaming was not working on a bug in the Windows Phone 7 browser which Microsoft refused to fix, writing:

“…today there’s a bug in Windows Phone that prevents our standards-based media from being played on those devices. Microsoft has been aware of the bug for over a year now, and we’re hopeful they’ll address it (on Windows Phone 7 as well as Windows Phone 8) so our Windows Phone audiences can access iPlayer.”

He concluded that he had hopes for Windows Phone 8, but not for current Windows Phone 7 users, saying:

“As you can see, there’s no easy answer. I’m optimistic that one or both of the options above will become possible in Windows Phone 8, but that’s little help to people like you who are using Windows Phone 7. Nonetheless, hopefully this additional detail helps you understand our thought process.”

In our opinion BBC could have worked around all of these issues and would have Windows Phone had a larger market share or mindshare.

As an example of this, the BBC has so far relied on Flash to stream to Android handsets.  Adobe has however pulled this from market recently, but this did not deter Mr Danker, with him saying:

"The BBC is working with Adobe on an alternative video player for Android, ensuring audiences with Android devices continue to enjoy BBC iPlayer," said Daniel Danker, general manager of On-Demand at the BBC.

"We do have concerns about fragmentation of Android devices and new updates to the Android platform, which have created an inconsistent video playback experience for our audience, and we are working with Google to find ways to address this."

Maybe the answer is being more noisy. Mr Danker’s email address is [email protected].  I suggest readers let him know what we think of his flimsy excuses.

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