Kodi Community Forum

Full Version: [RELEASE] iPlayer - BBC Video and Music Plugin (UK only!)
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Thanks for your comments. Iplayer app works on ipad and i can watch it on the PC via the BBC website without XMBC so I know its not a unblocked-us issue, their support group had no suggestions.

From what you're saying its not the XMBC were the problem is. I will remove and re-install and see how that goes.

Andrew
You are comparing apples and oranges. I have no idea what unblock-us can and can't proxy but the website might use a different CDN, different meta-data source and so on. Same with the App.

It might be a device issue, but it could be related to geo-locking. Maybe a a UK based user can confirm whether it works on their Apple TV with XBMC, as I don't have that hardware to test.

Usually a VPN should work better than a proxy type service. Also for example I know that the BBC Live streams are geolocked on at the CDN level. When I'm out of the country I use a VPN.
Hi Andrewt. I use XBMC on PC and also use unblock-us, the iPlayer plugin stopped working for me about a week ago as well. Have just started searching around to see what the cause is. Found this thread, seems may be something to to with unblock-us ( or just a coincidence we both use it and have same problem?). Are there any others using unblock-us having similar problems?

Cheers
I too am using unblock-us and have had the same iPlayer plugin problems recently. I emailed them and got the usual "we don't support XBMC" reply.
Have also been using Unblock-us and starting having same problem on XBMC on ATV2 from a week ago. (BBC iPad app and main website continued to work fine).
I set myself up for a free trial of with an unblock competitor, SmartDNSProxy.com and, lo-and-behold, iPlayer on XBMC works. BUT I'm getting loads of buffering at peak internet times in my country, which largely renders the add-on useless. Anyone have any similar experiences? Anyone using a DNS changer that allows the XBMC add-on to play without buffering? Would be happy to change
(2014-05-04, 03:54)toph3r Wrote: [ -> ]Quick question, why do the live streams only work when I tunnel the connection over my UK VPN, yet if using just a proxy the stream fails. It's no biggie, but an just interested.

because only meta data gets proxied. The live streams are geolocked.

This plugin is for UK BBC licence fee payers so no support is given regarding use overseas.
Complete newbie here...
  • Are you saying that the addon will not play BBC live TV when using a proxy configured to present a UK IP address?
  • What is the purpose of the proxy support in the addon?
  • What does geolocked mean? And why will my browser play BBC live TV when using the same proxy but the addon will not?
Thanks for this great addon but can you please repo it and update the thread? Hitchers repo does not appear to contain it anymore.
(2014-05-29, 00:27)exobuzz Wrote: [ -> ]You are comparing apples and oranges. I have no idea what unblock-us can and can't proxy but the website might use a different CDN, different meta-data source and so on. Same with the App.

It might be a device issue, but it could be related to geo-locking. Maybe a a UK based user can confirm whether it works on their Apple TV with XBMC, as I don't have that hardware to test.

Usually a VPN should work better than a proxy type service. Also for example I know that the BBC Live streams are geolocked on at the CDN level. When I'm out of the country I use a VPN.

Unblock-us is a simple DNS spoofer. It doesn't proxy at all. So, you still need to be able to reach the CDN with your source IP allowed. If you use an anonymous HTTP proxy, SOME of the CDNs (not all - not Akamai for example) appear not to check the source IP and in fact you are redirected to a pretty local store. What that means is that you proxy your request for the metadata to the Beeb, they reply with the list of CDNs and then RMTP flows local CDN->client based on DNS lookup of the CDN.

VPNs are horrible - all that extra header and latency and your quality soon goes down the river.

For the live streams the issue is more complex. If you use a PC to access iPlayer via an anonymous HTTP proxy, it all works, but this is because the content is NOT cached - it is delivered over HLS. But of course, HDS uses HTTP, so your HDS segments are delivered through your HTTP proxy just like regular HTTP traffic. Is that a good idea ? Absolutely NOT. HTTP proxies add delay, latency, etc, but then again, I'm just a simple Network Engineer who thinks you should use the correctly designed protocol (RTMP in this case) rather than shoe-horn everything over HTTP. But I digress.

So, my guess is that if the iPlayer plugin selected one of the HDS streams rather than the RTMP stream, it too would draw the live content via HTTP proxy. I think XBMC suport HDS now ?

At some point, it may be worth a quick hack to see if this is correct.

BTW, setting up your own HTTP anonymous proxy really is a piece of p**s (cake). A VPS in the UK with Squid and a few iptables rules to do NAT (iptables calls in masquerading...) and all if fine and dandy.

Next time you're out of the UK, try using an HTTP proxy instead of a VPN. Then, when the stream is playing, have a look at the netstat output - you may be VERY surprised at where your stream is actually coming from :-)
So, replying to my own post (how vain is that ?)

Through Firefox, when I go to play BBC1 live, initially I ask for:

- http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/playlist/bbc_one_london

From the mediaselector, I take the HDS stream as the first choice, NOT the rtmp stream. That is where things are different with XBMC:

- http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/playl...k/bbc1.f4m

Please tell me if I'm wrong, but it looks like the iPlayer plugin ignores all the HDS streams at the moment ?
(2014-05-31, 00:55)dlake02 Wrote: [ -> ]Unblock-us is a simple DNS spoofer. It doesn't proxy at all. So, you still need to be able to reach the CDN with your source IP allowed. If you use an anonymous HTTP proxy, SOME of the CDNs (not all - not Akamai for example) appear not to check the source IP and in fact you are redirected to a pretty local store. What that means is that you proxy your request for the metadata to the Beeb, they reply with the list of CDNs and then RMTP flows local CDN->client based on DNS lookup of the CDN.

I thought Unblock-US does proxy. It does the dns spoofing and resolves domains to their own system so you connect to them (and then proxies web traffic to/from your original destination. it is probably possible to proxy rtmp data too in the same way (librtmp has some socks proxy support in it, but we don't yet interface with that from the plugin). I'm sure in the past when I was looking at that, it was how it worked - unless they have changed something.

(2014-05-31, 00:55)dlake02 Wrote: [ -> ]VPNs are horrible - all that extra header and latency and your quality soon goes down the river.

Well, my openvpn running on my home system works perfectly for me when I'm abroad so long as I'm on a decent connection, so I've not had that experience.

(2014-05-31, 00:55)dlake02 Wrote: [ -> ]Next time you're out of the UK, try using an HTTP proxy instead of a VPN. Then, when the stream is playing, have a look at the netstat output - you may be VERY surprised at where your stream is actually coming from :-)

I used to do it like that, but I still prefer using a VPN (like having direct access to machines on my lan also). However at that time the BBC were not using HDS streams. if someone wants to provide a patch to iplayer plugin to get metadata from a different source that has those, I am happy to accept Smile

(2014-05-30, 19:57)flymike Wrote: [ -> ]
  • Are you saying that the addon will not play BBC live TV when using a proxy configured to present a UK IP address?
  • What is the purpose of the proxy support in the addon?
  • What does geolocked mean? And why will my browser play BBC live TV when using the same proxy but the addon will not?

1) nope. at least not with the current live stream sources.
2) bbc has geolocked auth info for the rtmp streams. you can proxy to get the auth. the servers which provide the ondemand streams did not used to be geolocked - the live rtmp streams which did not need any auth info were however geolocked, so with a basic proxy you used to be able to watch the ondemand streams out of the country. I won't help you set it up though.
3) geolocked mean they check the location of your IP address, and restrict access to ips which are mapped to a certain country etc. as Dlake has said, the browser uses different stream sources for the live tv.
Quote:
(2014-06-01, 06:00)exobuzz Wrote: [ -> ]
(2014-05-31, 00:55)dlake02 Wrote: [ -> ]Unblock-us is a simple DNS spoofer. It doesn't proxy at all. So, you still need to be able to reach the CDN with your source IP allowed. If you use an anonymous HTTP proxy, SOME of the CDNs (not all - not Akamai for example) appear not to check the source IP and in fact you are redirected to a pretty local store. What that means is that you proxy your request for the metadata to the Beeb, they reply with the list of CDNs and then RMTP flows local CDN->client based on DNS lookup of the CDN.

I thought Unblock-US does proxy. It does the dns spoofing and resolves domains to their own system so you connect to them (and then proxies web traffic to/from your original destination. it is probably possible to proxy rtmp data too in the same way (librtmp has some socks proxy support in it, but we don't yet interface with that from the plugin). I'm sure in the past when I was looking at that, it was how it worked - unless they have changed something.

I used the rtmp proxy on librtmp for my France Television plugin. Yes, it works, but I had no choice - France Television only use Akamai, and they only replicate to geographically-located CDNs. In the case of the Beeb who use three CDN providers, two of those providers globally replicate (at the moment). That means that those of us stuck in far off, distant and (very) strange lands will find content served from a CDN only a few hops away.

Quote:
(2014-05-31, 00:55)dlake02 Wrote: [ -> ]VPNs are horrible - all that extra header and latency and your quality soon goes down the river.

Quote:Well, my openvpn running on my home system works perfectly for me when I'm abroad so long as I'm on a decent connection, so I've not had that experience.
Yes, but the principle is to keep content and consumer close as we never meant the Internet to be used for real-time content like voice and video ! Overlays add overhead and inefficiencies - from the west coast of the US, even on a 20Mbit/s tail and an OpenVPN server in a VPS with plenty of capacity, the highest sustained rate I can manage is about 1.2Mbit/s. I hate overlays

Quote:
(2014-05-31, 00:55)dlake02 Wrote: [ -> ]Next time you're out of the UK, try using an HTTP proxy instead of a VPN. Then, when the stream is playing, have a look at the netstat output - you may be VERY surprised at where your stream is actually coming from :-)

I used to do it like that, but I still prefer using a VPN (like having direct access to machines on my lan also). However at that time the BBC were not using HDS streams. if someone wants to provide a patch to iplayer plugin to get metadata from a different source that has those, I am happy to accept Smile


I'll have a look sometime. I'm a little busy right now with studies and projects so it'll be sometime off. I did manage to make it work for the Olympics plugin. The issue for me is that I don't actually want it to use the HDS streams by default as they may be proxied. If the content is available on a local CDN over RTMP, then I'd like it to pick those up. Or alternatively over HDS from a local CDN, but that means selectively applying the proxy settings. What I'm not sure about is how the XBMC default player handles HTTP proxy settings - does it pick that up from the environment or is it applied per-stream ? I'll ask on the dev list.
Please tell me how I can access H.264 3200kbps streams as on the addon options the highest stream I can set is 2800kbps? Also, does it matter which of the three providers I select, is one better than the others?
Hi all, first post - big thanks to the main contributors of this addon, it has been a lifesaver here in Canada. I too am coming in as an unblock-us user, and appreciate your support is limited to those of us outside the UK but will provide a log regardless.

Mine too sort of quit on me about a week ago, but here is some more context: I've always had the stream set at H.264 (800kb). Upon it not working any more I fiddled with the settings to no avail, other than setting the stream back to Auto. When on Auto, it does in fact play - but between here and the UK there is a breakdown in the connection and I can't sustain the high quality it tries to provide me, just constantly buffers - which is why I have been using H.264 (800kb) for ages.

My log is at http://xbmclogs.com/show.php?id=216406

I don't know if this is the same issue as some other unblock-us users have recently commented on, as I'm not 100% blocked out - I just can't seem to select streams any more.

I've tried reading the log, and I see it going through some selection process on the stream. Is there a specific mediaselector URL that I can be opening that correlates to the lower bitrate streams, that might give me more insight as to why selecting those in the options doesn't work anymore?

I see the activity here:
04:18:59 T:2891991872 NOTICE: plugin.video.iplayer: Video stream prefs 2 - h264 820
04:18:59 T:2891991872 NOTICE: plugin.video.iplayer: Stream XML URL: http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector...m/b045cgsn

I can access that URL fine, the only thing I take away from it is there isn't an 800kb bitrate listed in there, the closes is <media bitrate="796" .......>. That's not the problem is it?

edit: I'm using 2.5.9 on an Apple tv1 w/OpenELEC
Cheers,
Jason
(2014-06-03, 07:41)Jase930 Wrote: [ -> ]I don't know if this is the same issue as some other unblock-us users have recently commented on, as I'm not 100% blocked out - I just can't seem to select streams any more.

looks like it. try a vpn or move to the uk Smile
(2014-06-05, 01:15)exobuzz Wrote: [ -> ]
(2014-06-03, 07:41)Jase930 Wrote: [ -> ]I don't know if this is the same issue as some other unblock-us users have recently commented on, as I'm not 100% blocked out - I just can't seem to select streams any more.

looks like it. try a vpn or move to the uk Smile

I'm using UnBlockUS from Australia & iPlayer is working just fine.

Image

The only change I've had to make in the last week-or-so is to change the stream setting from RTMP (port 1935) to "Library". Played fine thereafter (although when I go back to the settings having done so it reverts to RTMP (port 1935)).