BBC iPlayer and Windows 10 updates…

By | June 12, 2017
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3 is a magic number, they say. And I’ve got 3 things for you today, starting with something about BBC iPlayer…

I know quite a lot of people use the BBC iPlayer website or their app, to watch TV. It’s a great facility – you can watch live TV but probably more usefully you can watch programmes that were on a while ago.

It’s great if you missed something or didn’t even know it was on. (Just the other day I was talking to Mum and Dad on Skype and they’d been watching something I hadn’t known was on – and now I can go and watch it, even though it was on last week.)

It’s worth knowing that you do need a TV licence, though. It used to be that you only needed one to watch live TV on it, but that changed and you need one even for watching programmes after they were on. (Catch-up TV as they call it.)

Incidentally the rules on watching TV on a mobile phone or a tablet or a laptop if you’re not at home are a bit peculiar. If you’re watching it on battery power, then as long as you’re in the UK, you’re covered by your home TV licence. But if you plug it into the mains it no longer counts as a mobile device and you need to be covered by a licence at that address. (Unless you’re in a vehicle – so you can plug it into your car charger or on the train.) Of course most hotels and B&Bs will have a TV licence, so they’re likely to be fine, but it might not be if you’re in a cafe, say…

The problem is the way they check whether you have a TV licence is to pop up a message saying “Do you have a TV licence?” – and if you click or tap yes, then it lets you watch it. But obviously that’s not very secure – people could say yes when they don’t. So there’ve been rumours for a while that they’d bring in a system where you have to log in to use iPlayer, so they can check you do have a licence.

And now they are bringing it in – but they say it’s not to do with the TV licence. It might not be to start with, but I’ll be surprised if they don’t link it later on.

When you go to watch something on iPlayer, it’ll ask you to log in or create an account. You can choose to create one, give it a few details about you (including your postcode but not your full address – yet), set up a password and that’s it – next time you log in with those details and that’s all there is to it.

It also means it can remember what you’ve watched – of course some people might not like the idea of it remembering things like that – it could cause worries about privacy. But on the other hand it means it can recommend other programmes you might like and let you pick up a programme from the right point after you got part way through it – even if you’re watching it on a different device.

At the moment you don’t have to have a login to use iPlayer, but within a few weeks you will need it, so next time you use iPlayer it might be worth setting one up to get it done.

Windows 10S – not an update
I’ve heard a few people get confused by a new system called Windows 10S. It’s quite different from Windows 10, even though there’s only one letter different in the name.

In particular, it’s not an update to Windows 10, so you won’t be getting it automatically. It’s a different system, working in a slightly different way, aimed mainly at more cut down laptops. It’s not something I’d recommend for most people (it’s more aimed at organisations like schools or colleges) – so I’m really telling you so you know you don’t need to worry about it.

There is another update coming, though, but not until Autumn. It’s called the Creators Fall update (fall as in American for Autumn, not fall as in trip over). It’s different from the creators update (without the word fall), which most people will already have. More on it nearer the time.

Microsoft do like their confusingly similar names, don’t they?

Tim stops wittering…
You’ve probably noticed I’ve mentioned our newest book (about sleep) a few times recently. I’m glad I did – so many people have been interested to hear about it and if it can help even a few of them sleep better, it was worth it. But I’m not planning to mention it again in this newsletter, so if you’ve been at all on the fence about whether it might help you, now’s the time to decide.

You can read the details about it to help you make up your mind here or watch the short video I recorded about it here.

As I say, I won’t mention it again, so if you’ve been umming and ahhing about it, best decide one way or the other now. And if you do sleep badly, please do something – if you don’t want to buy this book, that’s fine but then maybe talk to a doctor or get some leaflets from your local GP surgery or something – poor sleep is such a big issue it’s worth doing something about.

5 thoughts on “BBC iPlayer and Windows 10 updates…

  1. Tony Richardson

    Re the BBC, but particularly the BBC Store, where you can/could purchase programs, & download them to your Computer. Come this November, they are closing this store down, which is disappointing, but, worse still, what you’ve downloaded, will no longer be accessible, given that you have, at the moment, to sign in to the store site, which won’t be available, come November! The BBC are offering a Voucher to use with Amazon, or, will reimburse some of the value of your purchases, to your Bank Account. The problem is though, some of the programs I have from them, are not available anywhere else, though some are, which I will of course, have to pay for again! Might there be a method, by which I can keep watching these, without having the store site to sign in to? I’ve tried various ways to do this, but no joy, no URL details etc; to copy & paste! I’ve paid for these items, why should I have to lose them? BBC say, they’re hoping to make such items available elsewhere, but!!! T R

    1. Tim Post author

      as far as I know, there’s no way around it. I suspect they found fewer people were using the BBC store than they hoped for, so they decided to shut it down.
      But I do suspect that some of the programmes on there that aren’t currently available elsewhere will then be moved to Amazon or one of the other stores. n fact some might find their way to, either as free programmes or as ones you have to pay there to watch.
      Oddly, although the BBC are offering Amazon vouchers, at the moment a lot of their programmes are available to buy on Google Play store (useful if you have an Android device) and on Apple’s iStore (for iPads and iPhones), so it might be worth a look on those, especially after the BBC store actually has closed.

  2. David Jones

    Have you ever written a practical guide to using a smart phone simply for telephonic communication , coupled with pay as you go?

    This not a comment on your discussion of BBC I player. But it’s the only way I can think of to communicate with you. It concerns the basics of smart phone usage.

    What many of us Oldies want is a guide that, of course, tells us how to make calls, answer the phone, and how to send send text messages and and how to read and reply to messages.
    WHAT WE DON’t want is a list of all the things we MIGHT be able to do. This includes use of the Internet. I use my Laptop and my I pad for the Internet !!

    What I do want is a guide to making and receiving calls and messages, what are common mistakes, and, above all, how to cope when things go wrong!

    Sounds simple BUT I really do need this and I guess that plenty of my fellow octogenarians feel the same way. It was never so difficult with the dear old Nokia…

    1. Mike – The Helpful Book Company

      Hi David

      Many thanks for the comment. We have written a book called Smartphones One Step At A Time which covers making calls, sending messages and voice mail. The companion book “Get more from your Smartphone” covers more types of messenger apps. You can find more details about this here and . If you want to try it on a free trial just give us a ring on 01229 777606 and we can send out in the post for you today. And if it isn’t quite what you need just send it back to us.

      Many thanks

      Mike 🙂

    2. Tim Post author

      Just to add to what Mike replied, the Smartphone One Step at a Time books he mentions do cover the things you mention, but they do also cover things like using it for the internet and so on. So you might find it useful – but you would probably want to ignore some chunks of the book!
      Incidentally, it seems like quite a few people (and not just octogenarians) feel similarly – Nokia are actually bringing back one of their older phones that just does phone calls, messages and basic things, rather than being a fully blown smartphone. It’ll be interesting to see how popular it proves.


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