BBC iPlayer to include Flash derivative

BBC LogoFor all of you who are Top Gear fans (and really, who isn’t a Top Gear fan? Even my wife loves it), some good news from the BBC this week. is reporting that there will be a Flash based derivative of their previously Windows only (and very contentious) iPlayer platform:

As observant readers may recall, in August we chatted with Peter Brown of the Free Software Foundation about the BBC iPlayer, and DRM in general. The BBC iPlayer is the U.K. public broadcaster’s drawn-out and vastly expensive endeavour to bring the BBC’s wealth of content into the 21st century.

Until today, the entire project has been Windows-only, with Mac and Linux support missing despite having been much-debated – and required at some stage due to the BBC’s remit for platform independence. As expected, the BBC is starting a new beta phase today with the introduction of a ‘7-day catch-up’ online streaming service via Adobe Flash player to cater for all three platforms.

Wow, another tier one site moves to a flash based video platform.

Who could have seen that coming?

In all seriousness, the flash performance on the Zonbu is generally pretty good at the moment, although higher quality standard definition (SD) content can sometimes have low frame rates and virtually all content pegs the CPU at almost 100% utilization.

It remains to be seen how smoothly the BBC content will run.

What I can say is, Zonbu blaming Adobe for Flash performing poorly on Linux is not going to make Flash go away (even if it is true).

If the performance of the Flash player software doesn’t improve, may I suggest a B-plan to revisit processing power for the Zonbu or at least look at discrete graphics. This issue is a real threat for the low end of the market.

More here on

-Mr. Zonbu


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