Your guide to the BBC Embedded Media Player

What is the BBC Embedded Media Player?

The Embedded Media Player is BBC's new way of displaying video and audio. It uses Flash software and plays directly in a text story or index.

It is used to bring you up-to-the minute reports in video and audio from BBC News. This also includes live video coverage of events and simulcasts of the BBC News Channel - although live streams are only available for UK audiences. Also certain clips may remain in the old pop-up player for the time being.

Why are there two types of BBC Player on the site?

Since March 2008, BBC News and Sport have been making a transition from the old pop-up (Real and Windows) player to a new embedded player. Video and audio clips are now encoded in the new embedded player, though some clips and archived content will continue to be available in the pop-up player format.

Live streaming of video is also now available in a UK-only embedded format, but live audio - as well as certain other content - may appear in the old pop-up player for the time being.

What is the difference between the embedded and pop-up players?

Embedded video and audio is any clip which uses Flash and plays directly in a text story or index.

You can usually recognise embedded video because there is a big Play icon on the centre of an image in a story or index.

The pop-up player, used for live video and audio, is a Watch or Listen icon which launches a player in a separate internet window and requires Real Player or Window Media Player to work.

How do I navigate around the service?

There are various options:

  • Click on any Play icon in the middle of an image to view embedded video, or click on the Play button on the embedded player's control bar to watch or listen to video/audio. Embedded media can usually be found above or in the middle of text pages such as news stories, but also can sometimes be seen directly on indexes, such as the Video and Audio index

  • Click on any Watch, Listen or Live button. This will take you to the page where that particular clip is housed.

  • Try the Video and Audio link found on the left of the News Homepage. This will showcase the best current material.

  • Use the search box on the top right of the page and then try the "All News Audio and Video Results" link on the right of your search results to see more material.

How do I get the service?

The embedded video player is available to BBC News users who have a broadband connection. Narrowband (dial-up modem) users can access audio content only. You will need version 8 of Flash or above to play embedded video and audio.

See sections further down for more information on minimum specification details.

How do I watch video or listen to audio?

Once you have clicked on a Play icon on a picture - or on the Player controls - then you can start, pause or restart the video by using the control buttons immediately below the video screen.

With embedded video, you can also change the size of the video by using the Full Screen link underneath the playback window - if you are using version 9 of Flash or above.

With live video streams, it also possible to watch content in a standalone window with the pop-out player. You can access this option by either clicking on 'pop-out' option on the control bar, or clicking on the 'Watch in pop-out player' text on the screen when the stream is stopped.

Find out more about embedding BBC video on non-BBC sites and blogs

Some BBC News video is available for embedding on non-BBC sites and blogs. The content is from the UK Politics, Business, Health, Science & Environment and Technology sections of the BBC News website.

Embedding video on your site is subject to our Terms of Use

Why has the 24-hour BBC News Channel changed?

A new version of the live 24-hour BBC News Channel, where the video is embedded in the page rather than launching in a pop-up player, is now available.

This is part of BBC News' move to live Flash embedded video, designed to offer better quality and ease of access for users.

Remember it is possible to watch content in a standalone window with the pop-out player. You can access this option by either clicking on 'pop-out' option on the control bar, or clicking on the 'Watch in pop-out player' text on the screen when the stream is stopped.

The new version of the BBC News Channel can be accessed here:

BBC News Channel

I'm outside the UK, why can't I access some clips?

Some clips and packages are not available outside the UK because of rights reasons.

If the BBC has secured the rights to broadcast a clip only in the UK, then non-UK users will be unable to access it.

Please be aware that our live embedded video streams, such as the BBC News Channel, are also available in the UK only.

If you are viewing the site from outside the UK, you will be unable to access our live video streams and rights-restricted content and should see a message stating that this media is not available in your territory.

If you are unable to view a clip but do not see the 'territory message, you may wish to check information included in the section:

.

I'm outside the UK, why do I see advertisements?

The BBC now serves advertising on bbc.co.uk for users outside the UK, who do not pay a licence fee which funds the service.

This means users from outside the UK may see a short advertisement at the start of the video clip.

Our aim is to allow as many people as possible to have access to our broadband-quality content, so rather than charge users to subscribe we decided that an advertising model was the best way to fund the upgrade.

The extra funding which this generates is used to develop better content and programming for UK licence fee payers and international users alike.

The service for the UK is funded by licence fee revenue and does not carry any advertising.

For more information on advertising at the BBC, go to our dedicated pages: bbc.co.uk/bbc.com/faq

If you are a UK licence fee payer viewing the website from within the UK but can see advertising, please report this to us: bbc.co.uk/feedback/bbci_adverts

I'm in the UK but I am being told that content is not available in my territory

We use technology to prevent people from outside the UK from accessing content that we need to limit to the UK for rights reasons.

If you are using a 3G card from a UK mobile network operator and are being told that content is not available in your territory, please go to the FAQ: 'I'm using a 3G card from a UK mobile network operator and am being told that content is not available in my territory'

If you are not using a 3G card from a UK mobile network operator, please continue reading.

You might have been identified as outside the UK because your computer is on a foreign-based network, or is routed overseas (sometimes the case with work connections if your employer is not UK-based). Some programs, such as web accelerators, can also cause your IP address to appear as if it is outside the UK.

If BBC media player doesn't recognise your IP address at all, then you won't be able to stream or download programmes.

Occasionally it may simply be a network error, so it's worth closing your browser or router and reopening as a new IP address is allocated which may be UK-based.

Our Geo-IP technology system recognises IP addresses provided by UK-based internet service providers (ISPs). If the BBC media player doesn't recognise your address, you must contact your ISP as they alone can register your address.

If your ISP has registered with the appropriate databases, our servers are updated on a monthly basis so you will have to wait until the next refresh to gain access.

If the problem persists, you may wish to contact us with your IP address, post code and internet service provider information.

I'm using a 3G card from a UK mobile network operator and am being told that content is not available in my territory

We have had to make the decision to block all users accessing geographically restricted content via 3G cards. This is because at the moment the mobile phone operating companies cannot tell us if users accessing content via a 3G card are roaming or not.

If we cannot say for sure that a user is in the UK, we cannot show them our rights-restricted content or live-streaming content.

We are aware that it is unsatisfactory that while you are in the UK you are still blocked from accessing our rights-restricted content. We are working with the mobile operators to find a technical solution to this problem.

In the meantime, you should still be able to access all of our non-geographically restricted content.

Is there a minimum specification for embedded video and audio?

System requirements for embedded video and audio player meet current BBC web standards. These include Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 and above, Firefox 3 and above, or Opera 7 and above. (Other browsers may work with the BBC News Player, however the BBC is unable to guarantee their compatibility).

Find out more information on our BBC web standards and guidelines pages.

But you will need version 9 or above of Flash to play the clips. The latest version can be installed via Adobe .

This link will take you to a website outside bbc.co.uk. The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.

Embedded video and audio should also work with Safari on Mac and Linux browsers.

You might also want to make sure you have the most recent Flash software for your particular browser. For example, if your Flash software for Internet Explorer is up-to-date, this doesn't neccessarily mean your Flash software for Firefox or Safari is the most recent.

Make sure you update the version of Flash for whichever browsers you like to use at Adobe Flash browser alternatives .

This link will take you to a website outside bbc.co.uk. The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.

Embedded troubleshooting

Problems with Adobe Flash?

If you are a Mac user and you are experiencing issues with your browser crashing when accessing video, please skip this section and go to the 'Mac users - browser crashing' section. Otherwise, keep reading.

If you keep getting told to install Flash or your video player is not playing, you may need to uninstall Adobe Flash properly before reinstalling it again. You can do this by using the uninstaller link on the Adobe tech support website.

1. Go to this page http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/141/tn_14157.html

2. Run the uninstaller for your system

3. Go to this page http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and install the Flash player again (click on the "Different operating system or browser?" link if applicable)

4. You may also wish to check Adobe's 'Troubleshoot Adobe Flash Player installation for Windows' page: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/191/tn_19166.html

These links will take you to a website outside bbc.co.uk. The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.

You might also want to make sure you have the most recent Flash software for your particular browser. For example, if your Flash software for Internet Explorer is up-to-date, this doesn't neccessarily mean your Flash software for Firefox or Safari is the most recent.

Make sure you update the version of Flash for whichever browsers you like to use at Adobe Flash browser alternatives .

This link will take you to a website outside bbc.co.uk. The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.

Mac users - browser crashing?

Recently some users on Apple Mac computers have complained that their internet browsers have been crashing when playing video on the BBC News site. This seems to only occur on some Mac operating systems with particular Flash versions and settings.

Our technicians believe the issue is caused by a combination of Mac OS X 10.6.4 and Flash 10.1 plugin.

In February 2011 we aim to release a new embedded video player to the News site. The new player has been completely rewritten in ActionScript 3 code and should resolve current issues, as well as being significantly lighter in page load.

In the meantime, rolling back to your Flash plugin to a previous version i.e. Flash Player 10,0,45,2 appears to fix the issue.

Mac forums suggest you can try the following solution, but please bear in mind Adobe recommends that you restart your computer before you install a different version of the player:

1. Uninstall your 10.1 flash version. You can download uninstaller from Adobe Flash site. Make sure you verify your operating system as Macintosh and select option "I want to uninstall Flash player":

http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/865/cpsid_86551.html

2. And install Flash 10r45 v2. (flashplayer10r45_2_ub_mac.dmg) at:

fpdownload.macromedia.com/get/flash...p10_archive.zip

These links will take you to a website outside bbc.co.uk. The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused by this workaround and bear with us while we resolve the issue.

Still doesn't play? Check your flash settings

If you are persistently having trouble playing video on the BBC News and Sport players, you may need to go to your Flash settings and check the box 'Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer'.

The reason for this is that we are upgrading the code in the embedded media player on News and Sport from ActionScript 2 (AS2) to ActionScript 3 (AS3). AS3 is a faster and more efficient codebase and

ActionScript code information

These links will take you to a website outside bbc.co.uk. The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.

As a result, the current player has to contain both AS2 and AS3 to cause the least disruption to current services. We know this is not ideal for user, but it means there are 'shared objects' between the two codebases which require users allow third party sites (any other domain including subdomains) access to local storage.

We hope you can please bear with us while we make these necessary changes and we assure you that information stored on your computer is simply to allow the current transitional embedded media player to work before we release a full AS3 player in early February.

You may wish to look at the Adobe support page about Flash global settings.

Adobe global settings information

These links will take you to a website outside bbc.co.uk. The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.

Why doesn't the BBC use HTML5 for video?

Some users have asked why the BBC doesn't use an HTML 5 video player instead of Adobe Flash.

We are pleased to announce that we are currently working on an HTML 5 player for Apple devices, such as iPhones and iPads.

However, this does require a great deal of technical development work to our current systems and there are technical challenges around the ability to secure video streams in HTML 5. Please bear with us while we make these changes.

Why is there no sound when streaming?

If you have checked that your computer's sound settings are correct, there may be a problem with Flash. Adobe offers support and, if you need further assistance, the issue is discussed at Adobe's forum .

These links will take you to a website outside bbc.co.uk. The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.

Why can't I connect?

Some security programs, firewalls or routers may block your access to the embedded player.

This may mean that you always see the loading screen, with a spinning circle in the middle of where the video should be. Please check your computer's settings to ensure that it is not blocking the player or Flash.

Am I blocking the video with other software I've installed?

You may have some ad-blocking software, such as Adblock Plus, installed on your browser. It is possible this software, or similar browser add-ons and extensions, are affecting the appearance of BBC embedded video on your PC.

You may need to check the settings on your browser add-ons to ensure they aren't blocking the player or Flash. Adding the bbc.co.uk domain to the list of allowed sites should let BBC embedded content through.

I get a message on all video saying: "Sorry, this content isn't available at the moment"

Although the BBC embedded player has been successfully tested against standard installations of browsers, some users have recommended clearing cache, and cookies, from their browsers.

If you are using Firefox, go to 'Tools' and then 'Clear Private Data'. Then, make sure you have the 'Cache' and 'Cookies' check boxes ticked before clicking 'Clear Private Data Now'.

If you have Internet Explorer 7 or above, go to 'Tools' and then 'Delete Browsing History...' - finally, select options for deleting Temporary Internet Files and Cookies.

Why is my programme not playing smoothly?

If your network connection is not consistent, you may experience problems connecting - the video will pause and a circle will spin on your screen. You can check your connection speed at www.speedtest.net .

This link will take you to a website outside bbc.co.uk. The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.

Check that your connection is not being shared with others that may be downloading or uploading files. Network traffic may also build at certain types of day, so you may wish to try later.

Why is my audio out of sync?

Adobe offers support depending on your computer. Please visit its site for further details.

This link will take you to a website outside bbc.co.uk. The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.

Why am I told I am not in the UK?

Some embedded video and audio is only available in the UK. However, it may be that your network provider has allocated you an IP address outside the UK. You can check your connection location at www.speedtest.net .

This link will take you to a website outside bbc.co.uk. The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.

You may also wish to check information included in the section:

.

I've tried everything and still can't play any clips

Please check all the information in this page and check your set-up matches the minimum requirements to play embedded media.

If you are outside the UK, you should also check that the clip you are trying to access is not rights-restricted (UK-only).

However, if the problem persists, right-click on the embedded player and select 'Copy this error message'. When contacting the BBC, pasting this error message into your email, along with your IP address, post code and internet service provider information, will help us diagnose the problem.

Let us know what you think

If you would like to comment or have suggestions about this BBC service then you can contact us via the link below.




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