BBC iPlayer & Couch Surfer Pro

I guess this is of interest to UK users only.

I have three ATV2s, on which I used to run XBMC. I really like XBMC, but I prefer the integration of aTV Flash. The single UI looks much slicker, and it’s easier for my wife to use too…so I have recently switched to aTV Flash.

The one thing we used constantly within XBMC was iPlayer, mainly for kids shows. It would be great if aTV Flash had an iPlayer plugin, but failing that I was happy to use use Couch Surfer Pro. Annoyingly, it is REALLY close to being perfectly usable - but not quite.

The key seems to be the “User Agent” setting. If I set this to “iPad” then everything works, but the browsing “hotspots” (ie the boxes you move around the UI to select) do not even begin to fit the buttons on the screen…they are so far out, it is almost impossible to tell what you are selecting. However, if you do manage to select something, it plays.

Change the setting of “User Agent” to “Normal” and the hotspot and the buttons match perfectly, but iPlayer now notes that you don’t have Adobe Flash installed, and asks if you want to download it. I haven’t done this as I assume from this http://support.firecore.com/entries/259320-enabling-adobe-flash that it won’t work.

All the pieces seem to be in place, but they don’t quite fit together. Is Couch Surfer Pro rendering the buttons “wrong” in the iPad setting, or does iPlayer make some assumptions about the iPad screen layout that aren’t true on the ATV. In short, is there a simple change to Couch Surfer Pro that could make this work, or would the change have to be made at the iPlayer end of things (which obviously isn’t going to happen). If so, then I guess all we can hope for is a native iPlayer app for aTV Flash…

The URL I’m using is http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/bigscreen/ …is there another one I could point to that is for Apple devices without Flash but not necessarily iPad?

Of course, i can install XBMC just for the iPlayer, and I will probably end up doing that…just a shame that it means I have to jump to a new interface just for one thing.

I have given up with this. What I now do is use the iPlayer app on my iPhone and AirPlay to the aTV. It works a treat and is very stable.

 

HTH.