iPlayer stopped working?

Tim Day

Member
Have been using iPlayer on our Humax quite a bit recently (including just yesterday Sunday evening). A clunky experience these days compared with using via web-browser on a laptop... but it's still the easiest way of getting something on iPlayer shown on our telly compared with fiddling around with connecting a laptop via HDMI and associated dongle, and once it's playing the clunkiness of the UI doesn't matter.

This (Monday) evening... the iPlayer UI on the hummy is acting it's normal clunky self, but when I actually try and play something (anything) it just spins the purple spinny wheel thing for a while and then says "Something went wrong loading this programme. This is usually a temporary problem. You can try this programme again and try a different programme.". Well neither of the latter works. Tried shutting down and properly power cycling the Humax (which has fixed iPlayer problems in the past) but no joy. Don't think I've seen this message before so I've no idea how long "temporary" means.

Meanwhile iPlayer works fine on other computers in the house (so I don't think it's a network/bandwidth problem).

Just me? If it is, is there anything can be done to poke iPlayer back to being functional?

Since the last major upgrade to it (iPlayer), I've rather had the impression this model Humax is struggling to cope and one day the BBC are bound to eventually do something which finally tips it over the edge of incompatibility or at least remove any of the last shreds of usability it still had... has that day finally arrived?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
has that day finally arrived?
Not necessarily. If this is the first time you've experienced that, you've been lucky - it happens, and is indeed temporary.

We have an alternative in Custom Firmware-land in the form of a reliable downloader.
 

gomezz

Well-Known Member
I would say a Chromecast dongle is the easiest way to use iPlayer on the main TV using the UI on my tablet compared to the clunky and slow UI on a PVR.
 
OP
Tim Day

Tim Day

Member
Still getting the same "Something went wrong loading this programme. This is usually a temporary problem." issue this morning, even after a power cycle. Any ideas how long "temporary" typically is? Can anything be done to clear it?

A Chromecast is something I've been pondering for a while; there's a spare HDMI port on the back of the TV. Seems a new version is expected to be launched in a few days so maybe worth hanging on a bit. Don't know if there's any arguments to go for a Amazon Fire stick or an Apple TV box (or something more obscure like Roku), or is Chromecast the clear winner? Not that interested in subscription services, although wife has expressed an interest in getting Netflix and some of the one-off-payment streaming movies, especially if we end up in a "lockdown winter".

Custom firmware a bit too scary for me, at least while this is our primary TV-watching device (although if we did get a "streaming stick" and find we were mainly watching on that rather than stuff recorded on the hummy, then I might well be tempted to give it a go).
 

MymsMan

Ad detector
this is our primary TV-watching device
A good reason to install it - not to avoid it.
The CF is a mature reliable platform capable of greatly enhancing your use of the Humax

A NowTV box is another alternative to chromecast - whichever is cheapest will do the job for iplayer access, no need for any subscriptions/passes unless you actually want to watch something only available on a premium service
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Custom firmware a bit too scary for me
We get a lot of comments along the lines of "why didn't I do this before?!". It's easy, safe, bypasses some of the annoyances of the vanilla product, makes setting up recordings and viewing recordings better, and can rescue things when the standard firmware craps out (eg recover your HDD instead of trashing it). I can only assume you have simply ignored that whole side of the forum.

Installation is as simple as downloading a firmware update and plugging in a UPD - the same as updating the standard firmware - and then connecting your web browser to complete the configuration. Then you can do stuff like setting a recording from away from home, automatic advert break skip/removal, choose your own (better) thumbnail image, auto-restore recording schedule when it vanishes, automatically track tuning changes without a retune, remove encryption... all through a slick web-browser interface that does not disturb TV viewing while you operate it.

Quick Guide to Custom Firmware (click)
 
Last edited:

MartinLiddle

Super Moderator
Staff member
To add to what Black Hole has said, from the point of view of an ordinary user nothing has changed because the custom firmware doesn't replace the standard firmware, it supplements it. You just pick and choose which packages to install.
 

gomezz

Well-Known Member
It you have smartphone or tablet then a Chromecast is likely to be the better choice as you are not limited to what services Amazon make available on the Firestick. The Firestick does not need a smartphone or tablet to use it though.

(though there are some niche services which do not support casting and the Firestick does support all the usual common services)
 

pkb4809

Member
Hi @Black Hole
Not necessarily. If this is the first time you've experienced that, you've been lucky - it happens, and is indeed temporary.
We have an alternative in Custom Firmware-land in the form of a reliable downloader.
... do you just mean the "Save last streamed content" button on the Browse Media Files page of the webif, there? Or is there an alternative way (some package I've yet to download, perhaps) of accessing iPlayer content?

I'm having the same problem as the OP, you see ... and I have the custom firmware installed ... but when you can can't stream, you can't save streamed content :o_O:

Any help gratefully received, as always ... I've a University Challenge to catch up with :sneaky:
Cheers, Phil
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
do you just mean the "Save last streamed content" button on the Browse Media Files page of the webif, there?
No. See https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/yout...com-or-other-video-platforms.8462/post-120326

It will probably seem complicated at first glance, but in principle all you need to do is find the URL of the programme you want on the iPlayer website (or even the page for a series), paste that into the qtube front-end (via WebIF), and click "run download in background". The download will be completed behind the scenes, and be available on the media list to play as an MP4 file.

It's not dependent on any broadband speed either - if you have a slow or intermittent connection that won't support iPlayer without buffering, youtube/qtube will still download it slowly in the background, and resume broken downloads.

I guess installing just package qtube will automatically install youtube-dl as a dependency. If you can't see qtube in the available packages list WebIF >> Package Management >> Available, click "Show" (advanced packages) near the top right corner. It might also be as well to install auto-update, because youtube-dl is updated fairly often to keep up with the API changes that are frequent occurrences on media streaming sites (qtube/youtube-dl isn't restricted to just iPlayer).
 
Last edited:

pkb4809

Member
No. See https://hummy.tv/forum/threads/yout...com-or-other-video-platforms.8462/post-120326

It will probably seem complicated at first glance, but in principle all you need to do is find the URL of the programme you want on the iPlayer website (or even the page for a series), paste that into the qtube front-end (via WebIF), and click "queue for download". The download will be completed in the background, and be available on the media list to play as an MP4 file.

It's not dependent on any broadband speed either - if you have a slow or intermittent connection that won't support iPlayer without buffering, youtube/qtube will still download it slowly in the background, and resume broken downloads.
... Thank You very much!!!! ... it took me a while to spot the button to Show advanced packages :whistling: ... but I've got there now and last night's UC is downloading as I type :dance:

Cheers, Phil
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Sorry, the need for that escaped my attention. I'll add it to the post for other readers.
I guess installing just package qtube will automatically install youtube-dl as a dependency. If you can't see qtube in the available packages list WebIF >> Package Management >> Available, click "Show" (advanced packages) near the top right corner. It might also be as well to install auto-update, because youtube-dl is updated fairly often to keep up with the API changes that are frequent occurrences on media streaming sites (qtube/youtube-dl isn't restricted to just iPlayer).
 
Last edited:

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I just tried it on my HD-FOX; on second attempt (first attempt crashed the box) I navigated to a BBC FOUR programme and attempted to play it but got the same.
 

Trev

The Dumb One
Well, there will be if it's down at their end'.
At least 'we' only have one thread about it rather than the 6 (at last count) on My Humax :frantic:
 

Brian

Administrator
Staff member
If we had multiple threads here, they would probably have been merged into one by now.
 

pkb4809

Member
Hi @Tim Day
On the iPlayer issue (which persists... just tried it again):
... I only got involved in this thread after those issues started ... and can confirm that, while they may persist when using the Humax Portal iPlayer app, there are no problems with downloading streams from iPlayer using the qtube
and
youtube-dl
packages with the custom firmware ;)

I'm no "techie" and can assure you ... it really isn't that hard ... and the wonderful people on this forum provide an excellent "safety net" :clap_::clap_::clap_:

Cheers, Phil
 

/df

Well-Known Member
On the iPlayer issue (which persists... just tried it again): I see the BBC now have a page up at https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/help/issues/bbc-iplayer/humax-playback-fault indicating (apparently dated as of today) that they're aware that "People have reported seeing a 'Something went wrong loading this programme' error message" and it's "Under investigation". Which is at least better than it just inexplicably not working.
The page (now) refers to "Freesat" boxes, though I guess the iPlayer integration is very similar in Freeview boxes of the same generation.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/help/issues/bbc-iplayer/humax-playback-fault said:
...
Humax have assured us that they are working on resolving this issue as soon as possible.
...
Well, that raises very interesting questions as to who is responsible for the iPlayer application.

As I understand it, the iPlayer application is written by BBC devs using HTML5 and this abstract interface together with platform-specific configuration.

Should we conclude that the BBC iPlayer devs have localised the problem to the Humax platform? If so, how has that changed? Has a change in the BBC code revealed a latent bug in the platform?
 
OP
Tim Day

Tim Day

Member
... and it also raises the question why, having trashed functionality for presumably quite a lot of people, they can't/don't just roll back whatever change caused it and we can all get back to it working like it used to until a smoother migration path to wherever they're trying to get to is devised? (Of course there's always the possibility it was something that was going to happen anyway... a "Y2K" style bug from a clock wrapping round or a certificate expiring or something).

BTW I see the nextgen Chromecast has turned up on the UK Google store. Seems to be £60 (claims to include a sub to "Google TV" but I didn't even know there was such a thing; is it just YouTube?); or there's another £90 offer with 6 months of Netflix but it's showing sold out (and claims the device is £60 if you already have a Netflix sub, which seems to confirm the Google TV bit is worthless). The previous gen devices are down to £25; would quite like a remote though, so the new one is more appealing (and reviews say the new UI is much better).
 
Last edited:
Top