Jan 14

If you’re looking for a simple and effective way to record iPlayer programmes to your computer, then please goto this special page that I put together which includes a simple video demo on how I actually go about recording iPlayer.

I use this method to not only grab programmes from iPlayer but also ITV and C4 or indeed, any TV service that is available online (you can also record YouTube videos if you want). Once I have the programmes I’m interested in, I typically connect my laptop to my TV (just to be a bit more sociable!) when my wife & I want to watch something in particular. There’s information on how to do this further below.

For me, the main benefits of using this approach are:

(i) First and foremost, I can record programmes and watch them anytime I want without restriction. When I (eventually!) find the time, I can watch what I want, when I went (and also wherever I want if I’m travelling).

(ii) Since the programmes you record are nothing more than electronic ‘files’ stored on your computer, this makes it easy to change the ‘name’ of the programme just by renaming the name of the file. It’s far less irritating than writing on a DVD (I never seem to have a DVD-pen handy…..do you?) and on harddrive DVD-recorders, changing the name of a programme can be time-consuming and a real pain in the neck.

(iii) You can organise your favorite programmes into seperate folders on your computer. You put all your documentaries in the “Documentaries” folder, your favourite sporting events in “Sport”, etc. Now you don’t have a stack of DVD’s with different programmes on them and saves you the hassle of finding the exact thing you want to watch.

(iv) Even if you don’t want to drag your laptop around, it’s pretty easy to ‘convert’ the grabbed videos to make them compatible with a standard DVD-player. You can see how to do this here.

(v) For better or worse, my faithful laptop has become my central ‘place of information’. I have my work, my personal photos & videos and now my favorite programmes all in one place. I don’t have ‘data’ dispersed on that DVD, this HD-recorder, that memory-stick (is my data on that blue, red or yellow one?) and that video-camera. Naturally if you’re interested in this strategy, you need a large hard-drive but even external drives are not outrageously expensive (at least, I don’t think so considering what I’m doing) and in any event, they’re getting cheaper year after year. And of course, it’s important to keep backups in this situation. I use software to make automatic backups every night to an external hard-drive to have peace of mind. Of course, you may view this as somewhat extreme but I tend to think that with more and more things going ‘electronic’, I simply like to have everything in one simple place. When it comes to backups, needless to say, losing my precious family photos and videos would leave me pretty heart-broken.

Anyway, if you’re interested in recording iPlayer programmes to your computer instead of recording to a DVD or DVD-Harddrive recorder, as I said please check this special page I put together which, I hope, will explain things clearly.

With kind regards, Andy

written by Andy Taylor

Feb 07

Record iPlayer – Can it be done?

Recording iPlayer Comments Off on Record iPlayer – Can it be done?

Hi there,

Since the BBC released the iPlayer in 2007, I’ve always been intrigued as to how I could keep a copy on my computer so I could see it later. Although you can download the programmes and watch them later, you’ll notice that programmes are often kept from anywhere between 7 and 30 days so if you’re too late, that’s the end of it (even if you haven’t watched it)!

So there are times when I just fancy watching a particular programme whenever I want and not have this restriction. Probably like you, I lead a busy life and I just don’t get round to watching something I’d really like to see but I simply forgot or am way too busy. It’s really annoying to find something has expired. And, I don’t exactly keep a diary of when the time limits expire.

The reason the BBC and other similar online streaming sites like Channel 4 On Demand (amongst others like Hulu in the United States) is down to copyright law. Whilst you could record things onto your home video or DVD / Hard-drive recorder, strictly speaking you’re not supposed to keep them for more than a “reasonable” time-frame (applicable for the UK, the US is different). See the BBC ‘s iPlayer  message board to see what I mean at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbiplayer/F7331806?thread=7263538.   Of course, it goes without saying that re-distributing programming is a definite no-no: that’s called piracy! But how the BBC exactly intend to check (and later, enforce) everyones Video / DVD-HD  recorder, I have no clue…

If you’re interested in keeping something for a little while longer and want to record from iPlayer as well as other related things like capturing your screen to record Skype video phone calls with friends and family, this blog is designed to help so I’ll post more info over the next few posts….

Best regards,

Andy Taylor

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