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

4 Responses to “Want to record iPlayer Programmes?”

  1. 1. martinf Says:


    This is really interesting and although I have yet to try it I guess it will work, unless operator error fouls it up!

    One question. This is all designed for the video feeds but what about grabbing and recording radio programmes? Is there any method of doing this and what file extension am I searching for? Given that many programmes are available for listen again but don’t offer the download or podcast option is recording even possible?



  2. 2. Andy Says:

    Hi Martin,

    Yes, this will work for radio programmes too. Just like TV programmes, it records radio programmes in “FLV” format (Flash Video) which means that once you have “recorded” it, you have to use Replay Converter to convert it from FLV to MP3 format. From there, you can simply transfer it to your MP3 player (iPod, etc..).

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers, Andy

  3. 3. James Halford Says:

    Hi Andy
    I found your blog and was impressed, so went ahead and bought/downloaded the Applian software. I realise your demo video used the BBC iplayer but you imply it could be used for ITV player as well, so I tried downloafing the Midsomer Murders episode from 21/03 that I missed. It recorded the openig adverts as .mpg files, but is not capturing the actual programme. Are there some settings I need to adjust in the software? I did re-boot (twice) after downloading to no avail.

  4. 4. Andy Says:

    Hi James,

    ITV player and C4 content is copy-protected making it impossible to use Replay Media Catcher 4. But you can record using the Replay Video Capture (RVC) software and that will work fine. My recommendation is to set RVC (click on “Settings”) to record in Windows Media format since the file-sizes are much smaller than MPEG.

    I hope that helps!

    All the best, Andy