Playing online is the simplest way to play a programme and is known as streaming. You need an internet speed of at least 1 Mbps; dial-up internet access will not provide a good enough connection.
Programmes are usually available to play online for seven days after transmission. When you select a programme to view (see here for more information on programme availability) you should see the programme image with an arrow inviting you to play. When you click, the programme will load and you will get the BBC trail before the main programme starts.
We also offer BBC iPlayer Desktop, which is designed to let Mac and Windows machines download TV programmes so you can save them to watch later. Once it is installed on your computer, simply click on the Download button by the programme and BBC iPlayer will start downloading it. Once the programme has saved onto your computer, you have 30 days to watch it, and you can save as many programmes as you like, depending on your download limits and computer capacity.
BBC iPlayer Desktop is easy to install on your computer and should start automatically when you first try to download a programme, and guide you through the process. Should you need more help, you can find out more here about installing this on:
To download programmes you need to be in the UK – if you're incorrectly told that you're not, please see this advice.
Mac and Windows users must have administrator privileges on the account you wish to install BBC iPlayer Desktop to, otherwise you will not be able to install it.
BBC iPlayer Desktop is powered by Adobe Air (Adobe Integrated Runtime). When you install BBC iPlayer Desktop you also install the Adobe Air components. Air may already be installed on your computer as it is being used by many other applications. Find out more about Adobe Air. This link will take you to a website outside BBC Online. The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.
If you have any more questions about BBC iPlayer the menu categories to the left provide more information; otherwise try typing your question or related key words into the Search iPlayer Questions box above.
If you have a detailed issue about BBC iPlayer, please read our FAQ; Where can I go to discuss BBC iPlayer? - which lists active messageboards where users raise, discuss and advise on common issues and problems.
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