BBC iPlayer Beta – Working with Vista

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After registering on the BBC website for their new VOD (Video On Demand) service called BBC iPlayer, I have received my account details today.
I new already that I would most likely have issues actually using it, since my machines at home are all running Vista by now (with more or less success, but that is a different story). Anyway, although BBC has announced support for Linux, Vista and MacOX in the future, it is currently limited to Windows XP SP2.
Well, I don’t tend to give up that easily, and searched around a little bit on the Internets and rather quickly found several people reporting that they managed to actually get it to work under Vista.

By the looks of it BBC is only checking the OS/Browser etc.. based on the information provided by by the Browse, in form of the User Agent details. So changing what IE sends as that information is the key to success here.

So here is how to do it:
Open the Registry editor (regedit.exe) and modify/add the following registry entries:

Find HKey Current User\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\5.0\User Agent
You should see one String Value called default, which is empty. Change that one to “Mozilla4/0” (without the quotes).
Create a new String value with teh name “Compatible” and enter “compatible” as value (without the quotes).
Create another String Value called “Platform” and enter “Windows NT 5.1” as value (without the quotes).

Restart Internet Explorer and you are ready to go.

So far everything is looking fine, and we will see how it behaves over the coming days after having played around with it a little bit more.

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