BBC Zoom and Teams Backgrounds

The amazing BBC Archive have posted a series of images of empty BBC Television sets across the years to be used as Zoom or Teams backgrounds.

You can visit the page select the background you want and then save to your computer.

Of course there are some classic (and modern) TARDIS backgrounds.


I also like the fact I could be self-isolating with Del and Rodney, well maybe not.

Then I could be in Tom and Barbara’s kitchen in the Good Life.

Or sitting at the back of a Grange Hill classroom.

Plenty to choose from.

Downloading movies

iTunes Movies in the UK - hmmmm

Back in June 2008 when Apple put movies into the UK iTunes Store I had a go and didn’t have a huge success.

So my first proper attempt to get films off the iTunes Store was not a great success, ah well maybe next time.

So now over a year later, what’s the situation?

Well I am downloading a fair few movies from the iTunes Store now, buying and renting.

I do like how quick and easy it is, and sometimes how much cheaper it is too (and annoyed by how expensive it can be too).

I usually watch the movies via an iPod through the TV, as I still haven’t got round to buying an Apple TV, but then I still don’t have that HD TV to watch them on (and I am pretty sure I can’t easily connect an Apple TV to my current TV).

I will probably get an Apple TV if I get an HD TV as I would prefer to watch HD movies on an HD screen.

I was impressed with HD on the TV Shows and downloaded Lost in HD and the newest Doctor Who special in HD too.

So is everything working?

Well not really.

My ADSL is still way too slow, which means it takes hours to download a movie. Also I have a monthly bandwidth limit which means I usually plan my iTunes downloads overnight as Plusnet my ISP gives me a “free” download time between midnight and eight in the morning.

Also now and again iTunes fails to download the movie “properly”, so it downloads it again! As a result I have two versions in my iTunes library.

However despite a few minor issues I am pleased with movies and TV on the iTunes store and use it on a regular basis.

Sorry, this programme is currently unavailable

I am a great fan and user of BBC iPlayer, great for catching up on what you have missed and for watching things again (especially when repeated on BBC Three at an unsociable time).

I will often use an iPod touch to watch programmes, either in bed or more often then not connected to my TV. However now and again I get the following message.

Sorry, this programme is currently unavailable

You can see this in the Christmas edition of Doctor Who.

Sorry, this programme is currently unavailable

This means that you have to use a computer to watch the programme. I get the same “error” with the comedy Outnumbered episode seven (but not with the previous six episodes of Outnumbered).

I believe that the error (it’s not really an error, but I think it is) is a rights issue. In other words the rights holders have not allowed the programme to be made available to the iPod touch (or the iPhone).


Well I suspect that the issue is the way in which BBC iPlayer works on the iPod touch and the iPhone. Basically the BBC serve the iPhone with a DRM free MOV version of the programme. On the iPhone you can’t save this file, so it is not an issue, however a quick Google search provides various ways in which you can get your computer to pretend it’s an iPhone and as a result are able to download the DRM free version of the BBC programme.

Of course I don’t know for sure if this is the issue, or it is a technical problem and the programme just hasn’t (yet) been encoded for the iPhone and the festive break is the cause of the delay.

When the GO!ng gets tough, the tough get going…

Okay, in a previous post I mentioned how I quite liked the GO!VIEW service for the PSP from Sony and Sky.

Having now used the service for two months I have unsubscribed.

I think I would have probably unsubscribed last month, but the service wouldn’t let me so I was automatically subscribed for another month.

So what’s the problem, it’s not as if I don’t watch “rented” video?

Well let’s see?

Was it easy to find what you wanted?

Basically yes, the Flash based interface was a little annoying and a little too clever for it’s own good, but for most purposes it was fine.

Were the files good quality?

Yes, as I said previously:

The quality of the Doctor Who video was quite poor, almost VHS quality, however I was more impressed with the quality of the Hustle video which was (in my opinion) as good as the quality I have managed converting EyeTV Freeview recordings.

Was it easy to move the files to the PSP?

Yes, and when you consider I was doing this on parallels on my iMac, I had added a extra layer of complexity.

So why have you unsubscribed then?

To be brutally honest, the one reason I have unsubscribed is that there is no new content.

In the last two months, there have been no additions to the content line-up. So we have Hustle season 1, but no seasons 2, 3 or even 4! We have Spooks season 1, but none of the other seasons. We have a single Doctor Who story and though you can rent the new Doctor Who, as part of the Entertainment package you only have the single Jon Pertwee Spearhead from Space.

True I could have watched other stuff, but I didn’t want to watch Desperate Housewives or badly made TV movies. I wanted more of the stuff I had watched.

So though it was only costing £5 per month, I’d rather not pay £5 per month for re-watching the same content again and again…

If they bring in new content, I may subscribe, but for now I’m going…

When the GO!ng gets tough…

Okay despite my earlier problems and upgrade issues I am quite pleased with the GO!VIEW service.

I have downloaded a few bits and pieces.


The quality of the Doctor Who video was quite poor, almost VHS quality, however I was more impressed with the quality of the Hustle video which was (in my opinion) as good as the quality I have managed converting EyeTV Freeview recordings.

Now I suppose there are some downsides.

According to the GO!VIEW interface, I only have access to the recordings for 29 days, however this could be just because of the “free” month, but I somehow don’t think so.

Also once transferred to the PSP, I only have 14 days in which to view the video.

The major big downside is the choice, the library of content on GO!VIEW is very limited. If it wasn’t for Hustle and Spooks I probably wouldn’t subscribe and if I watch the lot by the end of the month and there is no new content then I will certainly be cancelling my subscription.

Lets wait and see.

Still someway to GO!

Has some computer downtime, so I took the opportunity to download some television programmes from GO!VIEW to watch on my PSP.

Downloaded an episode of Doctor Who, formatted a new Memory Stick (as the one I had on the PSP was full) and clicked transfer…


I now need to update the firmware on the PSP (and I thought I had the latest on there, well obviously I don’t).

So now downloading a 25MB firmware 4.05 update…

Ho hum!

Podcasting Doctor Who

Tonight the first episode of Doctor Who of the new series (series four of the new new series and somebody will no doubt be able to tell me which actual series of Doctor Who it is if you take into account all the other Doctors. As it happens BBC Four is showing a William Hartnell Dalek story tonight (on right now as I write)).

Well not everyone knows that the BBC issue a commentary on the new series as a podcast which is available either from iTunes or from the BBC 7 website. Though the new Doctor Who Flash based website may have the audio files there as well, it’s not working for me on my Mac, none of the links work.

The podcast has the cast and crew talking about the episode.

Now what I didn’t know having subscribed via iTunes for the first three seasons which had podcasts, the last Christmas episode did not have a downloadable podcast, it was available as a stream only!

Why we’re doing things a little differently this Christmas. You’re probably wondering why the commentary for Voyage Of The Damned isn’t available as an MP3 and isn’t on iTunes.

This is because the BBC is only currently allowed to offer big downloads like this if they’re related to radio shows.

We’re working to reach a new agreement and get this and future commentaries back as downloads before Series Four, but in the meantime we’re streaming the one for Voyage Of The Damned.


Well they did manage to sort things out and thanks to BBC 7 we have the downloadable version back with us.

What a bizarre limitation, I wonder who insisted on that?

It is recommended that you watch the episode without the commentary first and then either listen (as I do) or watch again with the commentary.

I do like some commentaries (the cast commentaries on the Lord of the Rings films are really fun to listen to) and the Doctor Who ones have been pretty good in the past – though season three was my least favourite, here’s hoping that this new series of commentaries is better.