My HTC Desire HD plays nicely with Windows 7 and while at work I use it for personal web access, quicker than H/G/E connection and free.

However when attempting to view/listen to content on the BBC's iPlayer I get a message which asks me to switch to a wi-fi connection to access their content.

Is there a way of getting over this? Seems like very odd design ...


  • How are you accessing iPlayer, going to the mobile website, using the BBC's app, or using an unofficial app? Also, after re-reading your question are you saying that the problem's occurring when you "reverse tether" your phone to the work PC, using the work PC's internet connection? If so how is it connected to the PC and which reverse tether method are you using? – GAThrawn May 9 '11 at 10:32
  • I've connected the handset to the PC using the standard 'Internet Pass through' option available from the menu which gets displayed when you connect via USB. I get very quick internet connectivity this way so not sure why iPlayer isn't playing nicely. – 5arx May 12 '11 at 11:06
  • Must be an HTC thing, there's no "internet pass through" reverse tethering type option on any Android I've used. Did you have to load the HTC software on your PC to get this running? – GAThrawn May 12 '11 at 12:05
  • Yes, it looks like it might be an HTC-specific thing: bit.ly/mwsUCW Don't know why the BBC have done it like this - the e71 this Desire HD replaced could get iPlayer over the air [WAP connection] with no problems. Tuts. – 5arx May 12 '11 at 13:06

From the BBC's iPlayer Mobile FAQ:

Programmes can be played through a wi-fi connection. Customers with 3 UK and Vodafone (except for those using Android, Apple or Symbian 3 devices) can also access programmes via their 3G network. The BBC is working to make BBC iPlayer available over more 3G networks.

This seems to hold up with my testing using both the website and the app, I'm on Vodafone UK and get this message on 3G on the website:

Please switch to a wi-fi connection to play this programme. 3G streaming of BBC iPlayer programmes is not currently available for this handset.

And in the app:

Please switch to a Wi-Fi connection to play this programme.

Presumably the BBC are just checking your connection type and can see it's not a Wifi connection, they're not aware of the reverse tethering you're using and so are just treating it as if its a 3G connection.

Does your company have a Wifi access point you could connect the phone too, that would eb the easiest way to get round this, and I'm presuming if they're happy for you to tether the phone to the PC, then they wouldn't have an issue with employee's devices hooking up to their wifi.

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  • I'm not trying to access iPlayer over 3G ... – 5arx May 12 '11 at 11:04
  • @5arx I know that, what I'm saying is that the BBC don't: "Presumably the BBC are just checking your connection type and can see it's not a Wifi connection, they're not aware of the reverse tethering you're using" – GAThrawn May 12 '11 at 12:04
  • Its a massive oversight - and I don't see why users of the latest & greatest mobile OSes (Android, Apple, Symbian3) should lose out when everyone else can use iPlayer over 3g. Just odd. – 5arx Nov 10 '11 at 9:39

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