Kinect to blame for delay to BBC iPlayer app for Xbox One, insider claims

Xbox One owners in the UK were disappointed to hear late last year that the BBC iPlayer app would not be ready for the console's launch, with no indication given as to when it might finally arrive. While an iPlayer app has been available for the Xbox 360 for almost two years, British owners of the next-generation console have been left without their fix of Beeb goodness. 


A BBC iPlayer app has been available for the Xbox 360 for some time - but Xbox One owners are still waiting

While there is still no official word on when the app will finally launch for the Xbox One, a report on Ultimate Gaming Paradise does at least claim to shed some light on the nature of the delay.

The site claims to have been contacted by an insider – described as “a programmer on the BBC’s development team” – who told them of a “serious flaw” in the app, specifically with regards to its Kinect integration. According to the report, “testing indicated that slight movements, from picking up a cup of coffee to scratching your nose, interrupted entertainment playback”.

The unnamed individual reportedly refused to divulge any further technical details regarding the issue, but claimed that chunks of the app have had to be rewritten in an effort to resolve it. The same person also alleges that Microsoft hasn’t exactly bent over backwards in providing assistance to sort out the problems, especially in comparison with the support that Sony provided to the BBC. In the source’s words, when developing the iPlayer apps, “Sony would send the [PS4] team any and all assistance. However, Microsoft was slow in each and every request for data or help.”

According to the insider, the Xbox One app will not launch “until the second quarter of 2014 at the earliest”. Given that the BBC first signalled the absence of the app from the console's launch line-up in November, that would certainly represent a significant wait – although it wouldn’t be the first time the Beeb has kept Xbox owners waiting.

In January 2013, the BBC told Neowin that it planned to introduce ‘Live Restart’ into its Xbox 360 app – a feature that allows users to restart or rewind live streams of its TV channels by up to two hours. A spokesperson said that the Corporation was aiming to launch that feature for the 360 “in the future”, but a year later, neither live TV streams nor the Live Restart feature have yet made it to the app. 

Source: Ultimate Gaming Paradise via The Guardian

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Sorry. but if you want gesture controls in your app, then you have to expect that Kinect responds to you raising your arms. If it didn't, we'd all be moaning about Kinect not recognising our movements.

If they lack the technical competence to work around this issue, maybe they should just disable gesture interaction in their app and be done with it. Voice alone would be sufficient. Besides, Netflix doesn't seem to have any trouble with me moving my arms around. Sure the little hand symbols appear when I raise my arms to the sides or wave at the camera, but it never interrupts my viewing other than for the play, pause, etc buttons appearing momentarily.

Amazon Instant video, Netflix, Ted Talks, Crackle and Xbox video I have no problem with. These teams must be just a little smarted then the BBC team or this could be a bunch of rumor baloney.

“testing indicated that slight movements, from picking up a cup of coffee to scratching your nose, interrupted entertainment playback"

I know exactly what they mean, my XB1 does this on the Youtube app for instance, about once in every 20 times i pick up a drink or lift my hand up to around face height. It thinks i want to start using Kinect to interact and brings up the controls.

I'm not surprised. My team also find it hard work when contacting Microsoft. Most of the time, the people we speak with haven't a clue!

Shame there are so few apps, no Now TV either. That said, I'd rather they fixed the bugs first.

Have to admit, as much as I like playing Forza, if I could go back in time I'd probably buy a PS4. The entertainment stuff sounded cool as first, but it's actually pretty rubbish.

glen8 said,
I'm not surprised. My team also find it hard work when contacting Microsoft. Most of the time, the people we speak with haven't a clue!

Shame there are so few apps, no Now TV either. That said, I'd rather they fixed the bugs first.

Have to admit, as much as I like playing Forza, if I could go back in time I'd probably buy a PS4. The entertainment stuff sounded cool as first, but it's actually pretty rubbish.


i know this doesn't fix the 'right now' feeling, but the platform on the x1 is setup so much better (virtualised dual OS) than the ps4 for this kind of stuff, as soon as the entertainment side catches up (more apps, store opened up for developers etc.) I'm sure it'll have been worth the delay.

Same feeling, I honestly feel like throwing mine out of the window sometimes. With titanfall currently being in 720p I question myself to what is the point of this box which, in 2014, can't play me games at my TVs native resolution.

Once the ID@Xbox program becomes fully available, and simply around that time frame, I can see it being a completely different machine.

I'm personally waiting to get an xbox one, as in the UK the TV stuff isn't working yet either and I've grown out of the early adopter mentality, I'll sit back and get one when everything's ironed out and the platform makes it hard to resist (I expect this to occur for me when Titanfall is released, so long as it holds up to my expectations).