Can we sue Sony or the BBC for iPlayer switch-off?

Cy Berman

Member
I have a Sony BDP-S580 "smart" Blu-Ray player and until recently enjoyed using it to watch TV via the BBC iPlayer. This week, (September 2014) it stopped doing so and the screen says that this "Device" is no longer supported!
Sony : BDP-S580 : BBC İPlayer to stop working on Home Audio and Video products
When I buy a car I don't expect that they will stop making tyres for it. When I buy a washing machine I don't expect they will stop making washing powder for it. Is there some kind of class action we can take against Sony, or the BBC, to get them to recompense us for the loss of functionality of equipment we bought in good faith only a couple of years ago? I am now faced with junking a perfectly good blu-ray player, so that I can upgrade to one that will get the iPlayer!

I will never buy anything marked Sony ever again.

Can anyone recommend a smart player that is less likely to go out of date like this? Ideally it would natively support iPlayer, Amazon, Youtube, 4oD, etc etc. What is the best bet at the moment?
Cy.
 

mentm

Well-known Member
Afaik samsung are the only players with 4od.........
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
If you check the very small print in the licence agreement you will probably see some wording along the lines of 'there is no guarantee that services will always be available etc etc'. Basically means Sony can add or remove features as they see fit and you have no recourse.
 

Cy Berman

Member
I have solved my iPlayer problem by purchasing a "Now TV" box. This seems to work, and gives me ITVplayer, 4oD, and Demand5 as well. Plus a load of other stuff. It seems to be a very good deal, for £20 with a 3 month "entertainment pass", (worth £15), it even includes an HDMI cable. I've seen HDMI cables that cost more than that on their own! As yet I am not sure what will happen when I cancel my subscription, but they seem to say that I will still be able to watch the free stuff.

I notice that the "Kindle Fire" is not supported, no Netflix, no Blinkbox, no Amazon. The corporate manoeuvring that denies one thing or another to different devices is pathetic.

Cy
 

mentm

Well-known Member
Yes I have a nowtv box too. If you want netflix etc you have to pay the extra for a roku which is basically the same box only not subsidised by sky.
 

norliss

Well-known Member
I own a BDP-S380 and had no knowledge of this. Whilst I think your reaction may be a little OTT, I understand your sentiment.

Taxi for the Blu-ray player...
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
I suspect there are a considerable number of folk in a similar situation (more than the BBC would care to admit). And it's not just Sony TV's - there are plenty of other affected devices. My ADB freeviewHD & BBC i-player set-top box (ironically called the 'i-can') can't now receive BBC i-player - 'device not supported'. Fortunately, it was a cheap purchase and I've had almost three years out of it (I expected more) but what about those poor souls who purchased, in good faith, a now unsupported device in the past year or so? It's really not good enough - from a consumer and environmental perspective - that redundant software should determine the life of electronic products.

Unfortunately, consumers' expectations with regard to purchased electronic products have gradually been eroded to a point where, it seems to me, the majority of consumers unquestioningly accept such woeful standards. Should we take the OP's view and rally against this or meekly accept the situation (in which case, it will only get worse)?

So it looks like a NOW TV box. Wonder how long that will last before obsolete software renders it useless?
 

Geoff_D

Distinguished Member
That's the only trouble with these standalone TV systems that use streaming services: they can't be upgraded in terms of the software, so if the goalposts are moved you're shafted. For a £10 box it's not a big concern, but for a £100 Blu-ray player or a £1000 TV I can understand why people would be aggrieved (though to be fair the older Sony TVs aren't out of date for iplayer....yet. But each new generation of TVs means a new bespoke version of the iplayer software, each of which has to be maintained over the years and the plug will be pulled eventually, starting with the oldest versions, because there'll be too many of them.).
 

dogfonos

Well-known Member
'For a £10 box it's not a big concern...'
As a consumer, I'd agree with you but what about the environmental impact?!? Isn't it ironic that manufacturers go to great lengths to minimise the 'environmental impact' of their products by reducing power consumption of their devices yet the consumer may have to 'recycle' (in many instances, a misleading term - often means 'dump it in a third-world country') the product every 2 or 3 years because the software is no longer supported - even though the hardware could be good for a few more years.

This isn't a subject I know much about but what would equipment manufacturers need to change for their currently non-upgradable devices to be made upgradable when software changes? My ADB box has a USB connection specifically for plug-in updates, downloadable from the ADB website, yet the website's downloadable software hasn't been updated for at least 3 years. Fat lot of good but probably typical - they've sold the product already, why should they care anymore?
 

BigAde

Active Member
Found this thread after my Sony BDP-S370 failed to fire up iPlayer last night.

While I still have my Humax HDR-Fox T2 for iPlayer, it's miffed me somewhat that the BBC dropped this.
Considering a Now TV box as it's not a huge financial commitment and it has the big advantage of ITV Player and 4OD. But it's yet another box.

Would consider another blu-ray player, if I thought they would cope with playing my 1080p 60 .MTS movie files taken with my Sony HX20 camera over DLNA. My S370 wouldn't cope with them using Serviio... not sure why, maybe codec support, maybe processing. Tempted by the Sony BDP-S4200 as it's presently £60 on Amazon, but there is no way of knowing if those files would work on that player.

Not sure what to do now, but it's interesting to read that other people are considering much the same thing.
 

tso533

Standard Member
I am seeing this on my 480 Bluray player as well, this is very frustrating, I wont be looking to buy a Sony player again.
 

ArmitageShanks

Well-known Member
Check the packaging of the player if you still have it. If the exterior of the box clearly shows BBC iPlayer as a supported service (with no asterisks or weasel words attached e.g. "subject to license agreement"), then I'd say you have recourse to a refund.
 

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