Nokia H.264 version[]

It has been discovered that you can stream H.264 video via RTSP protocol by the following procedure:

<media kind="video"
        encoding="h264"  >

You could actually get vlc to do the web request of the RTSP URL to save the extra step. Some versions of vlc support this.

Dumping the Stream[]

  • Use vlc to dump the stream in MPEG-TS format, e.g:
vlc --sout file/ts:stream.mpg
vlc --sout file/ts:stream.mpg rtsp://
  • Playback using mplayer, e.g:
mplayer stream.mpg

Symbian Application[]

The streams discussed here are designed to be used with the Nokia N96 iPlayer application. This application is actually just a skinned web browser widget, similar in design to the YouTube application available for Symbian smartphones. The application runs perfectly well on a Nokia N95 and probably on other phones of a similar specification, but to download it you need to get through a useragent-check on the mobile iPlayer website. If you wish to see this, the BBC iPlayer mobile site is here: and the N96 user agent is:

Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.2; U; Series60/3.1 NokiaN96/10.0.018; Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413

The application itself is available here: Attempting to use the Nokia software on a Windows machine to install this file fails; however, navigating to this URL with the browser on an N95 results in a successful installation.

Nokia widgets are zip files with a .wgz extension, and opening the widget with an archive program such as 7-Zip reveals the inner workings of the iPlayer application; however, the majority of it is in dense, uncommented and somewhat obfuscated Javascript.

Whilst the application runs on the N95, problems may be encountered with RealPlayer which needs to have its network connection set explicitly (at least up to firmware v21). This can be achieved by starting RealPlayer from the Applications menu, and altering the Network Settings to match the network you're using - unfortunately there's no automatic way of doing this.

Server Side[]

It would appear that the BBC are making use of GPAC. Possibly used to serve up the 3GP/H.264/RTSP content.