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BBC iPlayer Picture in Picture mode

fester
Making moves

I use PIP mode quite often, it's a great feature.  A few days ago I noticed that the BBC have updated the iplayer and now the PIP button has vanished.  It still works fine on all other online video I have tested (netflix, youtube etc).  Is it just me having problems or is this an issue for other users?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

ania
Employee
Employee

@fester @GKW Hello! My apologies for the late reply here - the engineering team fixed the problem in Beta 101 and Nightly 102, and if you're using the release version, the fix will be going live with 101 version on May 31st.

More details in the Bugzilla ticket here.

View solution in original post

15 REPLIES 15

Segami
Making moves

No, this is not just you.

I have been in contact with the BBC regarding this.

Their replies are confusing and humorous. I have copied them below.

Thank you for contacting BBC iPlayer support regarding Picture in picture on the iPlayer website via Mozilla Firefox.
Unfortunately, Firefox does support Picture in Picture in the way it is implemented on BBC iPlayer and so, a decision was taken to remove this feature from the website when accessed via Firefox. If you would like to use this feature then you should use Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
In the meantime I have placed your feedback onto our iPlayer feedback report to be seen by the Head of iPlayer and the various iPlayer product teams.
Thanks again for getting in touch.
Kind regards,
Adam McIlveen. "

Thanks for getting back in touch.
Yes, you are correct that my colleague meant to say Firefox is not supported for iPlayer PiP, please accept our apologies for any confusion caused.
Whilst it is not supported, it may still have worked in the past or even now, although we're unable to guarantee an issue free user experience when enabled.
We appreciate your comments on this lack of support. Lack of resources or technical limitations are the most likely cause of this, we're sorry for any disappointment caused. I've made your feedback available to the BBC iPlayer product team. The team really value feedback like this as it helps to shape and improve the service that we provide. 
Thanks again for getting in touch.

Kindest regards,

Matt O'Shea

My latest contact with the BBC is as follows:

This reply leaves me totally mystified.
What exactly does Matt O'Shea mean when he says:
"it may still have worked in the past or even now, although we're unable to guarantee an issue free user experience when enabled."
I refer you to your own help page regarding picture in picture...
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/help/questions/features/picture-in-picture
You'll see the option to use Picture in Picture mode on BBC iPlayer at the bottom right corner of the playback screen (on Firefox, you will first need to enable Picture in Picture mode by going to Options > Browsing > Enable picture-in-picture video controls):
Why can't I see the Picture in Picture toggle?
Picture in Picture mode is only available on Firefox version 71 or above on computers and laptops, Google Chrome 70 or above on computers and laptops, or Safari browsers on macOS Sierra or above. If you're using Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari and can't see the Picture in Picture toggle, make sure your browser is up to date:
Update Firefox to the latest release
So you are advising people to enable picture in picture in Firefox but telling me in your reply that "it may still have worked in the past or even now, although we're unable to guarantee an issue free user experience when enabled."
Are you actually reading what you are writing?
If this was supported in the previous iPlayer layout, then surely it should be supported in the new layout, after all, a new layout is all it is.
What possible technical issues does Firefox pose that, in your own words, does not support Picture in Picture in the way it is implemented on BBC iPlayer?
Surely the superior might and technical resources of the BBC can resolve an 'issue' that has been caused, from what I know and from what you have told me, is being caused by the BBC and not in fact by Firefox.
This is quickly moving from frustrating to the absurd.
Amused in Scotland.

I await their reply.

Segami
Making moves

How can we mobilise this community to put pressure on the BBC to stop this absurdity?

fester
Making moves

Thanks for your reply Segami.  The Beebs replies are certainly confusing and not in the slightest bit helpful.

Since I know I'm not suffering an isolated technical problem and it is indeed an iPlayer issue, I have also just contacted the BBC.  I'll post back when I get a response.

Segami
Making moves

Excellent!!!

It is indeed absurd that the BBC cannot sort this out, given PIP still works on other streaming platforms.

Segami
Making moves

The latest, and what seems to be the final response from the BBC:

Thanks for getting back in touch.
To put it simply Firefox uses a different PiP to other browsers, it doesn't activate with the new BBC iPlayer. This has been confirmed by our engineers.
We're aware of interest in this support and the iPlayer Product team have been notified. For now, we would recommend using an alternative browser to use PiP, such as Chrome. I hope this helps.
Thanks again for getting in touch and all the best,
Matt O'Shea

What an absolute load of rubbish.   Even if it's true that Firefox handles pip differently, it worked on the old layout so why can't it be made to work on the new one?

Surely they realise we don't want to use another browser?  If that was the answer, I wouldn't have asked the question 😡

I'm still awaiting a reply

I totally agree, it worked on the old iPlayer layout, and was supported in their help files for iPlayer, and as you said originally, it works with every other streaming site with no problem.

It is a conspiracy!!!

The only way I can see this being resolved is if they get enough complaints/queries from other Firefox users, as their last reply to me was pretty much telling me to go away and use Chrome... Spits!!!

ania
Employee
Employee

Hi! Firefox PiP team member here.

First, thanks a lot for reaching out to BBC support team and alerting us about the issue.

We learned about the problem a little earlier and are currently working on a fix of the issue with BBC iPlayer PiP mode. After your posts, we also got in touch with the BBC team, and hopefully it's just a miscommunication. From what we can see there's no ill intention, BBC just changed their video library, and PiP stopped working (rather than was proactively removed).

We're working on addressing this, so please follow the Bugzilla issue for updates.

Hi Ania,

That's brilliant news, thank you for update. 

Hi Ania,

Thank you for the update, I am pleased to hear that Mozilla are working on this and that you have been in touch with the BBC over this. My comment about it being a conspiracy was of course tongue in cheek.

I do hope this matter can be resolved as I do miss PIP and I steadfastly refuse to use another browser.

GKW
Making moves

Has anyone had any progress with this issue?

fester
Making moves

I was wondering the same, still not working here on the latest build

ania
Employee
Employee

@fester @GKW Hello! My apologies for the late reply here - the engineering team fixed the problem in Beta 101 and Nightly 102, and if you're using the release version, the fix will be going live with 101 version on May 31st.

More details in the Bugzilla ticket here.

Excellent news, many thanks ania

ania
Employee
Employee

Of course, it's our pleasure to be able to fix this unpleasant problem. Thank you for bringing the problem to our attention initially and reaching out to BBC support!