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Streaming BBC iPlayer video to your TV

The main problem is that the BBC bods have given the files indecipherable names rather than 'rubbish Louis Walsh documentary', so you have to use a bit of guesswork to show what you want

The BBC's iPlayer has had plenty of knocks, the most common being that all the files are copy-protected to the max. It's true, they are, but it doesn't mean you can only watch the video you download on your PC. With the right kit and a little know-how, you can watch it on your TV.

We used a Pinnacle Showcenter 200, which supports Microsoft's DRM technology, enabling it to stream the BBC stuff without breaking any laws.

To make it work, you'll need to find out where the BBC iPlayer program is downloading files to on your machine. To do this, play a video, click 'launch in Windows Media Player', check the properties of the file and copy the location of the directory.

Then go the Windows Media Player options screen (we're using version 11) and make sure that the 'share my media to' box is checked (look in 'configure sharing' under the 'library' tab). Add the directory to the list of monitored folders, and the Pinnacle should now be able to stream iPlayer video.

After being told to expect Vaseline-vision, I was pleasantly surprised by the picture quality on the TV. No, it's not HD. It's not even DVD-quality, come to mention it. But it's no worse than watching most ITV shows on Freeview and better than some of the low bit-rate channels on Sky.

The main problem is that the BBC bods have called the files silly things like '7242308_54605660_dow' rather than 'rubbish Louis Walsh documentary', so you have to use a bit of guesswork to get the Pinnacle to show what you want.

Hopefully that'll get sorted in the next version.