BBC iPlayer has transformed how we watch BBC TV shows, allowing you to watch what you want, when you want.
As long as you’ve a decent internet connection, you can even watch BBC TV shows on devices such as iPhones, iPads, laptops and desktop computers, as well as games consoles and set-top boxes such as Apple TV.
Dig a little deeper into BBC iPlayer, and there’s a range of features and neat extras that make catching up on BBC TV shows even more enjoyable.
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1. Use BBC iPlayer without an internet connection
Rather than watch iPlayer on your web browser, download the free BBC iPlayer Downloads app to your desktop PC or laptop. This lets you download TV shows to your computer and watch them whenever you want within 30 days.
This means you can watch downloaded BBC shows without an internet connection – handy if you’re travelling with your laptop or tablet.
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2. Get personalised BBC iPlayer recommendations
Signing in to BBC iPlayer with a username and password unlocks a range of useful features that tailors iPlayer to suit your own viewing preferences.
Once signed in, BBC iPlayer will recommend TV shows based on what you’ve viewed in the past and send you an email newsletter highlighting new shows to discover.
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3. Resume watching TV shows
Once signed into iPlayer, it remembers how much of a programme you’ve watched and lets you resume playing exactly from where you left off – even if watching it on another device, such as on your smartphone.
Click on your 'Watching list' under 'My Programmes', then click on the show’s title to resume watching where you left off.
4. Never miss the start of a BBC show
Missed the start of a TV show that’s being broadcast live? Rather than waiting until it’s finished and then watching it later on catch-up, you can use iPlayer’s Live Restart feature to rewind and restart live programme.
Simply select 'Restart the current programme' while watching live TV on BBC iPlayer.
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5. BBC iPlayer Series Record
Make sure you never miss an episode of a TV series with iPlayer’s Series Record. You’ll need the BBC iPlayer Downloads desktop app to use this feature.
When downloading a programme, click the 'Settings' menu in the top-right corner of the window. From the dropdown menu, click 'Series Record' and then 'On'. Now every episode of the show will be automatically downloaded to your computer as soon as it’s available.
6. Listen to BBC Radio
BBC iPlayer is a great way to listen to live BBC radio stations on your computer and digital devices.
As with TV shows, you can download radio programs so you can listen to them later even without an internet connection.
The BBC has a extensive library of programmes, including comedy classics such as Hancock’s Half Hour and Dad’s Army and shows, such as Book At Bedtime and Desert Island Discs.
Click the 'Radio' link at the top of the iPlayer window, to go to iPlayer Radio, which offers Stations, Categories, Featured and Most Popular.
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7. Enjoy podcasts
BBC iPlayer Radio offers a vast selection of programmes that can be downloaded and listen to as podcasts.
From factual and news to drama and comedy, there’s something for everyone. Podcasts don’t have an expiry date, so you can enjoy them at your own pace.
For more tips and useful information, browse our technology articles.