Gaming Online

Why can’t I watch BBC iPlayer on the Xbox Series X?

BBC iPlayer
NoPlayer: The BBC iPlayer won't work with Xbox Series X at launch

That noise you can hear is DHL’s little elves delivering Xbox Series X consoles to all the good boys and girls. But if you were hoping to settle down for a bit of QI or Have I Got News For You? on the BBC iPlayer after your first gaming session, you’re out of luck. A support notice posted by Microsoft says you won’t be able to watch BBC iPlayer on the Xbox Series X – at least, not until a bug has been squished.

The list of known issues on the Xbox Series X and S states that the “The BBC iPlayer app will not launch or install on an Xbox Series X|S device”.

“There is no workaround at this time but we are working with our app partners to resolve this,” the note adds. “At this time, the BBC iPlayer app will only work on an Xbox One generation device.”

It’s not clear precisely what the problem is, nor whether you’ll be able to watch the iPlayer via the Edge browser on the console. I’ll update this piece when my console arrives.

Xbox Series X DVD problems

It seems the BBC iPlayer isn’t the only video app with a problem or two. The support notice warns that “some users may insert a DVD or Blu-ray into their console and encounter a black screen” – a new spin on the Blue Screen of Death from Microsoft, there. Microsoft genuinely suggests you switch it off and on again if you encounter this problem.

It seems there are also some big problems with 4K televisions with a high refresh rate. “If you are using a 4K@120Hz TV that also supports VRR you might encounter no signal or corrupted image when the Xbox is configured for 4K120+VRR. This issue occurs with various TVs from LG, Samsung, or Vizio.”

Other apps that are on Microsoft’s problem list include EA Play and PeacockTV (for more on Peacock, read Fraser’s article about watching 30 Rock in the UK).

All in all, it’s not the best of starts for Microsoft’s new console, but let’s hope it’s just a few early teething problems.

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at

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