Smart Home

BBC iPlayer not working on smart TV? Here’s how to fix it

BBC iPlayer
Show must go on: get iPlayer working on your TV

The BBC iPlayer app is great for catching up on shows such as EastEnders, Match of the Day or Line of Duty. But only when it works! If BBC iPlayer is not working on your smart TV, here’s how to fix it!

Update 19th Feb 2023: It appears the BBC has failed to renew the SSL certificate for iPlayer. In non-techy terms, this is a security certificate required to prove the site you’re visiting is what it claims to be. There’s nothing you can do as a user to fix this problem, sadly. Just hope the BBC can sort it swiftly. 

It’s worth noting that the iPlayer app seems to be working on iPhone/iPad/Android, so you may be able to cast the iPlayer video to your television.

BBC iPlayer app keeps crashing

This is something I’ve seen repeatedly on my own TV. You press on the BBC iPlayer app, the logo appears and then… nothing. You’re sent back to the main menu.

Time needed: 2 minutes

To prevent the BBC app from crashing

  1. Open another app

    The easiest way I’ve found to solve this problem is to open another app, such as YouTube or Netflix. This seems to flush the crashed BBC iPlayer app out of the TV’s memory, so that when you go back into the BBC iPlayer, it works as normal.

  2. Power down the TV

    If opening another app doesn’t work, try powering off the television. Not just putting it on standby from the remote, but pulling the plug. This will ensure any remnants of the crashed app will be removed from the TV’s memory, allowing you to start afresh.

  3. Re-install the BBC iPlayer app

    If the power-down doesn’t work, try reinstalling the app completely. You’ll first need to uninstall the existing app. Instructions on how to do this will vary from TV to TV, but on Samsung smart TVs, you press down on the remote control when you’ve highlighted the BBC iPlayer app and select Remove, as shown in the photo below. Once you’ve removed the app, fully power down the TV to make sure nothing is left in memory. Then power the TV on again, visit the TV’s built-in app store and re-load the BBC iPlayer app. BBC iPlayer app on Samsung TV

BBC iPlayer app can’t connect or stutters

If the BBC iPlayer app itself seems to be working, but you can’t watch programmes because it can’t find an internet connection, or the shows are continually stuttering, there are a few things to try.

  1. Check your broadband connection. Make sure other devices in the house are still able to connect to the internet. If not, try resetting your broadband router, as that often resolves a short-term connection issue.
  2. Check the TV has an internet connection. In the menus of your smart TV, there should be an option to check the internet connection. Again, instructions will vary depending on your make of TV, but on my Samsung smart TV the setting is in General > Network > Network Status. If it’s reporting it doesn’t have an internet connection, try using that same setting’s menu to reconnect to the Wi-Fi.
  3. Poor Wi-Fi connection. If iPlayer is constantly stuttering or buffering (showing a frozen picture and spinning circle icon) then your Wi-Fi connection might not be good enough. There are a few potential causes here. It might be that the TV is too far away from the Wi-Fi router, particularly if it’s a bedroom TV and the router is downstairs. It might be peak-time congestion on your Wi-Fi network, as different members of the household are on the internet. Ideally, run an Ethernet cable from the back of your router to the TV to eliminate any Wi-Fi issues. If that’s not practical, then have a conversation with your broadband provider about boosting the Wi-Fi signal around your house. For example, Virgin Media sells a device that can boost Wi-Fi signals.

BBC iPlayer not working on smart TV: other things to try

If none of the above solve your problem with the BBC iPlayer app, there are other ways to get the BBC iPlayer on your TV.

If you have the BBC iPlayer app installed on a smartphone or tablet that’s on the same Wi-Fi network as the TV, you can try casting the show to the television. Press on the little screen icon in the top-right corner of the app, as shown in the screenshot from an iPad below, and select your TV from the list that appears.

Similarly, you could run iPlayer on a laptop computer and cast from that or connect the laptop via a cable to the TV.

Finally, you could try running BBC iPlayer from another smart TV device, not the TV app itself. The Amazon Fire TV Stick, for example, is £40 (at the time of writing) and adds smart TV features to any set. Devices such as this are particularly handy for older TVs that are still working perfectly, but where the smart apps have stopped being updated by the manufacturer.

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


Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • I have a Panasonic smart TV on which I can use iPlayer. When I try to use iPlayer from my Humax box it simply appears to buffer then shows fault 02001

  • Thks for the info. I’ve checked both my Humax and TV software . Both up to date. Why does BBC introduce sw changes without checking backward compatibility, or do they want everyone to go out and buy new technology?

  • iplayer app on firestick is unusable. navigation is broken. however using website and silk browser does work.

  • I have a Samsung UE40ES8000 smart TV. Suddenly the iplayer, that starts up fine, will not let me select the episode from the available choices. When I get to this stage none of the arrows up or down or left to right work. I have checked tv for software and it is all up to date. I have also removed and reinstalled the iplayer but all to no avail. Bob

  • Thank you so much for your advice. I did the “remove app, power down t.v. and install app” and it worked perfectly!
    I’m not very “tech savvy” and although everything else (Netflix, Amazon, etc.) was trouble-free BBC iPlayer was driving me nuts buffing and freezing so I’m really glad I tried to fix it myself, through you, rather than bother my grandson.

  • Thanks – I uninstalled the App, now I can’t find it in the App Store to reinstall it – doh! BTW, I have a smart TV and I had all these channels, but the Amazon Prime account was somebody else’s so I signed out of that and into my own account and then everything disappeared: BBC iPlayer + 4 and a whole lot of other things. So I don’t know what happened and I can’t seem to fix it. So much for my TV license!