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 12th April 2022: It seems there's a problem with iPlayer working on some Humax devices at the moment. This error produces the 02001 error message. Both the BBC and Humax are aware of the problem and are working on a fix. If you're looking for a workaround, click here for our suggestions.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.