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BBC iPlayer uses sky.com / sky.co.uk !!!

Superuser
Superuser
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BBC iPlayer uses sky.com / sky.co.uk !!!

I recently got quite pee'd off with my pub patrons using my broadband to stream Sky Sports on their iPads & iPhones (especially when two people sat next to each other each separately streamed the same game).  I therefore set up parental rules to block access to sky.com and sky.co.uk
That all seemed to have the desired effect and I thought no more about it until last night.  I wanted to watch something on BBC iPlayer and found it was not working at all - nothing.  So on the basis it worked before I made the change, I undid the change and BBC iPlayer immediately burst into life.
I thus conclude that BBC iPlayer (at least on the iPad) streams its content from Sky.  Anyone have knowledge / input which explains / confirms this?  Given all the resources available to the BBC I'm horrified to learn that they appear to be spending TV licence money funding Sky services.
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Community Veteran
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Re: BBC iPlayer uses sky.com / sky.co.uk !!!

You've jumped to the wrong conclusion.
Both BBC and Sky use a third party content distribution network.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: BBC iPlayer uses sky.com / sky.co.uk !!!

Just tested that on my Technicolor router and with sky.co.and sky.co.uk blocked iplayer still worked.
If you're using a technicolor, are you aware that enabling the URL filter can drastically reduce download performance. Perhaps it's this issue you're seeing.
May be better to use opendns for filtering,
Community Veteran
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Re: BBC iPlayer uses sky.com / sky.co.uk !!!

The problem with that is if the device is set up to access the DNS servers such as Google's directly and not get the DNS servers allocated by DHCP (which will be the router itself) the opendns filtering has no effect.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: BBC iPlayer uses sky.com / sky.co.uk !!!

You simply use the routers firewall to block port 53 from LAN to WAN. Wink
http://npr.me.uk/webfilter.html
Superuser
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Re: BBC iPlayer uses sky.com / sky.co.uk !!!

@Jelv,
For that theory to hold true, BBC iPlayer would have to at least route via sky.com for it to immediately function correctly when the parental block was removed.
@npr,
If that were the cause, would you expect ITV player to function when iPlayer did not?  Your observations about general ropeness when parental controls are enabled might explain some other sluggish behaviours which I have out down to line issues.  It is quite wet here again!
Note I did not actually block those addresses, I redirected them to our website.  IPlayer did not work at all (tried on two devices) as soon as filtering was disabled, it worked.
Will look up on the port blocking.  Thanks.
Confused!
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Re: BBC iPlayer uses sky.com / sky.co.uk !!!

I believe both BBC and Sky use Level3 for content delivery?
Superuser
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Re: BBC iPlayer uses sky.com / sky.co.uk !!!

AndyH,
That might well be the case.  I'm intrigued by the results of my parental access control.  If each of sky & the BBC are using a common provider, then one would expect each to point direct to the 3rd party provider.
I redirected both sky.com and sky.co.uk to website.co.uk. This apparently had the desired effect - the service abuser kept complaining that the Internet was not working.
Last night I discovered I could not access iPlayer.  I disabled the parental filtering and iPlayer started working again.  This lead to my conclusion (which might be flawed) that BBC iPlayer is (somehow) using sky.com / sky.co.uk to attain some connectivity.
I had been musing that I do not clearly understand how parental filters actually work in detail.  Superficially blocking access to domain.co.uk seems pretty obvious, however does not that need to be resolved to an IP address by DNS?  Is it then that IP which the router blocks?  If not then I guess knowledge of the IP address for a resource would easily defeat parental filtering?
Note I'm not overly fussed about fixing this issue, I'm more interested in understanding what I have observed.
Edit OK folks, may be I am going a bit mad here.  I know clearly what happened last night... I have just tried putting the parental controls in place and iPlayer continues to function.  Crazy  I'm signing myself into the funny farm for a week or so...
Thank you all for your kind contributions!  Embarrassed
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Re: BBC iPlayer uses sky.com / sky.co.uk !!!

It's not just my observation, technicolor themselves admit to the issue in their "release notes" -- They have for some time / firmware versions now
Quote
Services - Parental Control / Web Site Filtering
Using Parental Control, i.e. URL- or content-based website filtering, negatively impacts the Technicolor Gateway
download performance.
http://download.modem-help.co.uk/mfcs-A/Alcatel/Modems/TG582n/v1/Manuals/Release-Notes/EN-r8.4.5.I.p...
Page 57.

I agree with Jelv:
Sky.com has absolutely nothing to do with BBC iplayer.
But using the routers URL filter will impact performance perhaps more with some sites than others.
Community Veteran
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Re: BBC iPlayer uses sky.com / sky.co.uk !!!

How exactly are you filtering the sites though?
I think npr's suggestion would work best for you...use OpenDNS, then set a firewall up to block port 53 (apart from allowing the OpenDNS DNS servers). This would mean they could not use another DNS server (like Google) to bypass the OpenDNS filtering.
DaveyH
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Re: BBC iPlayer uses sky.com / sky.co.uk !!!

Quote from: AndyH
I believe both BBC and Sky use Level3 for content delivery?

The BBC use Akamai, Level3 and  Limelight.
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Re: BBC iPlayer uses sky.com / sky.co.uk !!!

Quote from: npr
You simply use the routers firewall to block port 53 from LAN to WAN. Wink

That is very useful to know, thanks npr. Smiley
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