Add BBC iPlayer to Raspbmc (or any XBMC) – Illustrated Instructions

Updated 03 Feb 2013 - I’ve changed the link to Hitcher’s Repo below, should be working again now.

If you’ve got Raspbmc on your new Raspberry Pi and you live in the UK, then one of the first things you’ll want to do is enable BBC iPlayer.

This is pretty straightforward. You’ll need a laptop (or another computer) to SSH into your Raspberry Pi – if you’re on Windows then PuTTY is the essential tool for doing this.

SSH into your RPi. For Raspbmc the default username is pi and password raspberry. Then run the following command:

pi@raspbmc:~$ wget

You can copy the bit in bold to your clipboard and right-click in PuTTY to paste.

This command downloads a new “Repository” to XBMC – in this case an unofficial one called “Hitcher’s Repo” that contains the unofficial BBC iPlayer plugin. Because the BBC haven’t released an official one, we need to use this third party repository.

Once this is downloaded, browse to System > Addons on XBMC and select Install from ZIP file


Then go into your home directory and select the ZIP file you just downloaded:


Once installed, you’ll have a new repository available from which to download the plugin.

Go back to System > Addons > Get Add-ons and select Hitcher’s repository.


Browse to Video Addons and select iPlayer.


That’s it installed! To load iPlayer go back to the main menu and browse to Video > Add-ons and you’ll see it listed.



If you want to make it a bit quicker to browse to iPlayer, you can add it to the front screen in Confluence (the default skin). Just browse to Settings > Skin Settings > Add-on Shortcuts and select iPlayer for Add-on 1.

Then it will show up on your home screen like below. Perfect!


Useful tip (Rasbmc only)

If you run into trouble and need to restart XBMC from the command line then use the following commands in SSH:

pi@raspbmc:~$ sudo initctl stop xbmc
xbmc stop/waiting
pi@raspbmc:~$ sudo initctl start xbmc
xbmc start/running, process 1061

13 thoughts on “Add BBC iPlayer to Raspbmc (or any XBMC) – Illustrated Instructions

  1. Peter

    Well all’s good with the installation and plugin. Thanks for showing the add-on shortcut screen. I haven’t noticed until now that this option exists… :)

    Anyway, I’ve been experiencing problems with “live streaming”, i.e. bbc live (any channel) does not work for me at all. It always throws an error even though my UK proxy is set up correctly. Do you guys have had the same issues as I do?


  2. gordon

    I got my Ri so I could use it a a media centre so I was please to find this. Very good instructions, it worked exactly as shown for me. A Big thank you.


  3. Pingback: Add BBC iPlayer to Raspbmc or any XBMC | The Collector of Things

  4. Mark B

    Hey all, i’ve followed the guide but when I try and select an item to stream in iPlayer or anything else it doesn’t play? It says loading etc but then the window goes and leaves the menu up? Any thoughts?

    1. Patrick

      I was having the same problem until I updated to iPlayer 2.4.18 (from the repository which I just installed following these instructions!) and now it’s working again.

  5. Mykewl B

    Hello: I’m a newbie to both PI and Linux. I’m trying to lean Linux but I’m finding that it’s a bit a a slow process and I’m trying to overcome my insecurities with the command line. My apologies if this question has been asked before. I have installed Raspmc and configured Iplayer. I have two issues as of present. One, how can I configure a VPN for OpenVpn and second, if I run Iplayer without the VPN I get the following message: “Error fetching media info. Please check network access to Iplayer by playing iplayer c…. Will this error go away once the VPN is configured?

  6. Pingback: Raspberry pi XBMC media server (completely)

  7. Josh

    Hi, I have downloaded Hitcher’s repository fine, no problems but when it is selected nothing appears. Why is this? How can it be fixed?


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