[ update 17th Oct 08: more details about this on the iPlayer page ]
The BBC iPlayer is great, but I want to watch TV on a TV, not on a computer. So here’s a short script to convert video from iPlayer to DivX with MP3 audio so that it plays on my Archos AV420.
First, download the video from BBC iPlayer using iplayer-dl. This gets the un-DRMed iPhone version of the video.
Then use ffmpeg to do a two-pass conversion.
ffmpeg –i inputfile.mov -vtag DIVX -f avi -vcodec mpeg4 -aspect 4:3 -pass 1 -s 640×480 -b 1000k -acodec mp3 -ab 128000 -ar 48000 -ac 2 outputfile.avi
ffmpeg -i inputfile.mov -vtag DIVX -f avi -vcodec mpeg4 -aspect 4:3 -pass 2 -s 640×480 -b 1000k -acodec mp3 -ab 128000 -ar 48000 -ac 2 outputfile.avi
Depending on what it’s playing on you might want to change the aspect ratio and resolution. My Archos is a bit strange about the aspect ratio it displays on the TV, so I force the aspect ratio to 4:3, which is then expanded to 16:9 by my TV.
The iPhone versions of the iPlayer videos are typically 480×272, so I am also doing a bit of upscaling here as well, which probably isn’t necessary. But the result was perfectly watchable on a 32” TV