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How to use BFI Player

What is BFI Player?

The BFI Player enables you to watch great films without subscription. It is a video on-demand service from the British Film Institute (BFI) which is, for now, only available to UK customers.

It features cherished contemporary and classic films, hand-picked from our renowned festivals, cultural programme and the BFI National Archive. Great films have a new home. Welcome to BFI Player.

How to use it

The BFI Player is available on desktop, android devices, iPad and now iPhone.

  • Android tablets via your browser – You will be prompted to download a simple free playback app called Hook in order to use the BFI Player. Please follow the onscreen instructions to complete installation.
  • iPads via your browser and iPhones – You will be prompted to down to download a simple free playback app in order to use the BFI Player. Please follow the onscreen instructions to complete installation.

Our collections

Our collections make it easy to discover your perfect playlist. They include exclusive features about the films or the people who made them. If you need a starting point, each collection has a spotlight. These may be focused on a theme or event, or it could be a favourite film we want to share.

Finding a favourite

Whether you have a favourite genre or just know the title of the film, we have aimed to make it effortless to find where it lives on BFI Player. The simple drop-down navigation panels let you select a genre, choose a Collection or pick a letter and browse. If you know what you would like to watch, the search engine box at the top of any page will take you to it. Enter film title, director or genre into the search box and we’ll find matching selections. Alternatively, search for a title by using the A-Z tool.

Renting a film

We’re not a subscription service, so you can rent a film at any time. First, please create an account so we can store your rentals.

You will need a valid UK banking card. The first time, we need all the card details. After that, the three-digit security code on the back of the card is needed, just to confirm your identity (AMEX cards have four digit codes).

Once purchased you have 30 days to watch the title and 48 hours to complete it once you have started watching.

Payment methods and security

BFI Player accepts Maestro, Mastercard and Visa, Debit Card or American Express. Your personal information is protected by an encrypted connection between your browser and our server. Your credit card information is processed by a third party secure payment partner, Sagepay, who have the highest level of compliance under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI).

Parental controls

How do I set up parental control?

The first time you try to watch a film with an age restriction, the BBFC.online Guidance warning will appear. You’ll have the option to confirm your age and watch the film or set-up a Parental Control PIN.

You don’t need to register to set up Parental Control – you just need to set-up your PIN:

1. Click on ‘Parental Control’ link at the bottom of player.bfi.org.uk
2. Choose the level of access control you wish to apply by clicking on either: ! ‘All rated content’ or ‘18 rated content’
3. Enter your 4 digit PIN
4. You must click on the agreement terms to to confirm
5. Then click ‘Enable PIN’

How do I turn off parental control?

To turn off the Parental Control lock, click on the ‘Parental Control’ link in the bottom of any page on the BFI Player website. You’ll be asked to enter your PIN and you can then change your settings.

What happens if I forget my PIN?

Unfortunately, we’re unable to retrieve your PIN for you if you forget it – however, you can easily reset the Parental Control Lock by deleting your cookies – see ‘How to delete parental control lock cookies’ below. You can then set up the parental control again with a new PIN.

How can I stop my children resetting the parental control PIN?

You can change the settings of your children’s user accounts to stop them deleting temporary internet files and cookies which will then prevent them resetting the parental control PIN. If you do this, the PIN can only be reset if you’re logged in as an administrator on the account.

How to delete parental control lock cookies

This depends on the browser you use.

Internet Explorer 7 +

  • Select Internet Options from the Tools menu.
Find the Delete Cookies option.
  • Select the cookie called bfi_parental_control and click on remove.

Internet Explorer 8 and 9

  • Select Internet Options from the Tools menu.
  • In the General section, click on Delete under the Browsing History Section.
  • In the Delete Browsing History dialog box make sure that Cookies checkbox 
is ticked then press delete.

Firefox

  • Select Options from the Tools menu. Click on the Privacy tab and select 
Show cookies.
  • Select the cookie called bfi_parental_control and click on remove cookies.

Safari

  • Select Preferences from the Safari menu.
  • Click on the Security tab then select Show cookies.

Chrome

  • Select the cookie called bfi_parental_control and click on remove.

Film classifications on BFI Player

We are members of the British Board of Film Classification’s BBFC.online service. Through our membership we work with BBFC.online to ensure that titles on our service are rated for use on Video On Demand and receive the same understandable labelling as you will see at a UK cinema or on a DVD/Blu Ray release. For more on the BBFC: bbfc.co.uk.

Support

What operating system and browser do I need?

You’ll need to use one of the following operating systems:

  • Mac OSX
  • Windows XP or later
  • Android tablet
  • iPad tablet with App

And one of the following browsers:

  • Chrome (27)
  • Internet Explorer 9 - the BFI Player is not optimised for earlier versions and the service may not function correctly
  • Safari (6)
  • Firefox

After installing BFI Player App once, you will be able to watch all video from the BFI Player website. For more on BFI Player, visit bfi.org.uk/player

Minimum system requirements

Windows

  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent with 1 GHz processor.
  • Operating system: Windows XP (Home, Media Center and Professional with Service Pack 3 and all Microsoft Updates), Windows Vista (Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Ultimate or Enterprise editions with Vista Service Pack 2), Windows 7 with all available updates, or Windows 8 with all available updates.
  • RAM: 512 MB minimum (1 GB recommended).
  • Video card: 32 MB minimum (128 MB recommended).
  • Browser: Internet Explorer in Standard Document Mode (version 7 or later), Mozilla Firefox (version 13 or later), or Chrome (version 16 or later).

Flash

  • For Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) playback: 10.0 or higher (10.1 or later recommended).
  • For HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) playback: 10.1.0 or higher.
  • Screen resolution: 800 x 600 minimum (1280 x 1024 or greater recommended).
  • Internet connection: Broadband/High Speed (DSL, Cable, T1, etc.). Dial-up connections are insufficient for video playback.
  • Playback type: Flash with HTML5 fallback.

Internet Explorer 9 or later does not support true fullscreen mode in JavaScript.

Mac OS X

  • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor.
  • Operating system: Mac OS X 10.5 or greater with Intel Processors of 1GHz or better; no PowerPC support.
  • RAM: 512 MB minimum (1 GB recommended).
  • Video card: 32 MB minimum (128 MB recommended).
  • Browser: Safari (version 5 or later), Mozilla Firefox (version 13 or later), or Chrome version 16 or later.

Flash

  • 10.0 or higher (10.1 or later recommended).
  • Screen resolution: 800 x 600 minimum (1280 x 1024 or greater recommended).
  • Internet connection: Broadband/High Speed (DSL, Cable, T1, etc.). Dial-up connections are insufficient for video playback.
  • Playback type: Flash with HTML5 fallback.

Apple iOS

  • Operating system: iOS 5 or later.
  • Browser: Safari.
  • Internet connection: WiFi or 3G.
  • Playback type: HTML5.

Can I watch BFI Player films on my mobile and tablet?

You will be able to access the BFI Player on the following mobiles and tablets:

  • Android tablets via your browser – You will be prompted to download a simple free playback app called Hook in order to use the BFI Player. Please follow the onscreen instructions to complete installation.
  • iPads via your browser and iPhones – You will be prompted to down to download a simple free playback app in order to use the BFI Player. Please follow the onscreen instructions to complete installation.

Can I watch BFI Player films on my games console or set-top box?

No, but we will be working hard to make our service available on as many platforms as possible.

Can I watch BFI Player films from outside the UK?

The BFI Player is only available to users in the UK.

Can I download films on the BFI Player?

No, you can only stream films on the BFI Player.

I am a BFI Member, is there a Members’ discount available?

BFI Members get 15% discount on all film rentals. Here’s how to register for your discount:

Already registered on BFI Player and entered your membership details?
No need to do anything further, your discount will automatically be applied with each purchase.

Already registered on BFI Player but yet to enter your membership details?
Please login, go to ‘my account’ and enter your membership details in ‘my profile’. Your discount will be automatically applied with each purchase.

Already a BFI Member but yet to register on BFI Player?
Go to ‘register’ on BFI Player where you’ll be asked to enter your membership details. Your discount will be automatically applied with each purchase.

Not a BFI member?
Join now, then enter your membership details as part of the registration on BFI to enjoy your discount. (Please note, it can take up to 48 hours for new members to be validated on BFI Player.)

For any questions, please speak to one of our customer service team on the Online Live Chat.

I’m a BFI member. Why do I have to register for BFI Player when I am already registered on bfi.org.uk?

Thank you for your interest in the BFI Player. From launch we want to give everyone the opportunity to experience the BFI Player. For now, this means that Members need to sign up for a separate BFI Player account as they are different websites. We’re looking to integrate these as soon as we can in the future.

How do I sign up to receive email updates about the BFI Player?

  • Login and click on your name in the top right hand side of the screen to go to your Account.
  • In the Profile section, tick the box to receive emails such as relevant news, updates and offers from BFI.

I have registered but haven’t received a confirmation email.

Emails should be delivered immediately. Please check your junk folder. If you do not receive an email within two hours please contact bfiplayer@bfi.org.uk or use the live chat service on the BFI Player.

I’ve paid for a film but it’s not working.

Please email bfiplayer@bfi.org.uk or use the live chat service on the BFI Player to enable us to help rectify this problem or refund your purchase as required.

Why are some films £10?

It’s important to us that our content is accessible and the majority of films on the BFI Player are free to watch. Where we are premiering a film on the BFI Player the same day as it’s released in cinemas and the pricing reflects the added value of this immediate availability.

A little bit about us

About the BFI

The BFI is the lead body for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity can thrive by:

  • Connecting audiences to the widest choice of British and World cinema
  • Preserving and restoring the most significant film collection in the world for today and future generations
  • Championing emerging and world class film makers in the UK
  • Investing in creative, distinctive and entertaining work
  • Promoting British film and talent to the world
  • Growing the next generation of film makers and audiences

The BFI is now a Government arm’s-length body and distributor of Lottery funds for film. The BFI serves a public role which covers the cultural, creative and economic aspects of film in the UK. It delivers this role:

  • As the UK-wide organisation for film, a charity core funded by Government
  • By providing Lottery and Government funds for film across the UK
  • By working with partners to advance the position of film in the UK
  • Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter.

The BFI Board of Governors is chaired by Greg Dyke.

A little bit about our partners

About Capablue
Capablue creates innovative TV solutions that harness the power of internet and TV. It designs and delivers TV Everywhere solutions, Connected TV interfaces and apps and compelling second screen solutions that interact, transact and engage with consumers wherever they are.

About Ooyala
Ooyala delivers personalised video experiences across all screens and is a leader in online video management, publishing, analytics and monetisation. Ooyala’s integrated suite of technologies and services gives content owners the power to expand audiences through deep insights that drive increased viewer engagement and revenue from video.

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