A friend pointed me in the direction of TunerFree MCE which is a great Vista MediaCenter plug-in that allows you to watch streaming watch-again TV shows from all the BBC iPlayer channels as well as all the ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 watch again stations. It also shows live streaming of BBC and ITV channels if you don’t have a TV card in your MediaPC.

TunerFree MCE

It only works if you are running a Vista (there is no XP version sadly), and you need to have Microsoft Net Framework 3.5 installed. Oh, and it only works if you are in the UK

It’s fairly seamlessly integrates with MediaCenter and the menu appears next to the other TV viewing options.

I had a bit of trouble getting the BBC and Channel 4 channels working so asked the developer and he replied straight away saying I probably didn’t have the latest version of Flash installed under Internet Explorer. This turned out to be the case – I normally use Firefox where iPlayer was working fine, but when I tried to use it in IE it advised me to upgrade Flash. Once done, the application worked great.

The quality of the images on my 37″ LCD telly are pretty good for streamed content, although it’s obviously not as sharp as broadcast telly.