Summary findings:

  1. I'm using get-iplayer v2.82. The files I produce on hard drive are all mp4.

  2. I've discovered the following (downloading same TV program in both cases): Using --modes=flashstd and --tvmode=flashhigh2 gives a watchable quality file which is the same filesize as the qualities above this that --modes and --tvmode can deliver.

    The VERY NEXT step down in quality from the above settings (from my experimenting) is
    --modes=flashstd and --tvmode=flashstd1. This gives a smaller filesize, but is NOT a watchable quality.

    The point being that you don't seem to be able to drop down from a "too big" filesize to a smaller size and retain watchable quality.

  3. My command line had the following form:
    get-iplayer --get 1234 --modes=flashstd --tvmode=flashhigh2

    I tried:

    i) --modes=flashstd --tvmode=flashhigh2

    Result: Filesize 170Mb (too big for my liking).
    (TV program: "The Slammer" from BBC iplayer, 30 minute duration, watchable quality.)

    ii) --modes=flashstd --tvmode=flashstd1

    Result: Filesize 110Mb (an acceptable size, but NOT watchable quality).
    (TV program: Same program as above, from BBC iplayer, 30 minute duration, NOT watchable quality (some murky pixelation)).

    iii) For comparison: TV program: "Terry and June", from YOUTUBE, mp4, only 90Mb filesize (ACCEPTABLE), 30 minutes duration, WATCHABLE QUALITY.

Full Details:

  1. My aim is to avoid downloading files with get-iplayer that are twice as big as similar-duration programs that I download from youtube. You see I don't want to swallow up disc space.

  2. I've deduced the following:

    Specifies the recording quality you want (in your file on the hard drive). For example, if you had a video tape recorder, then LP (long play) recording mode is a lower recording quality than SP (standard play).

    Specifies the quality of TV program that you want to fetch from the BBC end (eg., HD, SD, and the sub-qualities within these).

  3. I've intelligently experimented with combinations of --modes and --tvmode, but at the point at which a smaller file is produced, its quality isn't good enough to watch.

  4. When I download say a 30 minute TV program from youtube, the filesize is say 90Mb (mp4), and of watchable quality. But with get-iplayer (downloading from BBC), for the same program duration of 30 minutes, I can't produce a file that is less than about 170Mb AND that is of watchable quality.

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