videos shows black flash screen

We recently had an interesting problem that had us scratching our heads. A customer of ours has not been able to watch any streaming videos shown on the website on their Windows XP computer using Internet Explorer version 8. When they click on a video link they are presented with a black screen. There is also no audio and it seems that the Adobe “Flash” player has stalled.

We initially suspected a corrupt installation of the Flash programme which is what the BBC uses to show the video stream. This is a ubiquitous programme as it is also used by YouTube and Facebook.

Upon visiting the customer’s home, we quickly eliminated the Flash programme as being the culprit because all YouTube videos we clicked on played properly. We also confirmed that there was no “hosts file” or firewall restrictions that had been placed against the BBC site’s Internet address on the customer’s computer. The version of the Flash programme on the customer’s computer was also the latest and greatest.  We noticed that with the latest Flash player, the option to ‘Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer” was not available which takes a common issue out of hte mix.

We tried clearing the “Temporary Internet files” from the computer and after revisiting the BBC website we were then able to view the streaming video!

We concluded that the temporary storage space (cache) that stores the Internet pages visited by the customer’s was full and thus causing the BBC stream to stall. This didn’t cause a problem for YouTube funnily enough; only for the BBC!

If you are also experiencing this problem and are using Windows XP and IE8 then please follow our path to success:

To clear the cache, please follow these steps after closing your Internet Explorer browser:

  1. Go start > Programs > Settings > Control Panel
  2. Double-click the “Internet Options” icon
  3. Under the “General” tab, go to “Browsing History”
  4. Click the “Delete” button
  5. Click the “Temporary Internet Files” choice
  6. Press the “Delete” button
  7. Press the “Ok” button
  8. Revisit the BBC website and click on the video of your choice such as

history delete