BBC News + Flash + Secure Settings = Black Screen (FIXED!)


For the last couple of months I have experienced an issue whereby flash videos on the BBC News website would not play. A black box would render in place of the video as if buffering with a red loading logo and then nothing, no sound, no video. Youtube and other flash sites played without issue which left me rather bemused and despite reinstalling flash, upgrading, downgrading I could not remedy or pinpoint the issue. Read on...

I stumbled across this post which provided the solution:

The problem may be with your Flash Player settings. Select the 'Global Storage Settings panel' and see if 'Allow third-party Flash content to store data on your computer' is ticked. If it is not ticked, then this is probably your problem and ticking it should allow your BBC content to play - you will probably need to close any open browsers before this takes effect.

The above tick box is often unticked for security reasons, but rather than using this blanket control, use a per website control by going to the 'Website Storage Settings panel', setting the storage slider to 0 and then clicking on 'Delete all sites'.

Now, whenever a site wants to store Flash data, you will be asked if you wish to allow this - you have control over the sites but without disabling them all. Again, you may need to close all browsers and then open them again for the settings to apply. - Kudos to Behest Software.

In hindsight I had previously followed this article after reading about Evercookies with the objective to tighten my Adobe Flash privacy setting; I now believe this to be the culprit behind my BBC News woes. Despite fixing this issue I'm still surprised that only the BBC appeared to be affected by tightening up flash security settings and I'm also left a little confused as to why the BBC falls under third-party Flash content?!

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