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If you want to watch BBC shows via its iPlayer catch-up service, you now need to sign in.

Last month, the corporation started warning users that they would soon need to register an account and sign in in order to use the service. However, it offered them the option of deferring and doing it later.

Now there's no such option. Try to use iPlayer without signing in, and you'll be met with a message that reads: "You now need to sign in to watch. It's quick & easy. And we'll keep you signed in."

If you haven't previously registered, you can by clicking the Register option.

This message doesn't appear for everyone, however, which suggests the BBC is rolling out the requirement.

When it announced the move, the Beeb claimed that it would help identify anyone using the service without paying. But it denied it was in order to crack down on licence fee evaders.

Last year, new rules came into force requiring anyone watching the BBC to have a licence fee. Previously, you could legally avoid paying for one by only watching catch-up and not live – this was known as the 'iPlayer loophole'.

The Beeb says the login requirement will help it make its services "more personal and relevant to you." In other words, it can suggest programmes you might like based on your viewing history, and enable you to start watching a show on one device, and to carry on where you left off on a different one altogether.

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