The BBC has today launched a new TV-friendly version of its video on demand iPlayer service which aims to improve user experience on this medium. The new version is only available to users in the UK initially on the PlayStation 3 console but later rolled out to a myriad of other devices and connected TVs.
Following on from budget cuts announced by the BBC at the start of this year regarding the national broadcaster’s online services, the BBC Trust has today published their revised service license for BBC Online. In January the BBC Trust announced a 25% budget reduction for BBC Online which would directly result in the loss of 360 jobs and the closure of over 400 BBC websites.
Speaking at the Financial Times Digital Media Broadcasting Conference in London yesterday, the BBC’s Director General, Mark Thompson, revealed that the international version of the BBC iPlayer will definitely be available before the end of this year, and will likely cost less than $10, or approximately €7.
As the BBC iPlayer video on-demand service continues to break its own viewership records month-on-month, Daniel Danker, head of on-demand programming at the BBC, believes that the future of the service is becoming increasingly mobile.
The long anticipated BBC iPlayer iPad and Android apps have finally arrived earlier today. Response has so far been subdued, with most complaining that the apps don’t bring anything new to the table. Nevertheless, we checked out the iPad version and were quite impressed.
As speculated last month, Geoff Marshall, a BBC interactive operations engineer, has confirmed that the BBC iPlayer will get its very own iPad app - and better still, it’s arriving this Thursday, February 10th.
Freesat, providers of subscription-free satellite TV, have today announced that Channel 4’s 4HD will be arriving on Freesat this April, bringing the total number of high definition channels available on the service to four. Currently BBC One HD, BBC HD, and ITV 1 HD are offered.
TechRadar are reporting that viewership of the BBC’s video on-demand service, BBC iPlayer, is continuing to soar, reaching a record high of 145 million people using the catch-up service in December 2010 alone.
ITV and Channel 4 are both expected to launch the first commercial video content that can be viewed in the UK via the PlayStation 3 later this week. This follows a similar strategy from the BBC which launched its BBC iPlayer for the PS3 last year.