Posts Tagged ‘iPlayer’

BBC iPlayer lands on PlayStation 3 – could Hulu be next?

Now that the PlayStation 3’s web browser supports full screen Flash video, I knew it wouldn’t be long before we’d see the BBC finally roll out a PS3 version of iPlayer. But boy was that quick.

Available in Beta, as of today PS3 owners can now access the Beeb’s seven day TV catchup service (UK-only), joining their Nindendo Wii brethren, along with specific versions for Nokia’s N96 and Apple’s iPhone. In fact, the BBC now lists compatibility with a whole bunch of portable media players, presumably via a generic mobile version, including the Archos 605 WiFi and Creative Zen X-Fi.

See also: BBC iPlayer on Wii gets a UI overhaul

The BBC always said it had a version of iPlayer for the PS3 in the works but that development was being held back due to the limited way in which Sony’s console supported Flash video. Now that’s been addressed, there’s no reason why other Internet TV services, such as Hulu, can’t follow in iPlayer’s footsteps.

BBC iPlayer on Wii gets a UI overhaul

Six months after launch, the BBC has finally got around to redesigning its version of iPlayer for the Nintendo Wii games console to make it more suited to being operated from the couch. Initially taking a ‘keep it simple, get it out fast’ approach, explains the Beeb’s Anthony Rose, the original Wii version of the public broadcaster’s seven day TV catch-up service made do with the 2 foot user interface designed for the PC. “The new Wii version has a simplified user interface that presents just a few options on screen at a time and nice big chunky controls – easy to aim at with a Wiimote.”

Rose also takes the opportunity to defend the BBC’s original decision to build a Wii version of iPlayer rather than one for Sony’s PlayStation 3. “The reason is simple: there are twice as many Wii units in the UK than PS3s”. Additionally, the original PS3 web browser had “some odd quirks which have increased development time”, says Rose. In other words, a PS3 version is still in the works.

… we’re not quite there yet as the PS3 uses a slightly older version of Flash which doesn’t support some of the features used in our media player, and the very promising Flash 9 update now available on PS3 has some compatibility issues. Our Flash developers are working on it – stay tuned for updates.

See also: BBC iPlayer lands on Wii – who said Nintendo doesn’t do media center?

Hands-on: BBC iPlayer for Nokia N96

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of the BBC’s TV catch-up service iPlayer (UK-only), which I regularly access on my laptop, cable television set-top box, and of course my trusty iPod touch. The problem with the latter version, however, is that it offers streaming only not downloads, which doesn’t sit well for a mobile device as it prohibits off-line access such as when traveling on a plane or train or anywhere without WiFi access. It isn’t the BBC’s fault but the fact that Apple doesn’t license the iPod and iPhone’s proprietary DRM solution – so-called FairPlay – to third-parties. DRM is a necessary evil, says the public broadcaster, in order to meet its obligations to copyright holders who require that programs only be made available for up to seven days after broadcast.

In contrast, the newly released version of iPlayer for Nokia’s latest flagship handset, the N96, doesn’t suffer the same problem, offering both streaming and downloads. Earlier this afternoon I got some hands-on time with iPlayer on the Nokia N96.

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BBC iPlayer shows a little too much love to Nokia's N96?

Erik Huggers is the BBC’s Director of Future Media and Technology. Although a more apt title for himself, along with predecessor, Ashley Highfield, would be Director of Future License Fee Justification. That’s because the BBC, which is funded by British tax payers, is doing more than most broadcasters to stay relevant as we move towards a future where viewers want to watch ‘television’ on their own terms: from anywhere, on-demand and on the device of their choice.

Enter the BBC’s catch-up service, iPlayer, which streams the public broadcaster’s content to Windows PCs and Macs, Nintendo’s Wii, Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, along with Virgin Media’s cable TV service. A download version is also available for Windows-only.

And just today, the BBC and Nokia announced that a streaming and download version of iPlayer will soon be available for the mobile phone maker’s yet-to-be-released N96 handset.

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BBC iPlayer lands on Wii – who said Nintendo doesn't do media center?

Later today, a version of the BBC’s iPlayer will be made available on Nintendo’s Wii games console, announced the UK public broadcaster’s Future Media and Technology chief Erik Huggers during a keynote speech at the MipTV-Milia conference in Cannes.

Alongside download (Windows-only) and streaming versions (Windows/Mac) accessible via a computer, the BBC has already built a version of its UK-only TV catch-up service for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch devices. Today, however, marks the first time the iPlayer will be available on a games console, and perhaps surprisingly, not one designed specifically to be a media center. So much for the ‘trojan horse into the living room’ strategies of Sony’s PS3 and Microsoft’s XBox 360.

The ability to port the streaming version of iPlayer to the Wii was made possible because of Nintendo’s original decision to offer a Web browser for the console, and one that supports Flash Video (see last100’s ‘Five resources to create a Wii media center‘). The PS3 also features a full Web browser with the Flash plug-in, so perhaps we can expect that to be next on the list.

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