U.K. residents with iPhones can do a little rejoicing after yesterday. Amid the wave of announcements surrounding the release of the SDK, the BBC quietly launched iPhone and iPod Touch support for its iPlayer TV service. We've blogged about this being a feature after footage of the iPlayer working on the iPhone was shown off in a promotional video made more than 10 months ago, but the videos on the streaming service use Adobe's Flash, which is not a part of the iPhone's built-in software.
Unlike the software iteration of the iPlayer, shows can't be downloaded, but users have access to a limited selection of streaming content that's been formatted to work on the handset. Instead of featuring the beautiful Coverflow-approach seen in the video, the service uses a system similar to what's been seen on Apple.com and Break.com, with little blue play buttons to indicate the videos that can be played on the portable device when connected to a Wi-Fi connection.
The BBC has been a little late to the game with putting television content online for its viewers; however, in comparison to content providers in the U.S., it's the first to make its content readily viewable on the mobile device without any special subscriptions through the carriers. In the U.S., Verizon is currently one of the only major players in providing recently released television shows (in their entirety) over the air to its subscribers through its VCast Mobile TV service. Sprint and AT&T will also have initiatives to bring TV and movie content to phones over the air.
It's worth noting the service only works to residents of the U.K., who pay for the programming with their tax dollars. No mention of whether a paid version of the service for residents outside of the region is on the way. See more on the BBC's iPlayer blog.