The online face of British television has had a makeover, with a new look for UK online catch-up and streaming service BBC iPlayer, home of shows like Doctor Who,Sherlock, Call the Midwife and The Musketeers.
Following the license fee-funded broadcaster's announcement that comedy and reality-driven TV channel BBC Three is moving online, the iPlayer online service has been overhauled to showcase not only what you missed on telly but also brand new online-first content.
British funny folk including Bob Mortimer, Meera Syal, Frankie Boyle and Stewart Lee will be making original comedies for the new-look iPlayer. The new front end is designed to be simpler and easier to find stuff, with a navigation bar across the top that keeps the BBC's channels, and your favourites, at your fingertips -- so your young'uns can, for example, go straight to a fun page dedicated to kids channel CBeebies even when it's not on air.
Genres and categories -- with the 'factual' category expanded to include more specific suggestions like 'documentaries', 'food' or 'history' -- appear in a slide-down menu at the top. Also in that menu are links for programming specific to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as for the hearing-impaired.
Finding specific shows from Auntie Beeb is easier with an autocompleting search box, an A-Z list of programmes, and a 'Recently watched' section.
Thumbnails for each show are bigger than before, and you hover over them for more information. Tall images show you collections of programmes, such as the most popular things people are watching or themed seasons.
When you're actually viewing a programme, the text around the viewer fades out to remove distractions. Once you're finished, the next episode cues up in case you fancy a binge-watching session.
The new design is intended to be easy to update across apps or online. The mobile app for phones and tablets has been revamped already, and you can preview the new version on your PC by clicking on the banner on the home page.