Redesigned BBC iPlayer for TV launches on PS3

The BBC's iPlayer catchup service has a new look for big-screen TVs. The revamped iPlayer for TV comes to Sony's PS3 console first.

The BBC has given its iPlayer service a syringe full of botox, tightening it up with a redesign that makes it easier to use on big-screen TVs (we've heard they're a bit like really massive monitors). The new version rolls out first to Sony's PlayStation 3 console, with Internet-connected TVs' built-in systems updated over the coming months.

The new design puts a big carousel across the screen, with programmes reclining expansively in huge tiles.

The tiled look puts us in mind of Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system, which is no bad thing. Auntie reckons the new edition will be more TV-friendly -- it'll work better on devices where you don't have access to a mouse or touchscreen.

There's an improved search, and we're told the whole setup is more personal, with the ability to set favourite programmes and view your previous search results, which throws up all sorts of challenges in terms of preventing your mates seeing how many searches for Countryfile you conduct every day.

For a while it looked as if on-demand services such as iPlayer were going to kill the notion of watching telly on an actual TV, but it appears we've come full circle. The Beeb's general manager for programmes and on-demand Daniel Danker (great name) says, "At this rate of growth, in the next few years we could well see over half of iPlayer use directly on the living room TV."

iPlayer has been sitting pretty on the PS3 for years now, but there's still no sign of an Xbox 360 version. We've heard the problem is figuring out which Xbox gamers (if any) would have to pay for iPlayer -- Microsoft makes users pay for just about every Xbox online service, but the Beeb isn't allowed to charge the British public for its programming, because the cost is already covered by your licence fee.

Do you gather the family around to watch iPlayer on a huge telly? Or does hunkering under the duvet with a laptop and a big bag of Doritos sound more appealing? Spout opinion in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page.

About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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