Services & Software

BBC's iPlayer relaunching soon

Our friends in the UK will soon be able to enjoy BBC content on their PCs with the public launch of their iPlayer app.

A screen of the last iteration of the BBC's iPlayer, that's re-launching soon.
British Broadcasting Corporation

The BBC's iPlayer, the downloadable app for watching BBC content on PCs is relaunching soon, following the successful beta test that garnered more than 10,000 users in the U.K. The player will give users a few ways to access BBC programming, including downloading single episodes or watching entire series the month after it goes off the air. The move enables viewers to catch missed content before it makes the long jump to DVD, and potentially catch up on shows they might have missed without resorting to seeking out pirated content. It's also one of the few legal ways to catch on-air programming without a TV license.

The iPlayer itself is part video player, part P2P software--and for now, it's Windows only. To lighten the load on servers, users share some of the traffic burden. For copy-protection, every file is given a temporary DRM license that expires after 30 days, which is 23 days longer than during the initial iPlayer test phase.

The move is part of the BBC's move of their programming onto the Web. Just last month, they rolled out a content partnership with YouTube, to put extra scenes, previews, recaps, and production diaries on the popular video hosting service.

A release date on the iPlayer is forthcoming, and there are currently no plans to make it available on other operating systems or outside of the U.K.

More information can be found in Tim Ferguson's story.