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BBC iPlayer Hits Freesat in November

Gordon Kelly by

BBC iPlayer Hits Freesat in November

Title pretty much says it all really, what more could you want? Oh yeah, some detail...

The specifics aren't that specific with the official BBC Blog saying the service will launch before the end of the month. The good news however is that users will receive the full fat version of BBC iPlayer and they won't need to modify their Freesat boxes in any way.

The development comes courtesy of the Beeb's efforts to make iPlayer work with 'MHEG-IC' (MHEG-5 Interaction Channel), the platform adopted by Freesat and incorporated into the DBook 6.1 used in Freeview HD boxes. "We have been developing BBC iPlayer using this standard," confirmed Rahul Chakkara, creative director for BBC iPlayer. "I expect to start a Beta deployment by the end of November using capable Freesat devices." This news finally brings a close to rumblings about the deal to bring iPlayer to Freesat which have been dragging on since February.

Chakkara didn't only discuss Freesat though (hah, there is more than just the story title - patience is rewarded), saying that a beta version of BBC iPlayer is planned for November which is designed to work with any standard HTML browser. It will use a media playback API that is comfortable with HTML4, but can also take advantage of HTML5.

Lastly Chakkara confirmed the BBC is planning to bring iPlayer to the Adobe Flash Lite 3.1 platform which works with many smartphones and an increasing number of HDTVs. This could greatly expand the reach of iPlayer, but is some way off with an April 2010 timeframe placed on development.

In fact such is the ubiquity of iPlayer it makes us all the more frustrated the BBC Trust overruled plans to integrate ITV and Channel 4 content. Not that we'd miss ITV much (does it still air?), but E4 has definite charms...


via BBC Blogs

BBC iPlayer

Go to comments

Paul Nicolson

November 4, 2009, 3:15 pm

Thats great news perhaps free up the Broadband network a bit ???

Also another nail in SKY's over priced BOX


November 4, 2009, 3:18 pm

I don't understand this.. iPlayer (over the internet) streams content on demand. How could this be done via satellite, one-way communication win which we all share the same signal?

Aren't the BBC just saying - slightly boringly - that iPlayer is going to use the same codec as Freesat?


November 4, 2009, 3:28 pm

Sorry, don't understand. Presumably you can't get the programmes via a satellite dish, therefore they must come via the telephone line, so is the freesat bit of the title just mean that the programmes come via the internet but coded as if they came via a satellite dish? in which case an actual dish wouldn't be necessary, just a lot of internet bandwidth and a sympathetic provider. Any idea what that bandwidth is likely to be?


November 4, 2009, 5:30 pm

"Not that we'd miss ITV much (does it still air?"

Oh you snob, Gordon. ITV does sometimes screen some good... um... adverts!

Alan Edwards47c

November 4, 2009, 6:03 pm

Yes you're right, the actual content is delivered over the broadband connection. I love the bit in the press release about not needing any other equipment - apart from the internet connection, Ethernet network and router, of course.

Paul Nicolson

November 4, 2009, 7:41 pm

I would imagine it will work like the interactive pages on freeview ?????


November 4, 2009, 8:30 pm

Wait, Flashlite support is 2010? Crap... sounds like the Wii version may be delayed then...


November 5, 2009, 1:58 pm

sky overpriced op? dont you think freesat hd is the rip of merchant here,£200 to install and you get 1 hd channel.

Mark Walton

November 9, 2009, 10:26 pm

How is it a rip off exactly??? A HD FreeSAT box is ~£90 ??? For a one off payment, and there are 2 HD channels currently with more to follow - I hope.

As for the BBC iPlayer coming to FreeSAT, it's not really coming is it as it has nothing to do with satellite transmissions - doesn't it really defy the point of buying a satellite receiver to then have to plug it into your broadband connection.


November 13, 2009, 9:30 pm

Are people really complaining about the iPlayer content being available to watch directly on TV?

The FreeSat spec includes the requirement for an ethernet port specifically for Internet delivered content. This is just utilising that spec.

Also, I'm sure most guys commenting on here have Internet, router and ethernet network. Especially the sort of person that would have invested in FreeSat in what can still only be called its infancy.

This can surely only be a good thing? Or am I missing something?

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