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BBC iPlayer Hits Freesat in November

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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...

Links:
via BBC Blogs
BBC iPlayer

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