The BBC is sure
that almost half of people watching its catch-up content will be doing so on
connected devices in the next few years, and has therefore launched a revamped
version of its iPlayer, designed for TVs, set-top boxes and Blu-ray players.
The new iPlayer
will be available from today on the PlayStation 3 and is currently being
adapted by manufacturers for a range of other devices.
According to the
latest Communications Market Report from Ofcom, only 10 per cent of
TVs can go online, however in the last six months the BBC has seen a five fold growth of iPlayer on TV.
“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,”
said Daniel Danker, the BBC’s general manager of programmes and on demand.
While iPlayer is
available on over 300 devices already, the presentation is inconsistent and on
some devices, very frustrating to navigate. The new iPlayer will offer a more
consistent platform making it a lot easier for users to navigate using their
The new interface
will also offer better personalisation so that iPlayer will remember your
searches and preferences to allow your access the programmes you want, quicker.
“It feel like TV,
it’s much easier to use and it’s more personal. This is designed from the
ground up for televisions,” said Gideon Summerfield, the BBC’s executive
product manager for iPlayer on TV.
While a huge
variety of set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and TVs will be getting the newly
redesigned iPlayer, one major player won’t be getting it any time soon. “Sky
today remains a closed platform,” Danker said. This is in contrast to
competitors Virgin Media and BT who both offer iPlayer as part of their