BBC iPlayer Launches (Finally)

Should an on-demand TV service really take two years to develop?

After a long and torturous route to market the BBC remarkably launched its iPlayer service ”on time” on Friday.

As previously reported, 27 July was the proposed start date and now we have it: an advanced TV on-demand catch-up service which incorporates a media player, EPG (Electronic Programme Guide) and download client for both TV and radio.

“There is always going to be a trade-off between rigour and speed in a regulatory process like this,” said a BBC spokeswoman. “The rigour of PVT has actually forced us to scrutinise every aspect of the service, from design to value for money.” She wasn’t kidding: two years, three name changes and a raft of feature cut backs.

Interestingly, while DRM will limit iPlayer users to just 30 days access after downloading their files it is already being reported that FairUse4WM can strip the files of all restrictions.

So I expect you’ll be keen to try it? Well, this is the Beeb so two years after it was first mooted the project has yet to be made compatible with Mac OS X or Windows Vista, so it is XP-ers only who will have the pleasure. Other than that, head on over to the company’s new site to see the culmination of a truly epic journey…

BBC iPlayer

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