Download service used peer to peer technology to enable the distribution of large video files.
content only playable on BBC iPlayer/ Windows media player 10 or 11
December 2008 moved to Adobe AIR based client that downloaded content via HTTP rather than P2P
System replaced with Adobe’s own DRM – preventing it being directly copied to another medium
Also allowed the BBC to control how long the content was available for – currently 7 days
If a user downloads content they have 30 days to watch it
Offers an EPG with listings from both 7 days previous and 7 days before.
BBC’ streaming version of iPlayer was launched on 13th December 2007 – using Adobe flash software
Offers replays of programmes broadcast on all BBC channels during the past 7 days.
25 th June 2008 BBC announced development of a new version of the iPlayer
Combining normal television iPlayer with radio iPlayer.
Schedules of programmes due to be on the iPlayer
Automatic resumption of the last programme watched
Increased in size of the screen by 25% to 640 pixels wide
RSS feeds of iPlayer data
Yesterday’s TV function
Implemented option of streaming videos in HQ
Newer platform introduced at the end of 2008
Facilitated the use of iPlayer’s desktop as well as other iPlayer lab’s: such as adjustable video windows and feedback options.
March 2009 BBC launched the new 1500kbps streaming version of the player which provides near TV quality pictures even when in full screen.
iPlayer integration with Virgin Media
30 th April 2008 – iPlayer service pumped directly to Virgin Media’s digital cable TV customers. Part of the company’s video-on-demand service.
Pressng “red button” whilst watching BBC channels on TV brings up the iPlayer service.
29 th May 2007 – Virgin media successfully integrated iPlayer with Virgin Media EPG.
Majority of BBC shows listed alongside other VOD content in Virgin’s catch up TV section.
No charge for watching BBC shows through the iPlayer on Virgin Media.
21 st July 2008 – iPlayer on Virgin Media received 10.5 million views since offical launch on 1 st June 2008.
26 th September 2008 – one third of all iPlayer programme views was accessed through Virgin Media.
1 st May 2009 – BBC and Virgin Media launched HD content via BBC iplayer on Virgin Media’s TV platform.
iPlayer Integration with Video Consoles.
March 2008 – unofficial Python script released to allow Xboxes running XBMC to access the iPlayer
9 th April 2008 – iPlayer made available to stream video content on the Wii via the Internet Channel
Enabled by a recording of the iPlayer to use Flash 7 rather than Flash 9.
Autumn 2009 – update to the WII internet channel resulted in iPlayer not working.
iPlayer was not officially accessible at the standard iPlayer website through the PS3 browser after the Wii content launch.
December 2008 – PS3 officially supported directly through the iPlayer website.
1 st September 2009 – iPlayer application widget provided in the PS3 system software 3.0
Merely a URL link to the iPlayer site, despite this, PS3 now accounts for 10% of all iPlayer traffic
Second most popular platform used to access the service, even more so than the Mac.
Integration of iPlayer with iPhone and iPod touch
7 th March 2008 – beta version for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch was released
First time the service became available on portable devices, allowing streaming over a Wi-Fi connection.
EDGE connectivity on iPhone, not supported due to slowness of streaming video.
Integration of iPlayer with Nokia N96 phone
18th September 2008 – version of iPlayer will become available to the Nokia N96 as a download service to allow views to watch programmes even when out of reach of WiFi or 3G networks,
9 th September 2008 – Method for independently downloading and playing iPlayer N96 3GP stream on other mobiles. Integration of iPlayer with other phones
updated to include streaming radio and television as well as extended to a variety of handsets in early December 2008 including Samsung Omnia, Sony Ericcsson XPERIA X1, Sony Ericsson C905 and Nokia 5800XpressMusic
Negative points: No control of Bandwidth
Uses an application called Kontiki that manages your programme downloads.
Kontiki is a P2P application
Doesn’t just download content, uploads it.
The files are distributed by “seeders”
Means BBC reduce costs
iPlayer not just aimed at people who are confident with computers and technology, aimed at general public, potential for disaster greater when using P2P.
Negative points: DRM
Actor’s unions, music industry and production companies insist that DRM is present in download files.
This restricts how long you can keep it and locking it to on computer.
Every single programme on iPlayer has already be blasted though the skies without these restrictions placed upon it – capabilities such as digital TV cards for your PC
Negative points: Only works on Windows XP
DRM restricts the platforms that can support the iPlayer
As long as there is DRM in iPlayer, it will not ba available via Linux
BBC should have developed it’s own distribution system that is based on BitTorrent, that has some custom DRM protection built in.
Negative points: Doesn’t work on a lot of machines
Even if you have XP, it still might not work.
Particular problem with machines with Windows Media Player 11
Also a problem on machines where you can’t perform updates because of restrictions.
Incompatibilities with WMP 11; security update warnings that won’t allow you to “update”; files that refuse to download; files that download but will only play the BBC ident; internet Explorer errors about a “slow running script” in the iPlayer library.
Negative points: picture quality
Problems with widescreen files being encoded in the wrong size, sometimes not possible to watch them full screen without black bars all around the image.