Feeds

BBC Trust says no to kit-specific iPlayer apps

Standard platforms only - unless the vendor coughs up

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

If you're eagerly waiting for the BBC to pull its finger out and implement iPlayer on your TV, set-top box, games console or smartphone, forget it. The Corporation will almost certainly not help you, its governing body, the BBC Trust, has said.

The Trust has been pondering how the BBC should syndicate its content and it today stated that it believes iPlayer should be made available only in "standard formats" which service providers and telly manufacturers can readily adopt.

Hardware- or service-specific versions of iPlayer should be developed only in "exceptional cases”, the Trust said.

These are early conclusions - the review of the BBC's approach to making its programming available to on-demand and catch-up services will continue. There now begins a four-week consultation period to allow stakeholders - licence payers, service providers and the like - to have their say.

If these "provisional views" make it to the final policy document, it is essentially a big thumbs up for YouView, the would-be standard platform for both providing and playing IPTV content.

The BBC is obliged to make iPlayer as accessible to as many licence payers as possible, but there are clearly limits. Even the Corporation lacks the resources to build versions of iPlayer for every possible platform that might present its content to the viewer.

Better to focus on open standards that allow anyone to equip their kit with the technology safe in the knowledge that iPlayer - and other IPTV services, for that matter - will just work. If, for instance, the BBC won't do an iPlayer app for the iPhone, any third-party can using YouView tech.

Virgin Media will be annoyed by this since it wants to offer iPlayer through its set-top boxes but disapproves of YouView. It currently delivers on-demand content over its DVB-C feed, which, it says, delivers better results than a broadband internet link can. It fears that if iPlayer and other such service are explicitly tied to YouView, it will have to use IP, reducing its competitive advantage.

That may not happen. The "exceptional cases" clause provides the BBC with a get-out that lets it work with YouView-phobes on dedicated players for their boxes. Even so, the Trust said such cases should only be considered when "the BBC's costs for development and maintenance would also be fully reimbursed". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?