Feeds

BBC Trust says no to kit-specific iPlayer apps

Standard platforms only - unless the vendor coughs up

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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". ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Will.i.am gets CUFFED as he announces his new wristjob, the PULS
It's got four KILOWATTS of something, apparently
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
iPhone 6 shunned by fanbois in Apple's GREAT FAIL of CHINA
Just 100 Beijing fanbois queue to pick up new mobe
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?
Subtle, naturalistic ambiance – perfect for Transformers 4
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.