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[U] BBC iPlayer for iPhone launches

updated 09:05 am EST, Fri March 7, 2008

iPlayer for iPhone active

(Updated with BBC commentary) The early indications of a beta iPlayer client for the iPhone have been confirmed. Beginning today, mobile visitors to the iPlayer website can now watch a limited number of BBC TV shows, such as Whistleblower. The video has been specially converted to cope with the limitations of Apple's Safari browser, which cannot play Flash; it is most likely then that episodes are being encoded in streaming QuickTime.

All versions of iPlayer let users watch the last seven days of BBC programming for free, as a service to those paying the TV license fee. As such it is only available within the UK, and the only client that supports downloading videos at present -- as opposed to streaming -- is the Windows version. A Mac client is in the works for sometime this year though, and it may be joined by an Apple TV version.

Update: The BBC remarks that iPhone streams use 400Kbps H.264 video, with a 116Kbps AAC soundtrack. Because of this, the iPhone can only access content through Wi-Fi, as EDGE access will always be too slow.

by MacNN Staff



  1. mr.mouse

    Joined: Dec 1969


    All very interesting...

    ... but about as useful as a chocolate teapot. It seems that they are deploying a version that needs to be streamed. That means WiFi. Now, when I have a good WiFi signal AND I am somewhere I would be watching a hour's worth of TV, I'll be at home. I'm not going to sit under a lamp-post with a Cloud router on it, or go down the pub (that's for drinking with mates) to watch TV.

    And if I'm at home, then I have a much better device for watching iPlayer. It's called a 17" MacBook Pro. Even better than that I have a 32" TV with Virgin Media Replay TV.

    So I'm genuinely interested to know who will be using this, and where. Any suggestions?

    What we need is an iTunes version where we can subscribe, download and then take with us on the iPhone/iPod when we are on the train, tube, bus, etc. That'll be a Podcast!

  1. MisterP

    Joined: Dec 1969


    In the barbers

    I've sat in the barbers waiting my turn watching using their free wifi. Beats reading the 2 year old dog-eared copy of GQ.

  1. videoboy22

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No...not QuickTime

    It's mp4.

  1. 010111

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Redirect Loop

    Redirect Loop

    Firefox has detected that the server is redirecting the request for this address in a way that will never complete.

    The browser has stopped trying to retrieve the requested item. The site is redirecting the request in a way that will never complete.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    U.S. folks out of luck

    So the folks here in the U.S. who cannot normally get BBC America are also out of luck with this option as this service is only for U.K. members.../sigh.

  1. MrBallmer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    BBC Socialist!

    Who cares what those black-teethed, oily haired, smelly brits think!?

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