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BBC adds rewind, program restarts to iPlayer live streams

updated 05:48 pm EDT, Wed June 20, 2012

Update allows for up to two-hour lag on live channels

The BBC has altered its iPlayer on-demand service to include Live Restart. Live streams of BBC channels can be paused, rewound, or even re-commenced within two hours of the original air time, according to the BBC. The feature, which is said to be a first in the UK, follows requests from iPlayer users to further improve the television streaming functionality.

Rewinding has always been an iPlayer feature for content listed in the broadcaster's archives, but the control had been unavailable for live streams. Viewers can now rewind to the beginning of a program if they are late for the scheduled start time. In contrast, most DVR systems require users to preschedule a recording, or watch from the show's start time for full playback control.

The BBC iPlayer was launched in December 2007 as a catch-up service, with apps for mobile devices and other hardware created soon afterwards. The same technology is being used by the BBC in its London Olympics coverage this summer.

Live Restart is now available on the web-based iPlayer portal, before heading to mobile apps sometime in the future.




by MacNN Staff

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