UK broadcaster makes show archive available to purchase online
The BBC has expanded the online viewing options for its content, by launching its own digital store for its shows. The BBC Store will allow UK citizens to pay for individual shows from the broadcaster for later viewing, with the opportunity to buy currently-running shows for later viewing beyond the iPlayer 30-day limit running alongside classic programs from the BBC archives, all of which can be bought and downloaded to the user's home collection.
BBC bringing iPlayer streaming app to fourth-generation Apple TV
The BBC has confirmed it is bringing iPlayer to the new Apple TV in the future, but not at the set-top box's launch. The popular on-demand video streaming service, which allows viewers in the United Kingdom to watch missed content from the broadcaster's collection of TV channels and radio stations, will be arriving on the fourth-generation Apple TV in the coming months according to BBC director-general Tony Hall.
BBC starts allowing iPlayer users to view streams in HTML5 instead of Flash
The BBC is moving away from using Flash for its iPlayer on-demand video service, in favor of HTML5. The broadcaster is now allowing service users to opt in to use the HTML5 player to view shows from web browsers including Chrome, Opera 32, Firefox 41, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, and Safari on iOS. While users of Safari for Mac will still have to use Flash, the BBC has already been using HTML5 to stream video to its iOS app for some time.
Reviewing today's game and yesterday's origins
This is a hands-on review of what I expect I'd be calling, easily, the best game I'd ever played, if only I'd kept my hand in. For I played the original Elite, the really original one, as first appeared on the BBC Micro in 1984. It was a marvel that stretched that 8-bit technology to its core -- yet as good as I got at it, I wasn't bitten by the gaming bug. I can't claim I've never played anything since -- I lost some decades of my life to Lemmings -- but Elite: Dangerous is my first exposure to modern games. It's my first introduction to Steam. Elite back after 30 years, and Steam in all its 2015 power: I'm really reviewing the game alongside this entire environment, and also exorcising some of my childhood.
Gaming news summary for September 15, 2015
Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Activision solves a storage problem for Destiny players, CD Projekt Red denies a rumor of an acquisition by EA, Sony rebrands Project Morpheus, and the BBC launches a Doctor Who game maker.
Proposal could offer customized radio stations for each BBC listener
Listeners of BBC Radio in the United Kingdom will be able to have their own personalized radio station, if plans from the BBC come to fruition. Controller Mark Friend, managing multiplatform music and radio services, has outlined a potential service where every listener would be able to listen to their preferred radio programming whenever they want, as a single cohesive station, leveraging the broadcaster's existing iPlayer live streaming and on-demand services.
Televisions, smoke detectors and mirrors
All the news that's fit to say plus a lot that really isn't because it's just speculation. We'd say this has been the worst week for people guessing what Apple is up to and Apple dropping hints about what it isn't doing yet, except that most weeks are the worst week for that. In this second edition of the Other MacNN Podcast, One More Thing, William Gallagher and Malcolm Owen join some dots, right some wrongs and generally put the world to rights. It's the MacNN guarantee: we'll put the world to rights for you, but you'd probably best tune in to find out exactly how we're doing that. Also to learn the details of our Thingies of the Week.
T-Mobile refreshes family plans with four-person $120 option with 10GB data each
T-Mobile has revamped its family plan, as part of its "Uncarrier Amped" announcements. The new scheme has two people each having unlimited calls, texts, and 10GB of LTE data for each line for $100 per month, with additional lines including their own 10GB allocations costing an extra $20 per month, and an additional 10GB of data available at $10 per month per line. From now until Labor Day, the carrier will cut the cost of the fourth line entirely, making the four-person family plan with 10GB of data each cost $120 per month.
Educational computer being handed out by BBC to 1M children this year
The BBC has revealed the final form of the micro:bit, a compact computer it is using to teach children how to program and use electronics. Taking a slightly more conventional form compared to its prototype, the Raspberry Pi-style computer is going to be provided to every 11 or 12-year-old child in the United Kingdom completely free, equating to approximately 1 million devices being supplied before the end of this year.
BBC shutting down global version of iPlayer
The BBC is shutting down its Global Player for the BBC iPlayer streaming tool. Spotted on Twitter by The Next Web, the BBC has advised auto-renewing subscriptions will cease between May 26 and June 26, with downloaded programs becoming unavailable after the user's subscription ends. The United Kingdom-specific version of the iPlayer is unaffected by the closure.
Two of the world's best news services on your Apple Watch
It's not as if either BBC or the New York Times is flawless in terms of news coverage but they are behemoths that are mostly trusted and what they write sets the news agenda across the world. Now both are among the burgeoning news apps available for Apple Watch and they have separately found similar yet sometimes distinctly different ways to do some nice touches. One has done it via a standalone app and one via its existing Newsstand version and this would be a news app smackdown except we're recommending you get both.
Daring move offers entire Series Eight and extras for $1 per episode
In one of the most daring moves in recent memory, the BBC is experimenting with a BitTorrent "bundle" to offer a box set of the popular sf/fantasy series Doctor Who as a legal download. The "Decade of the Doctor" bundle includes some free content, including a welcome video featuring the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, and a 10-minute except of the first of the "modern era" episodes from 2005. For $12, buyers can unlock 12 full episodes and bonus content.
News from the video game industry for the week of March 9
Every Sunday, MacNN and Electronista takes a moment to round up a collection of stories from the world of gaming into one post. In this week's Weekly Game Replay, the second game in the Titanfall series will be heading to more than the Xbox consoles and PC, BAFTA held its annual game awards show, and the trials and tribulations of the development of Grand Theft Auto is being turned into a BBC drama.
Free computer hardware heading to students this fall in BBC coding effort
The BBC is continuing in its attempts to promote digital literacy in the United Kingdom, by providing approximately 1 million devices to children. The broadcaster will be providing the Micro Bit, a compact electronic board inspired by the BBC Micro from the 1980s, to students in secondary schools this fall, which it hopes will encourage a new generation of coders to create software.
Simple, useful radio streaming app for Macs
It used to be so much fun, tuning in to radio stations from around the world. Shortwave radios -- who has those any more? Sitting in central Paris, just about able to pick up BBC Radio 4 from the UK -- it's just no thrill now that you can listen to any station, anywhere in the world, on a whim. Snowflake, a new app born from the ashes of radio recorder Snowtape, makes it even less of a thrill: it is an extremely easy-to-use radio app that streams music from around the world right to your Mac.
TV From Sky app goes live on PlayStation 4 in UK
British broadcaster Sky has added its streaming app to the PlayStation 4. Named TV From Sky instead of the usual Sky Go brand, the app provides online access to a number of live Sky television channels, as well as a wide selection of on-demand and catch-up TV shows via the console, for subscribers of the satellite television service.
Microsoft releases digital TV tuner for Xbox One in Europe
A digital TV tuner for the Xbox One has gone on sale in Europe through the Microsoft Store. Priced at £25 ($40) in the UK and 30 euros ($38) in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, the tuner will allow owners of the Microsoft game console to view free-to-air HD television through the device, complete with Snap Mode video, pausing and rewinding of live TV, and OneGuide program listings.
Samsung Gear S will have Opera Mini browser available at release
The Samsung Gear S, a smartwatch with its own 3G data connection due to go on sale in the near future, will be able to access the Internet via its own browser, Opera has revealed. Owners of the standalone smartwatch will be able to download Opera Mini for the device via the Samsung Gear Apps store, with the browser said to be made more user friendly for the small screen by making website shortcuts into larger buttons, and by including a single Smart Page collecting together various social updates onto a single screen.
LinkedIn retires visualization tool InMaps
Professional networking platform LinkedIn has discontinued its InMaps visualization tool. Citing the need to focus on new ways to visualize users' professional network, InMaps officially retired September 1. The feature was first launched in January 2011, and allowed for viewing different clusters in one's network and color code them as to see where crossovers and separations appeared.
Broadcaster to perform closed Ultra HD content trials this summer
The BBC will be trialling broadcasts of Ultra HD content during the World Cup in Brazil this summer. The broadcaster revealed its research and development labs will be performing the tests on 4K video shot during the tournament by Sony, in order to "better understand the latest UHD distribution technologies and standards in a live outside broadcast."
Bug may possibly be affecting other apps
Several UK-based iOS apps -- including BBC iPlayer, Sky Go, and Now TV -- have suddenly stopped streaming video, the BBC reports. The issue began last night, and is still ongoing; the source of the problem is so far unknown, as is whether other apps are also being affected. The director of Now TV, Gidon Katz, indicates that the issue can be temporarily fixed in Sky and Now by rewinding iOS' clock by a day, but that triggers other problems -- including preventing access to the App Store -- and doesn't solve the flaw in iPlayer.
BlackBerry will update iOS, Android BBM apps over Heartbleed security flaw
BlackBerry has added itself to the list of companies working to fix issues caused by the 'Heartbleed' OpenSSL security flaw. Senior vice president Scott Totzke told Reuters that, though the majority of BlackBerry products are unaffected, by not using OpenSSL, it will still need to issue updates to Secure Work Space corporate e-mail and the BlackBerry Messenger clients for iOS and Android.
BBC extends iPlayer catch-up video from week to 30 days
The BBC is extending the time British viewers will have to watch recently-broadcast shows on iPlayer to 30 days. Up from the previous seven-day limit, Pocket-Lint reports the popular catch-up streaming service will allow for downloads or streams of shows from any of the BBC's television channels up to 30 days after being broadcast, with the changes set to take place from this summer.
BBC iPlayer Radio update adds Favorites, recent searches and more
The BBC has updated its iPlayer Radio for iOS today, offering new features such as Favorites for users in the UK. The iPlayer Radio app provides live steaming access to all BBC Radio stations, with browsing of hundreds of on-demand "Listen Again" programs. Users can download podcasts to listen to on the go, discover new music with Playlister, connect to AirPlay or Bluetooth audio devices, and more. Version 1.5.0 offers a new Favorites feature, offering a save function for desired shows. Also included in the update is a recent searches history, schedules both seven days in the past and future, improved lock-screen function, and other minor improvements. Requiring iOS 6 or later and a UK iTunes account and IP address, BBC iPlayer Radio is free to download.
New version of iPlayer from BBC features program Collections
The BBC is rolling out a new version of its iPlayer today, available for use online, with consoles and connected TVs for UK citizens. The changes to iPlayer have been made in an attempt to move away from being a static service, and aims to offer a more interactive experience. When an episode of a series finishes playing, iPlayer now automatically lines up the next episode in sequence, while suggesting other content that may be relevant to the viewer.
Tesco claims 400,000 Hudl sales since September launch
British retailer Tesco has revealed it has sold approximately 400,000 of its Hudl tablets in the United Kingdom. The increase means that Tesco managed to sell around 100,000 of the Android tablets in the holiday sales, having already reported 300,000 sales at the start of December and 35,000 a few days after its launch. The company plans to release an upgraded version later this year.
BBC adds five free HD channels to high-definition lineup
The BBC will be adding five new channels to its lineup in the United Kingdom tomorrow for Freesat, Freeview, Sky, and Virgin Media users. The broadcaster will be adding HD versions of BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News, CBBC, and CBeebies to its existing high-definition channel lineup, with the BBC advising that this brings the total subscription-free HD channel range from the corporation to seven. Earlier this year, the BBC revealed it would be shutting down its dedicated 3D channel, due to a lack of viewers.
Yelp adds review submission option to Android app
Yelp has updated its Android app to allow users to submit reviews to the service. The update, coming after a similar update for the iOS version, also adds photographs taken at businesses to be shown directly underneath its review. Yelp also reveals that reviews submitted by mobile users closely mirror those of website submissions, with 80 percent of reviews scoring three stars or more.
Now available worldwide, presumed lost for over 45 years
Fans of Doctor Who are celebrating the recovery of nine previously-thought-lost 1960s episodes of the classic sci-fi fantasy show, with the recovered material already exclusively available on iTunes less than a day after the find was publicly announced. This is the first time that newly-rediscovered episodes of the pioneering BBC space drama have been made available in digital form before being (re) broadcast or made available on DVD, and comes just over a month ahead of the show's 50th birthday.
BBC adds podcast download options to iPlayer Radio app
The BBC has updated its iPlayer Radio app for iOS and Android, adding the option to download podcasts from the broadcaster. Downloaded shows will appear under the new "My Downloads" part of the app, with the option to force the app to only download podcasts while connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot, in order to avoid potential extra data charges from carriers.
BBC releases new iPlayer Downloads app for Mac, PC without Adobe Air
The BBC has released a new version of its iPlayer Desktop for Mac and PC that offers improved downloads of BBC television programs. BBC iPlayer Downloads, which now no longer uses Adobe AIR nor offers Windows Media files for security and cost reasons, will let users download shows from the on-demand service for later viewing, with users able to cue a download of a show in the client using links on the iPlayer website itself. Existing BBC iPlayer downloads will continue to work until their scheduled expiry dates.
Hulu gains 144 BBC shows in multi-year, non-exclusive deal
Hulu has signed a deal with BBC Worldwide to bring 2,000 episodes from 144 different BBC shows. The multi-year deal will bring titles such as Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Luther to the streaming service, with hundreds being made available this week. The Wall Street Journal reports that this is not an exclusive deal, due to similar arrangements with Netflix and Amazon.
Amazon redesigns Silk web browser with new start page, UI
Amazon has updated the Silk web browser for the Kindle Fire tablet line with a complete overhaul. Users will see a new Just-In-Time tutorial screen pointing out new parts of the user interface, a new start page with "Most Visited" links being more prominent, redesigned tabs, new Bookmarks views, and according to TechCrunch, simpler navigation and quicker access to Reading View.
Doctor Who, natural history shows last created in 3D trial
A trial of television broadcasts in 3D in the United Kingdom is going to be put on hold at the end of the year. The BBC intends to stop creating new shows in 3D for a three-year period, citing a combination of disappointing viewing figures and an overall viewing experience that is expensive and difficult for many viewers to undertake.
BBC shows final matches of UK tennis tournament in 3D for third year
The BBC will be broadcasting the finals of the Wimbledon tennis tournament in 3D for the third year running, despite the low numbers of 3D-capable HDTV owners in the country. The finals and semi-finals in both the men's and women's competitions will be shown live on the broadcaster's "Red Button" service in the United Kingdom in 3D, as part of the corporation's trials with 3D content.
Overall iPlayer use equals 272M January record
Usage of tablets to view BBC content on its streaming service has beaten that of smartphones for the first time. Information published by the BBC saw 200,000 more iPlayer requests from tablets than mobile phones, with the combined usage of mobile devices making up 30-percent of all requests, namely 81 million requests for March alone.
Doctor Who, Top Gear named in Twitter video agreement
BBC America has signed a deal with Twitter to of the first "in-Tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series." The announcement, made through Twitter itself, provides little detail in the way of what exactly the service entails, but does mention popular shows Doctor Who and Top Gear in the message, suggesting that video advertisements for upcoming episodes of BBC properties could soon appear on the microblogging service.
British streaming service to also show Amazon Studio pilots
Amazon's Lovefilm service in the UK has signed a deal with BBC Worldwide to continue offering BBC content to its customers through Lovefilm Instant. The announcement comes at the same time as the Lovefilm app reaches Sony Bravia televisions, as well as news that it will also stream 11 original TV series test pilots from Amazon Studios.
Year-long trial to allow 40-hours of online programming
The BBC Trust is allowing the BBC to put some of its television programs onto the BBC iPlayer on-demand service before being broadcast. The 12-month trial will consist of up to 40 hours of assorted TV shows appearing on iPlayer ahead of their scheduled transmission through normal channels, as the corporation tests it's effectiveness.
Doctor Who, Chris Moyles highest requested shows
The BBC has seen its iPlayer service receive its highest ever number of requests in a month. Over 199 million requests were made to the UK-only on-demand service through the month of September. This beat the corporation's previous record set during the London Summer Olympic Games, where it set up 24 live HD feeds in order to cover every event.
Doctor Who, Top Gear first to get downloadable treatment
The BBC will be releasing its first UltraViolet-enabled DVD and Blu-ray titles in time for Christmas. The corporation is working with Flixster in order to offer the downloadable versions of the shows, which will include a stand-up comedy title from John Bishop, as well as the first part of Doctor Who Series 7.
UK broadcaster puts entire 57 radio station roster into app
Shortly after revealing two new YouTube content channels, the BBC has announced a radio app for iPhone users in the UK. The iPlayer Radio [Free, UK App Store only] functions as a standalone app from its highly-praised iPlayer service, allowing users to listen to the corporation's live radio programming and on-demand content from an iOS device. An Android version of the app is currently in development.
BBC said to be in talks with Spotify, Deezer, Apple
The BBC is looking to leverage its own music archive holdings into a digital streaming service that would be known as Playlister. The Telegraph carries word today that the BBC has been in talks with a number of bigger names in the streaming and online music industry in efforts to circumvent potential licensing issues that would arise from the use of its vast archive of music recordings. Should the BBC be able to clear the rights issues surrounding its archives, it would then roll out a service in the vein of Spotify, wherein license fee payers would be given access to the BBC's hundreds of thousands of recordings.
Media Player app launches video on website, iPlayer
The BBC is rolling out a way to help it's Android apps to function without Flash, by using Flash. A custom app called BBC Media Player (Google Play) will allow British users to watch and listen to BBC on-demand content from their mobile device, even when Adobe pulls Flash from Android for the second, and potentially final, time.
Apps mirror information and feeds provided by BBC website
As expected, the BBC has launched several mobile apps that will offer live streams from the London 2012 Olympic Games. Available for both iOS (Free, App Store) and Android (Free, Google Play), the apps will mirror the information and streaming content offered by the BBC website to UK-based users throughout the summer events.
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.
UK national broadcaster adds online simulcast to Olympic coverage
The BBC has explained how it will cover the London 2012 Olympic Games. The home-nation broadcaster will stream 24 live feeds in HD to cover every event, matching the increase in video feeds for digital broadcasts in the UK during the event.
Nokia TV bows in Finland first
Nokia has quickly confirmed brief rumors by launching a new TV service for Lumia owners. Nokia TV will let Windows Phone users stream TV shows from "catch-up" services among local broadcasters without needing an account. Similar to the BBC's iPlayer, it's not intended as a live service but can help users watch shortly after a show airs if they missed the original broadcast.
Player can be controlled using gestures, voice
The BBC has finally brought its iPlayer streaming video player to the Xbox 360 for UK residents. The app enables users to access many of the latest BBC television content, along with the company's radio stations and select programs from other broadcasters.
Endeavor still in proposal stage
BBC director Mark Thompson has reportedly confirmed that the company is considering its own digital video store. The video portal, which is currently referred to as Project Barcelona, would serve as a repository for the company's archived content, enabling viewers to purchase digital copies of older programs or new content.