Thursday, 19 April 2007

BBC iPlayer on iMac soon

BBC new media boss confirms Mac support for BBC online plans "a priority".

A sustained voting campaign by Mac users, demanding that the BBC support the platform by ensuring its online iPlayer broadcasts support the Mac may, has achieved modest success, the BBC reports.

The BBC has been developing its yet-to-launch iPlayer service, an online service offering UK license-payers catch-up TV via the web and cable TV. It's expected to launch later this year and competes with Sky Anytime (currently only available to PC users).

While the BBC has always claimed a "platform-agnostic" agenda, the service, as is, has only offered support for Windows systems – but this seems set to change.

"The BBC's proposed iPlayer service, offering catch-up TV via the web and cable TV, would be re-engineered to work with Apple Macs and would eventually roll out to digital terrestrial TV (DTT) and set-top boxes," said BBC Head of Futures Ashley Highfield at an industry event in Cannes.

He slammed Apple's "proprietary and closed framework for DRM", but stressed: "It's one of our top priorities to re-engineer our proposed BBC iPlayer service to work on Macs."

The BBC also plans to open up its vast archive of video and audio in an on-demand trial involving over 20,000 people in the UK, Highfield said.

The aim and objective is that any viewer will be able to access any BBC show ever broadcast using their TV or online service. This can only be achieved within an open and transparent content delivery paradigm.