BBC Intros Closed On-Demand Internet Video System

Jul 27th, 2007 | By | Category: Digital Video Downloads, Internet TV, Streaming Video

BBCThe BBC has launched a closed on-demand Internet video system, iPlayer, that will let users download and view shows broadcast in the last week.

The BBC is giving the new offering an unusual amount of hype. BBC director general Mark Thompson calls¬†the launch of iPlayer “as big a milestone as the arrival of colour TV.”

iPlayer Details:

  • iPlayer will allow viewers to catch up on TV programs for seven days
  • Some TV series can be downloaded and stored for 30 days
  • Viewers will be able to watch shows streamed live over the internet
  • Users cannot download programs from other broadcasters
  • Classical recordings and book-readings are excluded from iPlayer

The BBC has come under criticism for the proprietary nature of iPlayer, along with its limited platform support. Here are the player’s requirements:

  • Operating system: Windows XP SP2
  • Browser: Internet explorer 6.0 or above
  • Media Player: Windows Media Player 10 or above
  • Net connection: Broadband

“Having to download a separate application for each service is a big problem and is a bit like having to buy a set-top box for every channel you want to watch,” said Arash Amel, an analyst with research firm Screen Digest. “If you download all the applications that are available then that is using a lot of processing power.”

No Responses to “BBC Intros Closed On-Demand Internet Video System”

  1. […] With the growth of the idea of the “attention economy”, an economic approach that treats people’s attention as a limited commodity, putting up barriers to people’s attention can kill your product. DRM’d media and proprietary media players create barriers to people’s attention, and limit the audience for systems like the BBC’s iPlayer. This fact was highlighted in the world of podcasting with the quick failure of Audible’s DRM-based Wordcast system. It substituted the widely supported MP3 format that audio podcasting is based on a proprietary DRM standard. […]

  2. […] The UK government has responded to the controversy over the BBC’s recently introduced iPlayer digital video application, which only runs on Windows XP. We called it a closed on-demand video system when it was introduced. The government is now committed to supporting other operating systems.¬†A Mac version of the iPlayer will be released in the autumn followed by versions for Windows Vista and mobile gadgets. We’d still like to see them try ad-supported video podcasts. […]

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