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BBC preps iPlayer beta for iPhone; Sony plans Apple TV rival

post #1 of 15
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BBC appears posed to begin offering UK residents a Web-based beta of its iPlayer for Apple Inc.'s iPhone, and may also be working on a native version of the software. Meanwhile, Sony has revealed that it's hard at work on a Blu-ray based competitor to Apple TV.

BBC iPlayer Beta for iPhone

UK-based AppleInsider readers accessing BBC's iPlayer website from their iPhone on Thursday report the appearance of a "pink triangle" next to the words "BETA BBC iPlayer for iPhone."

The Beta link does not appear for US residents due to content restrictions, but does indeed take UK viewers to an iPhone portal listing a variety of programming. As of press time, most of the links were not fully active and instead displayed a dialog stating that "::show name:: is not available. Please select another show and try again."

Separately, AppleInsider has been told that BBC has been seeded with an early copy of Apple's iPhone SDK and that the content producer has been asked to have a native version of the iPlayer app for both the iPhone and iPod touch ready "within about a month's time."

Apple's iPhone Software Roadmap event due to begin momentarily may offer additional details.

It was previously reported the BBC was strongly considering offering a version of iPlayer for Apple's recently-revamped Apple TV set-top-box.

Sony plan Apple TV rival

Meanwhile, a chat between Sony Electronics chief executive Stan Glasgow and gadget site Gizmodo reveals that the consumer electronics firm is "working very hard" on an answer to Apple TV.

According to the report, the device is likely to "center around a Blu-ray player one way or another," but won't necessarily rely on the ill-fated Bravia Internet Video Link.

Sony is "working on many other avenues to deliver downloaded content," Glasgow added, like the PlayStation Network, which will be "spread that over the next year or so to many other products of Sony."
post #2 of 15
If the sony player had Blu-Ray and could read media off a networked hard drive AND was cheaper than a Ps3 Sony can charge my card now.
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post #3 of 15
My friend designed that iPlayer logo...

http://davemadethis.co.uk/
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post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

My friend designed that iPlayer logo...

http://davemadethis.co.uk/

Good on him. It's a little difficult to read, though. The "i" looks like a "D" because of the integrated 'play' button... A rule of thumb I always employ in my design work, "If you can't read it, it's not good design". Anyway...

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post #5 of 15
I wonder if they will pull a fast one and pull their content off iTunes- OUCH!
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I wonder if they will pull a fast one and pull their content off iTunes- OUCH!

It's entirely possible, but like NBC they'd probably come crawling back eventually.

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post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by websnap View Post

If the sony player had Blu-Ray and could read media off a networked hard drive AND was cheaper than a Ps3 Sony can charge my card now.

Right now, I don't think you're going to find anything with a Blu-Ray player built-in for much less than the PS3, that's the expensive part of it. And then add all sorts of other functionality?. PS3 can pretty much already do all that as it is, you need HDNA sharing capability on the networked drive / computer. I realize it's too expensive for you, but I don't think it's a bad deal.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It's entirely possible, but like NBC they'd probably come crawling back eventually.


When did NBC come crawling back? Are they back on iTunes?
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It's entirely possible, but like NBC they'd probably come crawling back eventually.

Nah, the won't pull the shows from iTunes. That's BBC Worldwide.

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post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

BBC ... may also be working on a native version of the software.
<snip>
It was previously reported the BBC was strongly considering offering a version of iPlayer for Apple's recently-revamped Apple TV set-top-box.

It's a pity they don't seem to be focussed on making BBC content available on iTunes - it'd be well integrated into the Apple universe and easier work for BBC I suspect. They'd have to work with Apple to allow a free rental which expires on a specified date (instead of 30days/24hr) and possibly get the download file from BBC servers instead of iTunes - but using iTunes would be the ideal wouldn't it?

It'd then allow the shows on every Mac, every iTunes actually, every AppleTV, iPhone, & recent iPod. (I guess it wouldn't share the files back via bittorrent though - the iPlayer does this now doesn't it?)
post #11 of 15
I tried out the BBC iplayer service today on my ipod touch and it worked a treat.

just visit the site as usual, select a program, and it streams using quicktime. if anything, it works just like movie trailers do from the apple quicktime trailers site.

However, I only found 2 programs that were available for viewing on the iphone/ipod. One of these was Horizon, and the other was something about Elephants.

still, the quality was really quite good, nice picture, good sound and it streamed quite fast. obviously you need a wifi connection.

a brilliant service if the BBC could set up all the available tv programs in the quicktime format
post #12 of 15
Does someone know what they use to play the video content? BBC iPlayer recently converted to Flash video. And we all know painfully too well that the iPhone won't be supporting Flash any time soon...
post #13 of 15
It's in h.264, like the YouTube native app

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post #14 of 15
Probably better quality than the Flash one then!
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

It's a pity they don't seem to be focussed on making BBC content available on iTunes - it'd be well integrated into the Apple universe and easier work for BBC I suspect. They'd have to work with Apple to allow a free rental which expires on a specified date (instead of 30days/24hr) and possibly get the download file from BBC servers instead of iTunes - but using iTunes would be the ideal wouldn't it?

It'd then allow the shows on every Mac, every iTunes actually, every AppleTV, iPhone, & recent iPod. (I guess it wouldn't share the files back via bittorrent though - the iPlayer does this now doesn't it?)

Why would they do this when they are planning their own Mac based iPlayer for downloadable content, and a native app to do the same on the iPhone and Touch.

BBC need to concentrate on this kind of delivery for their future development, rather than relying on a 3rd party to do it for them.

I've tried it this evening, and it works really well. They promise to roll out full content in the coming weeks.
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