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.
Users charged per download
The BBC is reportedly developing a video download store that is expected to serve as a competitor to iTunes. The service, referred to as Project Barcelona, is said to allow users to download BBC television shows, including new programming and older content.
Networks may offer taste of 3D viewing experience
British residents will soon be getting the 3D experience broadcast into their homes. The BBC has announced that it will offer limited coverage of the upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London in 3D. Sky, another British content provider, has disclosed that it may show some of the auto races covered by its new Formula One channel using the technology.
Philips ships media player box in the UK
Philips has entered the set-top media player segment with its own HMP2000. It connects to displays using HDMI and home networks over integrated Wi-Fi, though there is no Ethernet connection. It does sport a USB port for local media playback, however. Preloaded apps let users connect to Netflix, YouTube, and BBC iPlayer in the UK.
Content to be aired on BBC HD channel
The BBC has reportedly committed to broadcasting some of the London 2012 Olympics Games in 3D. Events to be aired in 3D include the Olympic Opening Ceremony, the closing ceremony, the men's 100m final, and the nightly highlights program, among others.
Lovefilm to begin streaming ABC TV show seasons
Online UK movie service Lovefilm has signed a deal with Disney UK to bring a library of TV series from ABC Studios to its subscribers. Branded as ABC TV On Demand, the portal will give members access to full seasons of shows such as Lost, Castle, Desperate Housewives, and more. Shows will air as full seasons soon before the next one airs on UK paid or free TV networks.
Netflix gets streaming for past BBC episodes
Netflix on Tuesday gave British and Irish viewers access to BBC shows. A new deal will stream all past seasons of key TV shows, including Doctor Who, Spooks, Top Gear, and others. For many, the subscription will act as a way to catch shows after they leave the BBC iPlayer.
Takes less sentimental approach to Jobs
BBC HD and Two are tonight airing a new documentary on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, titled Steve Jobs: Billion Dollar Hippy. The special goes on at 9PM local time, and is said to include insiders like Steve Wozniak and John Sculley, as well as other personalities like actor Stephen Fry, and an inventor of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee. It is however described as presenting a more "ruthless image of Jobs," for instance revealing that Wozniak cried after he learned through a book that Jobs had scammed money from him during a game project for Atari.
App also gets AirPlay, 3G streaming
Following changes to the Global iPlayer app, the BBC's core UK iPlayer app has also undergone a significant update. The title is now universal, supporting not just the iPad but the iPhone and iPod touch. In its iPhone form the app's interface has been simplified to cope with smaller screen space.
Goes beyond web, iPad, set-tops
Global iPlayer will make it to the iPhone and iPod touch on December 8th, the BBC has announced. The paid video-on-demand service has been available on the iPad for about five months. A list of countries getting the iPhone app on the 8th includes Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Microsoft outlines launch plans for X360 live TV
In sync with the fall Xbox 360 Dashboard update, Microsoft has provided a listing of TV providers that will be ready to go this week. Along with existing access to ESPN, Hulu, and Netflix, the December 6 update will also bring EPIX authenticated video in the US, Lovefilm in the UK, MediaSet's Premium Play in Italy, Sky Go in Austria and Germany, Telefonica Espa˝a's Movistar Imagenio, and MSNBC's Today in the US.
Should reach US shortly after 'pilot' effort
The BBC has expanded its Global iPlayer service for the iPad to Canada, says The Hollywood Reporter. Users can access BBC TV shows on demand, something normally reserved for UK license fee payers, who can tap various forms of iPlayer for free. In Canada iPlayer access costs $9 a month, or $85 a year. Content is based on local demand and rights, but some initial shows include Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, Whitechapel, Hustle and MI-5.
Xbox 360 live TV goes available worldwide
Microsoft as repeatedly rumored has kicked off its Xbox 360 live TV option. Cable and fiber TV providers such as AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, as well as individual TV stations such as Bravo, Epix, HBO, and SyFy, are all promising apps for the new Xbox Dashboard to watch TV online. Most if not all of the services will require that viewers authenticate to get access and will still need to have traditional TV.
UI redesigned for larger screens
The BBC has introduced a new iPlayer variant designed specifically for televisions, set-top boxes and other connected devices. Although the company several years ago released a "Big Screen" iPlayer for larger screens, the new offering is said to be redesigned, improved and supported on more than 300 different devices.
US, Canada, Australia get it later this year
The BBC is rolling out the long-awaited global iPlayer service in stages, starting with availability in 11 countries in western Europe today and coming to Canada, the U.S. and Australia later this year in a one-year pilot experiment, says the UK's Guardian newspaper. The iPlayer online service, which allows UK residents to stream BBC television programs, has proven enormously popular in recent times, rivalling the rise of Hulu or Netflix in the United States.
Interweaving content on PCs, tablets, phones & TV
The BBC is looking to more closely integrate the content it provides and the technology through which it is delivered. This strategy was outlined by their Director of Future Media in a BBC blog today. One way the BBC plans to do it is with dual screen companion devices, that provide supplemental information to augment what's being broadcast over the TV screen.
Similar to existing 'citizen journalism' apps
The BBC is developing a single app intended to allow its field reporters to file video, images and audio reports directly into the BBC News system from an iPhone or iPad, Journalism.co.uk reports. The new app, which will replace a hodge-podge of commercial apps like AudioBoo currently in use, will allow correspondents to broadcast live from an iPhone even using only a 3G signal.
BBC 1080p broadcasts causing issues with Sony TVs
BBC HD has started rolling out Freeview HD that combines 1080i video with 1080p content that switches on a Group of Pictures (GOP) basis. This is causing issues with some Sony HDTVs, according to early reports on Monday. Some recent Sony HDTVs with integrated Freeview HD tuners are suffering from audio dropouts during the transition from and to 1080i, however. This is likely due to the decoders temporarily losing track of the audio signal. The Freeview HD spec for set-tops requires handling 1080p material at 50FPS, which Sony's integrated receivers don't seem to support.
Sharp makes 85-inch LCD with 8k image support
Sharp has teamed up with Japanese broadcaster NHK on a prototype 85-inch LCD set that is the first to support a native 7680x4320 resolution. The much denser image lets it receive NHK's recently tested Super Hi-Vision broadcasts without losing any detail. Super Hi-Vision offers 16 times the resolution of 1080p HDTV, and NHK plans on sending out trial broadcasts in 2020.
Should cost 'small number of dollars per month'
The BBC's iPlayer service will "definitely" become available internationally on the iPad later this year, according to director general Mark Thompson. Speaking at this week's Financial Times Digital Media & Broadcasting conference, Thompson added that foreign access would cost "a small number of dollars per month, definitely fewer than 10." The statement was likely made with US prices in mind, given the size of the potential market.
May be used to showcase iPad's camera tech
The BBC is holding an unspecified event which may be tied to an Apple announcement of the second-generation iPad, a British report suggests. Apple has a special press event scheduled for March 2nd in San Francisco, starting at 10AM local time. The BBC event is said to be a go for 6PM GMT that day, which could mean that some live interaction between the UK and US is planned.
Nothing due until middle of 2011
The BBC is working on international access to iPlayer via the iPad, according to the Financial Times. iPlayer allows Internet-based consumption of BBC TV and radio shows, stretching back as far as seven days. Access is normally reserved for residents of the UK, who support the BBC through annual TV license fees.
BBC, NHK send first SHV show from the UK to Japan
The BBC, in conjunction with Japanese public broadcaster NHK, have collaborated to not only film a live performance with a Super Hi-Vision camera at 7,680x4,320 (8K) resolution, but sent the live broadcast to Japan. The Charlatans performed for the first-of-its-kind broadcast, which is four times sharper than 1080p HDTV resolution. Super Hi-Vision technology was developed by NHK.
BBC use of Flash hurts Android use of iPlayer
A Freedom of Information request to the BBC completed just Thursday has revealed that Android use of iPlayer may have been hurt, rather than helped, by the use of Flash. As the Android version of iPlayer requires the still-rare Flash plugin to work, British viewers streamed just 6,400 episodes in July. In comparison, 5,272,464 shows streamed to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch owners.
iPad already in use with British Army
Apple products are gaining special favor in Europe, reports say. In the UK, the BBC is currently said to be running limited internal trials of the iPad, in order to judge whether it might improve work efficiency while eliminating paper waste. The broadcaster's production, location and technical departments have been given units, as have some managers. The organization hopes that some people may be able to abandon dependence on desktop computers.
iPlayer, BBC Sport move closer to completion
After a long wait, the BBC News app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch has finally been made available in the UK. The app has until now been blocked in its home country, as it was under consideration by the BBC Trust, which looked to determine whether or not a Public Value Test would be needed to allow mobile apps. No tests will be conducted, the Trust says.
BBC trust approves Project Canvas, due in spring
The BBC's controlling trust on Friday approved Project Canvas but imposed a few important conditions. These include free-to-air access, access to the platform for content providers and ISPs and industry consultation. Project Canvas is a joint web TV venture between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva that would bring Internet content to the TV