BBC iPlayer coming to iPhone

20th Feb 2008 | 17:51

Flash may be dropped to boost video quality

The BBC iPlayer will become available on the Apple iPhone and Apple iPod touch ‘in the coming weeks’, the BBC said today. The Beeb has also hinted that it may drop Adobe’s Flash system in order to improve the quality of video streams from its on-demand service.

The BBC iPlayer will only work when connected to Wi-Fi, not the slower EDGE speed. To save you from paying through your ears, the BBC has signed a deal with Wi-Fi hotspot firm The Cloud to offer Apple iPhone and Apple iPod touch users free access to the BBC iPlayer, according to The Register.

The Apple players are the first of plenty of devices to get BBC iPlayer capabilities, according to BBC's head of digital media technology, Anthony Rose.

Transcoding

For the Apple devices, BBC will have to start transcoding shows into the MPEG-4-based H.264 standard as well as Flash video format used by the BBC iPlayer website. This will offer a higher quality of video streams, according to Rose.

BBC is even considering dumping Flash altogether in favour of higher quality formats, according to Rose. A decision will be made later this year.

"We're looking at all options to provide best quality for the users and the lowest cost to us and the ISPs," Rose said.

Since its Christmas day launch, 2.2 million people have watched a total of 17 million programmes using iPlayer, BBC said today.

BBCBBC iPlayerTVAppleiPodiPod touchApple iPhoneiPhoneWi-FiThe CloudStreaming
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