Wednesday, 12 January 2011

No BBC iPlayer app for Virgin Media's TiVo?

According to Broadband TV News, the BBC will no longer be accepting requests from platform operators and receiver manufacturers to build separate versions of its catch-up TV platform, the iPlayer.

BBC iPlayer has been very successful on Virgin's TV service (which was the first TV platform to support the iPlayer) and at least some of iPlayer's content will also be available via TiVo, obtaining its content via Virgin's VOD service and the Catch-Up enabled EPG.

However,  the screen-shot below from the TiVo interface clearly shows an icon for a separate iPlayer application, which was believed to pull content via the dedicated broadband connection.

Today's announcement by the BBC may mean the lack of the IP-based iPlayer App on TiVo, and several other devices:
The move would impact platforms such as Virgin Media and its recently launched TiVo box. There is currently no BBC iPlayer app, instead the assets are made available through the main TiVo interface over DVB-C as opposed to IP. Although Virgin has been working with the BBC for some time there are concerns that the consumer experience may alter as the quality of the IP delivery is not as good as through DVB-C. The existing Liberate/TV Navigator version of the iPlayer was developed between the operator and the BBC.
Virgin believe that the BBC "is becoming increasingly prescriptive and inflexible in its dealings", but, from the looks of it, Virgin will have to pay the BBC development and maintenance costs to get the full iPlayer application onto their next-generation PVR.


Tom Chiverton said...

You've mis-titled.
There *will* be a iPlayer on the Tivo. And it'll use the better of the two available methods (DVB-C).
So this is a good move !

Nialli said...

I can't see this being a big problem for VM. Isn't BBC iPlayer Flash-based? Isn't TiVo's interface Flash-based too? If TiVo was Silverlight (like Sky Anytime and Sky Player) I would see this BBC Trust ruling throwing us into a spin, but I think VM are well placed on this.
Whereas Sky and BT Vision may have some issues.

Tony said...

All the BBC are saying is that if people want iplayer on some random device they build the app themselves or pay for the development.. Or just render the HTML site (there are also h264 streams that the iphone and ipad use, so it doesn't need flash).

Makes sense to me. I'd be pretty pissed if my license fee was pissed away on developing iplayer for every random video device out there.

Richard said...

this flies in the face of that.

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