Sprucing up its offerings for its iPlayer services, BBC announced that it will be adding new high definition (HD) channel to its renowned on-demand video streaming service sometime around next month.
Though there has been no official words uttered on the launch yet, the news hit the blogosphere from various credible sources via the micro-blogging website Twitter.
The plans have also been disclosed by Jana Bennett, director for BBC Vision and the person in charge of BBC iPlayer service, during a discussion at the Financial Times Digital Media and Broadcasting Conference.
The BBC’s on-demand video streaming service has really turned out to be a pioneer in UK, but the catch-up services are still lagging behind other websites in terms of presenting users with HD content.
However, the Corporation already runs its HD channel, dubbed as “BBC HD”, which is available with various services including Sky, Freesat, Virgin, and is expected to come on to Freeview and Project Canvas.
Various details, related to the resolution and required broadband speed, haven’t been revealed, but the Corporation vows to offer more information on BBC iPlayer going HD very soon.
Incidentally, the move doesn’t seem to be very popular among the ISPs, who are already complaining about the extra bandwidth the BBC’s catch-up service requires.
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You can already watch BBC content in high quality on the iPlayer and the average size for such a programme is surprisingly low. 60 minutes worth of programme takes around 300MB which equates to a bit rate of 667kbps which is more than adequate. The iPlayer has been one of the most popular technological achievements of the past few years and it is nice to see that the BBC is bringing it to the next level.