The BBC has further beefed up the offerings of its widely popular online on-demand television service BBC iPlayer by adding HD streaming and downloading capabilities to it.
This will imply that the people using the service will be able to stream and download some of the shows, such as Doctor Who, Dragon’s Den, and Kerwhizz, in HD quality.
However, initially not all of its programmes will be available in high definition, but the count is expected to improve over the passage of time.
The revamped iPlayer further includes a tool that checks out users’ internet connection and automatically changes the streaming options to offer high quality images to them.
Amongst other new features, BBC iPlayer has also received a new internet speed diagnostics page, complete release of BBC iPlayer Desktop, and a cross-platform tool that will enable Windows, Linux, as well as Mac users to download BBC programmes.
The move comes after the BBC received more than 387 million requests to download or stream content since the iPlayer was debuted on Christmas Day 2007.
Anthony Rose, BBC’s chief of digital media technology, quoted the launch of HD iPlayer as a significant milestone in enhancing video quality, and citing the same, he said, “Introducing HD streams enables users to enjoy BBC programmes in HD without a set-top box”.
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What is good news for BBC iPlayer users (and incidentally TV license payers) is not necessarily good for Internet service providers. A streamed 40-minutes programme is likely to demand a rather high speed broadband line and downloading a few high definition 720p content every week could already get you dangerously close to your download limit, prompting your ISP to send a letter to you.