Improved BBC iPlayer rolls out on the PS3

Redesigned to make for easier viewing on a large TV screen
Kerry Butters

August 8, 2011

The BBC has made improvements to the iPlayer for smart TVs as the popularity of connected TV and other devices continues to grow.

The idea is to introduce a new version of the web-based player that has a simpler “more TV-like” interface. The Beeb launched a TV version of the iPlayer website three years ago which adapted the site to work on a TV screen.

The new version comes with a less complicated interface which will make it easier to find programmes on screen. The navigation system has been revamped to be more TV friendly, and the content and function can now be reached using any TV remote.

In a blog announcing the new player, the BBC said: “You can tell, just by looking at it, that this is a TV product. We have returned to the BBC’s long TV design heritage to create a visually rich user interface that delivers a high impact from the sofa.”

Lists have been cut down by bundling episodes of the same programme together, and content that is due to expire will be flagged up for viewer’s attention.

Should users have stopped watching a programme halfway through, then this will appear on the front page of the player as ‘last played’. Further to this, previous searches will be saved so that it is easier to find favourites, and searches are now more intuitive taking into account popularity and typing mistakes.

The new iPlayer is initially launched on the PS3 platform but it is expected to come to more connected devices soon, including the Xbox and set-top boxes. Although the interface no longer resembles a web page, it is built on similar technology such as HTML5 and Javascript.

The beeb are “also building a variant that will work on new TV devices that are integrating the latest technology from Adobe: Flash 10.x and Air 2.x.”

The Beeb said: “In addition to helping to make development easier we think building standard products on these two widely understood technologies will be able to address the majority of connected TV devices that we see our audience buying for their homes.”

“This way we can bring this new more TV-like, easy and personal BBC iPlayer experience to the TVs of more and more of the UK’s living rooms.”

While PS3 owners might be happy today, when it comes to the Xbox, the picture with the iPlayer remains unclear. Microsoft is reportedly hoping to include the iPlayer as part of a paid subscription – something the BBC strongly opposes, as UK citizens have already paid their license fee to access the iPlayer.


Comments in chronological order (2 comments)

  1. Anthony says:

    It doesn’t work on the PS3 its utter rubbish, there is no mouse style cursor, you cannot alter the the zoom or any other settings via the XMB of the PS3 and therefore there is a black border around the programmes. Also there seems to be no way to exit out of the player, cetainly not that I can find, suddenly the back “O” button doesn’t work… it’s like some really bad beta version, call this an improvement, give me the old one back now!

  2. kevin says:

    new bbc iplayer for 3.70 sucks. click app and just get error! PILE OF CRAP!!! old one back please….

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