June 27, 2007

Not the best day to launch an exciting new product.

BBC iPlayer That, there on the right, is possibly the most highly anticipated bit of technology this year. Screw the iPhone. That, there, is the BBC iPlayer, and it’s going online a month today. It’s about to make every VCR completely redundant.

It looks like the ad slogan will be “Make the unmissable unmissable”, which is pretty good.

Shame they picked today to announce the date though.


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  1. Annoying if you are a Mac or Linux user beause, for the moment, it’s Windows only. A multi-platform version is promised but….well….

    27 Jun 2007, 11:06

  2. That’s because the most suitable DRM on the market is probably Windows Media. But they’ve spent so long working on this, you’d think they could have invented their own by now. I wonder if they’ll end up using Flash.

    27 Jun 2007, 11:12

  3. Channel 4 are also dodging Mac – Mac’s are screwed for TV content in Europe, though I think over the summer they are expected to announce some news on that front.

    It is all making me want to get a PC for media content though – it’s irritating but there you go.

    27 Jun 2007, 12:51

  4. Looks lovely though

    27 Jun 2007, 12:52

  5. Mathew Mannion

    VCRs are already redundant, Sky+ is the only way

    27 Jun 2007, 14:33

  6. Only if you want/are allowed one of those ugly satellites on your house and think it’s value for money. Besides which the iPlayer does more – Sky+ can’t go back in time.

    27 Jun 2007, 14:35

  7. Mathew Mannion

    Sky+ works more like a video recorder though, recording whatever you want without having to have the highlights picked for you. Want the highlights picked for you? It does that too – about 40 hours a week’s worth. Sorry to make it sound like an ad but any kind of free watch-for-a-week stuff from the BBC isn’t a patch on what a PVR service can do, and it definitely isn’t a replacement for a VCR.

    As for the aesthetics of a Sky dish, if it’s round the back who cares?

    27 Jun 2007, 15:52

  8. I don’t understand – the iPlayer does everything that you like about the iPlayer, and eventually lots more. It’s not a highlights thing, it will feature everything on the BBC.

    27 Jun 2007, 16:12

  9. A great advantage of iPlayer over Sky+ is that it’s free and doesn’t need any hardware installation.

    Why can’t hard disk Digital TV recorders have wireless LAN interfaces?
    Then your computer could examine the schedules via the web and tell your Digital TV recorder what to record. You’d keep the recordings for as long you liked.
    Viewing the content would largely take place on a conventional, widescreen TV.

    VCRs are obsolete.

    27 Jun 2007, 16:16

  10. I think it’s the intention for the BBC et al. to launch a Digital TV recorder called – I think – Freeview Playback. This could well have iPlayer built in, suggesting it might have the Wireless LAN interface you want to see.

    27 Jun 2007, 16:50

  11. Erm, why wasn’t the date any good? What have I missed?

    28 Jun 2007, 09:11

  12. Matthew, you might not have noticed but Tony Cameron changed his face to Gordon Blair yesterday.

    Still if I were launching a new service, I’d do it quietly. It’s cheaper, less headache if the service can’t cope with high load (not exactly a rare problem) and those who aren’t interested in the product won’t get annoyed by the launch razzamataz.

    Does the experience of the Millennium Dome and Google (who spent $0 on advertising) tell us anything?

    28 Jun 2007, 10:41

  13. Mathew Mannion

    A great advantage of iPlayer over Sky+ is that it’s free and doesn’t need any hardware installation.

    Other than your computer. If you want to watch it on a TV, you’ll need a separate computer or a media centre PC.

    SkyHD boxes have ethernet connections, USB etc that are not currently used but one would assume they have plans to use them in the future.

    29 Jun 2007, 10:43

  14. I love this about the BBC. It’s been consistently at the front of British Broadcasting attempts to experiment (successfully) with new and exciting formats. And I can’t wait to start watching some BBC Online.

    Though perhaps they should, to fight off critics, start using TV License numbers or something to enabve viewers to watch certain shows.

    30 Jun 2007, 12:02


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