News Production & Post

BBC iPlayer to play catch up TV

12 July 2007

After a lengthy consultation and development process, the BBC’s new iPlayer on-demand service will move into beta on 27 July, allowing license payers to watch the previous week’s TV and radio output on Windows PCs equipped with the BBC iPlayer software, writes Andy Stout.

The player leverages VeriSign’s peer-to-peer Kontiki broadband delivery service. By allowing users to transparently and legally share content, the peer-to-peer architecture of the VeriSign content delivery service lightens the load on servers that otherwise may be overwhelmed by the demands of delivering online video. With VeriSign, BBC iPlayer users can rely on secure and reliable delivery of content, fast video downloads and high-quality media experiences.

Following controversy over DRM issues with the player, after consumers download a programme, they will have 30 days to view it before the file is automatically deleted. Launched files delete themselves after viewing.

The BBC iPlayer programme builds on VeriSign’s expertise in delivering content on demand to consumer devices including the PC and mobile phone. For instance, VeriSign has worked closely with Channel 4, the first major broadcaster to make all its content available online, Sky and AOL. Channel 4’s 4oD service enables viewers to use their PCs to catch up on popular TV shows wherever and whenever they want. For Channel 4, the 4oD service engages audiences across multiple devices and creates new revenue streams.

“Groundbreaking services such as BBC’s iPlayer and Channel 4’s 4oD are defining the ‘Any Era,’ in which consumers are in charge and expect access to information, content, and entertainment any time, anywhere, and via any device,” said Todd Johnson, senior vice president, global marketing at VeriSign. “VeriSign is proud to power the offerings that are shaping this new age. With VeriSign’s Kontiki broadband delivery service, broadcasters and media giants can better engage their audience with loyalty-building services that introduce entirely new revenue streams. And all of it is underpinned by VeriSign’s secure, reliable digital infrastructure.”

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