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BBC launches new platform enabling viewers to watch together remotely

BBC Together has been developed by the broadcaster's R&D team and is available on BBC Taster

The BBC has launched a new experimental platform that lets viewers watch content together even when they’re not.

BBC Together, developed by the BBC’s Research & Development team, is available on BBC Taster.

It lets people watch and listen to video and audio content from iPlayer, Sounds, Bitesize, News and Sport at exactly the same time.

The idea is to make iPlayer more of a shared experience, particularly during the current coronavirus lockdown. Viewers can watch programmes with friends, even when they’re not in the same home.

According to the BBC, the process involves three easy steps:

  • Choose a programme – Whoever’s hosting can paste a link to BBC iPlayer, BBC Sounds, or any Bitesize, News or Sport audio or video content that they’re looking to play
  • Invite friends – Once the programme is picked, the host will be given a link to share with the small group of friends, family or others that they’d like to join the session
  • Watch or listen together – The host just needs to press play to get it started, and can also pause, rewind and skip forward or choose a different programme for everyone to watch at once, all in sync with one another

Dr Libby Miller, senior R&D producer at BBC R&D, says: There may be physical distance between us, but that doesnt mean we cant enjoy great programmes with our friends, family, colleagues and classmates.

“We wanted to see if technology could bring people together to watch and listen to BBC shows remotely as a shared experience, which we’ve done with BBC Together. Its important to say that its just a test at this stage – and well be monitoring how well it works and thinking about how we could change it in the future, but were looking forward to seeing and hearing about the creative ways that people use it and getting their feedback on Taster.