BBC partners with Microsoft for new social iPlayer

The BBC today announced the launch of a new beta version of its video on demand service - iPlayer.

The beta version (accessible here) delivers a range of new features. Amongst them, users will now be able so share iPlayer videos on Facebook or Twitter. Crucially the BBC also announced plans to integrate Microsoft's Windows Live Messenger service straight into iPlayer. The BBC has struck a partnership with Microsoft, allowing Windows Live Messenger users to log in via BBC iPlayer and watch content with their contacts at the same time and chat live. The BBC says the feature is experimental and will be available in the Summer. If the feature is successful then the BBC plans to roll this out to other instant messaging services.

Alongside the deal with Microsoft there is a heavy focus on Twitter and Facebook integration. Users can post programmes directly to their Facebook walls, share programs and tweet recommendations to friends. The iPlayer website has also been subject to a little tinkering. A cleaner user experience awaits beta users including quick channel hopping whilst watching live content. BBC Director of Future Media and Technology, Erik Huggers, said: "The launch of this version of the BBC iPlayer is part of our strategy to do fewer things even better and make it more simple, personal and connected. We must no longer try to do everything online, but focus on delivering genuinely world-class products like BBC iPlayer – which audiences love and which really embodies the BBC's core mission in a digital age."

The BBC has also updated the BBC iPlayer Desktop application to allow users to download their favourite programs in advance. The updated application takes advantage of Adobe Air and allows users to queue programs ready for download. The client shows users exactly when the download will become available for each TV show.

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Great news. Just when will Microsoft let iPlayer on their console? It really is a shame Microsoft want to limit it to paying customers and which BBC can't agree with.

EgyptianDuck said,
Great news. Just when will Microsoft let iPlayer on their console? It really is a shame Microsoft want to limit it to paying customers and which BBC can't agree with.

I agree with you there, But than again its a huge shame Microsoft won't allow BBC iPlayer Because BBC wants it to be available to everyone not just Gold members

Sebianoti said,

I agree with you there, But than again its a huge shame Microsoft won't allow BBC iPlayer Because BBC wants it to be available to everyone not just Gold members

What i'm talking about is the Xbox 360 issue between BBC and Microsoft

Fubar said,
this thing just gets better and better each update, the fact they stream F1 live in x264 is miles a head of any other on demand player. nice to see my liscence fee being put to good use

Edit, Also they let you donwload the actual file that can be played in wmp without the need fort their desktop software is epic win

I don't get why you are happy it is in x264? its not as if it is in HD. No F1 races are in HD.

joemailey said,

I don't get why you are happy it is in x264? its not as if it is in HD. No F1 races are in HD.

even though no races are in hd, although they are all on HD cams, the fact that the x264 stream is still miles better quality than thenormal stream, im happy because the options are there and they have though of it, F1 is shot in HD because all the cameras are HD cameras at track side, the reason there is no HD feed to the tv stations is because bernie wants all tv networks to offer HD not some

CarlMS said,
When do we get iPlayer on Sky+? VM customers have had it for ages and it seems to work well.

It does work very well on V+ im surprised it isnt already on sky since they tend to get stuff first these days lol

I don't think Sky could implement it.

To my knowledge, the on-demand content on Sky+ is silently downloaded onto the box's hard drive overnight (while not in use), because they don't have the bandwidth/capability over satellite. I might be wrong...

CarlMS said,
When do we get iPlayer on Sky+? VM customers have had it for ages and it seems to work well.

Virgin have a load of bandwidth that delivers programs instantly to cable subscribers. Sky just don't have that ability on there satellite system, it will most likely need to be connected to broadband connection for this to work. Even at that I still don't think it would be anywhere near as good as what Virgin offer.

if only they made iplayer available in silverlight and WebM then we wouldn't have such a laggy cpu intensive iplayer because of flash

torrentthief said,
if only they made iplayer available in silverlight and WebM then we wouldn't have such a laggy cpu intensive iplayer because of flash

if you dont like streaming it you can laways download the wmp file and watch it back on windows media player

torrentthief said,
if only they made iplayer available in silverlight and WebM then we wouldn't have such a laggy cpu intensive iplayer because of flash

You need a new PC.

what said,

You need a new PC.

and a pair of eyes! Whats your point? I'm not saying replace flash, i'm saying give users the option to use HTML5 instead of the jerky cpu hog that is flash.

torrentthief said,

and a pair of eyes! Whats your point? I'm not saying replace flash, i'm saying give users the option to use HTML5 instead of the jerky cpu hog that is flash.

He is saying you need a new PC as BBC iPlayer doesn't lag for most users lol. Ifor one have never had any issues running iPlayer.

iPlayer is definitely the best VOD service on the internet. I never get any lag, and because its BBC you get no adverts! Also not to mention the fact that you can stream most popular programs in HD.

ITV on the other hand...

dave164 said,
iPlayer is definitely the best VOD service on the internet. I never get any lag, and because its BBC you get no adverts! Also not to mention the fact that you can stream most popular programs in HD.

ITV on the other hand...

Edited by Jan, May 26 2010, 6:24pm :

Not really interested in the social stuff. The updated desktop player/manager sounds brilliant though.

There could also be an iPad version of the site, with HD quality being released on Friday.
I believe it's the evening standard reporting that.

BoneyardBrew said,
I don't even care what this is, just stop it with the i prefixes!

Why? the full name is The BBC Iplayer the i prefix is for Internet player, the name actually makes sense unlike most of the other i prefix.

When will there be a Windows Media Center plugin? Skyplayer have one but iplayer doesn't (I know there are 3rd party ones, but they really don't work well)

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