The future of the BBC iPlayer

The man in charge of the BBC's Online Media Group has hinted at new features that could come to their popular on-demand catch up service, the iPlayer, this year. In an interview with paidContent:UK, Anthony Rose - the controller of Vision & Online at the BBC - revealed that he'd like to see High Definition streaming, better mobile device support, and new social features added to the iPlayer.

Mr Rose revealed that he'd like to see an adaptive solution that only provides a quality of video that your connection can handle, whether that be a 3G mobile connection or a relatively high-speed broadband connection. On the best connections we could see "full HD streaming if possible." The idea of an adaptive solution would be to try and sustain a video that would "never stutter or stop" and would also adapt to changes in your internet connection, improving the quality and reliability of the video.

Users can currently stream programmes to selected mobile phones that have a WiFi connection or download programmes to certain portable media players via a PC. Mr Rose hopes to see an increase in people doing this fairly soon: "Within a few months you'll start regularly seeing people in the tube watching video on portable media players, with the white BBC and pink BBC iPlayer logos just visible."

As for the new social features, there were no details given of their exact functions but it was revealed that the "social viewing and syndication options" should be available sometime early this year.

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