Just in time for Christmas, BBC iPlayer comes to the new Apple TV

By Jim O'Neill on Dec 14 2015 at 8:00 AM
Just in time for Christams, BBC iPlayer comes to the new Apple TV

U.K. public broadcaster BBC has deployed its iPlayer streaming TV app for the latest iteration of Apple TV, joining other streaming apps that were available when Apple TV launched in October and filing a noticeable gap in iPlayer’s accessibility… and, it’s just in time for all of the BBC’s Christmas programming, which will make consumers – and the folks in Cupertino, Calif. -- a tad more jolly.

“Christmas is a popular time for viewers to come to BBC iPlayer, as they unwrap new devices and browse and discover the BBC’s fantastic Christmas programs,” said Dan Taylor-Watt, Head of BBC iPlayer. “With the launch of iPlayer on new Apple TV, I’m delighted we've been able to give people another way of accessing the full breadth and range of BBC program. And, the updates to our mobile and tablet apps mean we can now deliver more personalized recommendations of BBC programs to viewers, as well as the ability to stream BBC Store purchases directly from the iPlayer app.”

The BBC iPlayer app gives viewers access to live broadcasts of BBC One/Two/Three/Four and other channels, as well as the ability to stream shows that aired in the last 30 days on demand. BBC updated its iPlayer app earlier this year, adding new features, including:

  • My Programs – where viewers can find “favorite” shows that they’ve begun watching but not finished, as well as content purchased on BBC Store.
  • Live Restart on connected TVs, which allows viewers to to skip back to the start of a program if they’ve missed the beginning.
  • Cross-device pause and resume – allowing them to start watching program on one device and continue from where you’ve left off on another. And,
  • Personalized recommendations of BBC programs.

BBC iPlayer already is available on more than 10,000 devices in the U.K. for free, from computers and smartphones to tablets and connected TVs. During 2014, BBC iPlayer and BBC iPlayer Radio saw 3.5 billion TV and radio program requests across all devices and the catch-up window extend from seven to 30 days. The service is the most popular tsreaming service in the U.K., with some 33% of homes using it in the past 30 days, according to Parks Associates.

The new Apple TV, meanwhile, delivers its own upgrades, including easier navigation – including voice navigation using Siri – and a new operating system design specifically for it, tvOS, that makes browsing Apple TV more like browsing through the iTunes store. Sales of the device were "huge" on its initial release, Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the company's earnings call.

Stay tuned.

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