UK Takes Lead in Delivering Video to Connected TVs



If NBC or another major network allowed viewers without pay TV subscriptions to access any program they missed in the last week through a broadband connected TV, there may be a backlash from providers that pay license fees to deliver VOD programs and catch-up services such as Time Warner Cable's "LookBack" feature. But it's another story in the UK, where the BBC iPlayer is expanding the number of connected TVs and devices that viewers can use to access archived programming.

BBC iPlayer has seen a "10-fold increase" in consumption of content on connected TVs, set-tops, and Blu-ray players since last June, iPlayer product manager Gideon Summerfield wrote in a blog post this week. The iPlayer is expanding to more connected TVs and Blu-ray players, including devices from Panasonic, Sony, LG, Toshiba, and Syabas, he added.

Since its launch in 2007, BBC iPlayer had only been available through the Web and to Virgin Media's cable subscribers. But last June, BBC Trust approved an initiative to expand access to iPlayer content to connected devices.

Virgin, which recently began marketing a new set-top from TiVo, is also delivering iPlayer content to those set-tops, Gideon noted.  He said iPlayer content can be delivered in multiple formats, including Flash, HTML and Dbook 6.21.