Flash brings BBC iPlayer to Apple users

16 Oct 2007

Apple and Linux users will be able to use the BBC’s iPlayer catch-up TV service before the end of the year following a deal between the broadcasting corporation and Adobe.

The BBC had been criticised for using Windows Media-based digital rights management technology to secure its content, effectively limiting iPlayer to Windows XP and Windows Vista computers. The Open Source Consortium had threatened to take the matter to the European Competition Commission.

It has now emerged the BBC will use the Adobe Flash Player to enable Apple and Linux users avail of the service. The strategic relationship will allow the BBC to provide a single consistent user experience for the majority of streamed video and audio content.

“It is important to ensure that BBC iPlayer is available on as many platforms as possible. It will offer our audiences increased flexibility as to how and when they consume our content, both live and on-demand,” said Erik Huggers, BBC Future Media and Technology Group controller.

The BBC is planning a consumer marketing launch at Christmas, when full downloading and streaming services will be available. Currently 400 hours of television programmes are available from the past seven days to be stored for up to 30 days.

Adobe chief executive Bruce Chizen commented: “Adobe is driving the next generation of video delivery by accelerating the fusion of TV and the internet.

“With more control over playback, interactivity and branding, the move to Flash Player compatible video will help the BBC to engage audiences by delivering a seamless, instant-on web video experience.”

By Niall Byrne