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BBC iPlayer programme availability extended to 30 days

by Mark Tyson on 6 October 2014, 10:05

Tags: iPlayer

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The BBC announced yesterday that it has started to roll out 30 day availability for programmes listed on BBC iPlayer and BBC iPlayer Radio. Until now, and since its launch in 2007, programmes had only been available to catch up with and stream/download for a standard 7 day period (one exception to the 7 day limit was a small range of 'series catch-up' shows). We first heard about these plans to extend programme availability a year ago.

Head of BBC iPlayer, Dan Taylor-Watt, wrote on the BBC Internet Blog to say that the extension of the BBC iPlayer availability window was the most common improvement request by users of the service. "Consistently the most common response from users to the question 'How could we improve BBC iPlayer?' is 'make programmes available for longer than 7 days'," wrote Taylor-Watt.

To extend the standard 7 day availability more than fourfold to 30 days the BBC had to negotiate with both its programme rights-holder partners and BBC iPlayer software developers. iPlayer apparently needed a "top-to-bottom rebuild" as it was only designed to work with 7 day periods.

From now users can start to enjoy the 30 day streaming availability of their favourite iPlayer programmes but the download window is still only open for the first 7 days. However we are told that 30 day download availability will roll out "soon".

30 day exceptions

Due to contractual arrangements some programmes can't be extended to 30 days. These include shows like the news, Crimewatch and Match of the Day. On the other hand the BBC will extend a range of programmes availability to as much as a year, these shows include current affairs shows like Panorama, Question Time and some BBC Four collections.

iPlayer software

As mentioned above iPlayer software is being re-built to accommodate the longer viewing availabilities. Your device may already have the latest and 30-day capable version of the player but some will have to wait until their device is updated to get the 30 day extension. The BBC Blog notes that various set top box service updates are still in the pipeline.



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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That's better, 1 week wasn't always enough time to catch up.
How about not using such low quality 720p compression for the so called ‘HD’ streams…iPlayer HD quality sucks donkey balls.
I still don't understand why the BBCs real public service programming (stuff like their 80s Shakespeare adaptations, Attenborough docs etc.) isn't available on demand any time. I don't care if Strictly Dancing Bakers is available for 3 extra weeks, there's endless hours of wallpaper entertainment out there from commercial sources. Also, the quality of live streaming on iPlayer is awful, miles and miles off BT Sport (but comparable with the also awful ITV streaming).
Bagpuss
How about not using such low quality 720p compression for the so called ‘HD’ streams…iPlayer HD quality sucks donkey balls.

It's actually quite good on everything other than PC due a total lack of post processing leads to an el-sh1tto picture.
bridges009
I still don't understand why the BBCs real public service programming (stuff like their 80s Shakespeare adaptations, Attenborough docs etc.) isn't available on demand any time. I don't care if Strictly Dancing Bakers is available for 3 extra weeks, there's endless hours of wallpaper entertainment out there from commercial sources.
+1 on this. Heck, if they want a “commercial” aspect then setup something like “BBC Library” that costs just enough to cover server/storage costs and charge a yearly fee.
bridges009
Also, the quality of live streaming on iPlayer is awful, miles and miles off BT Sport (but comparable with the also awful ITV streaming).
Have problems with iPlayer streaming of stored programmes never mind the live stuff, and since I've got a whacking great VirginMedia cable connection it's not MY broadband speed that's to blame. Missus is always complaining that if she picks “the wrong time” then she gets an broken EastEnders experience, and that's using the “standard broadband” setting, never mind the “fast broadband” speed one.