New BBC iPlayer for Connected TVs: update

Friday 8 August 2014, 06:24

Marcus Parnwell Marcus Parnwell Executive Product Manager

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Back in March, we started rolling out a new version of BBC iPlayer: designed for a multiscreen world, so the experience is consistent, but optimised across PC, tablet, mobile and TV devices. We’ve had some great feedback so far, but lots of you have been asking when new BBC iPlayer will be coming to the devices you have. So today, I can update you on the roll-out on Connected TVs.

As I outlined in my previous post, over time, we are looking to migrate the majority of all existing devices to the new version. However, with BBC iPlayer now available on over 1,200 devices, this is a major task and will take a bit of time. Today, I am happy to announce the next wave of devices is ready to go.

These include (by device):


Bush (2014), Celcus (2014), Cello (2012), Digihome (2014), Finlux (2014), Hitachi (2014), JVC (2014), LG (2014),Linstar (2014), Luxor (2014), Panasonic (2014) Philips (2014), Polariod (2014), Samsung (2010, 2011, 2014), Sharp (2014), Sony (2011, 2014), Toshiba (2012, 2013, 2014), Vestel (2012)


LG (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), Panasonic (2013, 2014), Samsung (2011, 2012, 2014), Sony (2012, 2013, 2014), Toshiba (2014)

Set-top boxes:

Bush (2014), Hitachi (2014), LG (2012), Tesco-Technika (2012), Western Digital (2010, 2011, 2012)

These will be rolled out over the coming week.

For full brand and model information, please refer to the BBC iPlayer help pages. 

Closure of BBC iPlayer ‘Bigscreen’

iplayer connected tv update.jpg BBC iPlayer on Bigscreen

The eagle-eyed amongst you will see the list above includes a number of devices that are currently using our ‘Bigscreen’ version of BBC iPlayer - which launched over five years ago and is currently only being used by 0.1% of BBC iPlayer users.

With this in mind, limited resources, and new BBC iPlayer rolled out to over 85% users, we’ve had to make the tough call to retire the ‘Bigscreen’ version. This means that from next month (September 2014) some devices that are using this ‘Bigscreen’ version on some TVs, Blu-Ray devices and PCs connected to TVs will no longer have access to BBC iPlayer. There are lots of other devices that can access BBC iPlayer and for the full list please refer to the BBC iPlayer help pages.  

Please note that we have a similar looking service based on MHEG technology for Freesat compatible devices. This is not closing in September.

Q. What about the versions of BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media Tivo, YouView, BT Vision and other devices?

A. We are working with YouView, Virgin Media and BT to bring new BBC iPlayer to these platforms. Whilst I cannot announce dates, we are targeting this year for these platforms. Similarly, other devices on our legacy version of BBC iPlayer will be migrated to the new version this year as well.

Q. You said Xbox One was coming soon – any update there?

A. Yes. I am happy to announce that we’re aiming to launch new BBC iPlayer on Xbox One by the end of this year.

We have completed four releases to this product since we launched out of preview in May – this has included a number of fixes and improvements to performance of the product on all devices. Some of you will have noticed better video playback performance, clearer labeling and a number of other minor improvements that we have made in response to both audience feedback and usage data.

As always, I love hearing your feedback, so please drop me a note below with suggestions for how we can make BBC iPlayer even better on Connected TVs.

Marcus Parnwell is Executive Product Manager for BBC iPlayer on TV.

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    Comment number 1.

    Any news on Roku 3 rollout? I will hopefully get the update on my Sony bluray but that can be quite slow and sticky sometimes in comparison.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    All very well, but the alternative for me is via iPlayer for Sky+ and most of this week's primetime programmes are missing from the Sky version.. just one GB Bakeoff but many more just aren't there. Sky say it is BBC's issue not them. That makes iPlayer for Sky rather useless despite the money spent on recent upgrades.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    ouch Marcus Ouch...I have a Samsung UE37D6530 Smart TV and its the 8th of August. I decided to watch an iPlayer history programme over lunch and all of a sudden chaos...or as you may call it the new iplayer.
    First, the player is very slow when navigating around (despite a 40mb internet link running at 23mb).
    But critically the key issue is that now I have no means of controlling the sound level at all. The iPlayer is blasting out at unsafe decibels. The old version used to start by default at a volume of 7 but the Samsung remote could step this down to 3/4 (as others have said either too quiet or too loud) but today the new player just ignores the remote signal altogether. Other Apps in the store (such as 4OD) work fine.
    I need some help as now the iPlayer is useless, utterly and damagingly unusable.

    Ouch Marcus Ouch

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    Comment number 4.

    Oh and just one other observation...I am not against change at all but I am very disappointed that I have lost the radio options. I often played iPlayer Radio through the better speakers of my TV system so that I can enjoy the BBC radio music broadcasts in a higher quality. Gosh I guess your 0.1% must all have come online to tell you about their pain on the radio loss together.
    Seriously, if at all possible the radio feature was, and would continue to be, highly useful and valued by a large section of your consumers.

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    Comment number 5.

    Hi Marcus,

    There was also previously mention of BBC iPlayer being in development for Wii U. Please could you provide any update as to when you expect that to be launched?


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