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Summary:

The BBC wants to give its viewers a way to catch-up on shows that have aired a few weeks ago, and also plans expanding support for Google’s Chromecast streaming stick.

BBC iPlayer iPhone app

The BBC wants to give its viewers the ability to go back and watch any program that has aired over the last 30 days through its iPlayer, according to a iPlayer head Dan Taylor, who outlined the broadcaster’s plans for an expanded catch-up offering at this week’s TV Connect conference in London (hat tip to Broadband TV News). Currently, the iPlayer’s catch-up window extends seven days into the past.

The announcement comes just a week after the broadcaster launched the most recent version of the iPlayer, and on the heels of the BBC throwing its weight behind Google’s Chromecast streaming stick. The BBC’s iPlayer was one of the content launch partners when Google began to sell Chromecast in Europe this week, and BBC Executive Product Manager Chris Yanda outlined the decision to support the product in a blog post that read in part:

“One of the reasons we decided to support Chromecast was that Apple TV currently works only with Apple devices. Chromecast has SDKs available for a number of different platforms including iOS, Android, and the Chrome browser for laptop and desktop computers. Today we’ve added support to the latest versions of both the Android and iOS versions of BBC iPlayer. Soon, we will also be adding support for the Chrome web browser on Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS desktop and laptop computers for the new web version of iPlayer.”

The BBC now wants to also bring audio-only programming to Chromecast, and add Chromecast support to additional apps, including the BBC Sport app.

  1. Wow. I read the BBC’s blog post and I’m quite impressed. It was very informative.

    What the BBC doesn’t mention is that Google purposely put the API’s in Google Play Services in order to block new apps on the Kindle or Windows Phone from using the device. If you look at the documentation, there are three ways to use the Chromecast, and only one of those ways, the most basic and least useful one, would be available on those devices. That’s at least my understanding of it. I’m not sure the BBC is going to get very far petitioning Google to add Kindle support.

    I think one reason I found the BBC’s post so interesting is that the decision to support the Chromecast was not so much framed as a business decision but an ideological one. They decided to support it because it was usable from both Android and iOS. They want Google to make it work with more platforms. You don’t find many American companies framing things that way.

    When you say throwing it’s weight behind the Chromecast, you’re not exaggerating. It practically sounds like their platform of choice, based on that one post.

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    1. The BBC isn’t a private company so it operates a bit differently. As a public service broadcaster it is obligated to make its output available on the platforms that will allow it to reach the most (license paying) viewers which is why a cross platform solution like the chromecast is a good option for them. They do also have apps for both the Kindle and Windows phone as well.

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      1. I wish PBS shared that viewpoint. Despite the fact that Android has the highest market share in the US, they have so far refused to create an app for it. Maybe this announcement might shame them into offering one and introducing widespread Chromecast support.

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      2. I think you can also make a decent argument that PBS is discriminating against the poor by refusing the make an Android app. Considering that the cheapest phones run on Android and the Chromecast is the cheapest media streamer, if PBS has an obligation to reach the most viewers like the BBC, it is definitely failing at that mission.

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  2. Richard Plumb Monday, March 24, 2014

    If the BBC are looking at reach, then I hope they support DIAL soon. Their chromecast support should make that straightforward, and DIAL is already supported on a wide range of smart TVs and roku boxes. My Sony TV supports dial and I can ‘cast’ from my YouTube and Netflix iPad apps. I’d much prefer not to need yet another decide attached to my TV

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