BBC iPlayer’s long-awaited beta testing is finally expected to start this November.
According to Rahul Chakkara, Controller of TV Platforms at BBC FM&T, the MHEG-5 compliant version of the interface will begin Beta deployment “by end of November” on the Freesat platform.
I expect to start a Beta deployment by the end of November using capable Freesat devices.
As we had suspected, it seems that BBC might have been holding back to introduce the service across both the Freesat and Freeview platform at the same time, though Freesat is still expected to be the first to offer in HD.
The DTG (Digital Television Group) supported by BBC R&D, has extended the MHEG-5 standard to use the interaction channel for handling Internet video. This standard has been adopted by Freesat and incorporated into the DBook 6.1 used in Freeview HD devices. Finally now the resulting MHEG-IC service will allow both platforms to access additional AV content via the Internet. This will include BBC iPlayer of course, as well as other VoD (Video On Demand) and Catch-up TV services, plus much more in the future including real-time programme interaction.