BBC iPlayer Open To Public Beta

Although we allowed the release of the code a few weeks ago, Freesat/BBC have today officially release for all Humax receiver owners to take part in the final beta trial of the service.

The trial is the first time BBC iPlayer has been delivered on a subscription free TV service. It was initially limited to a small number of users, however, following positive feedback from this group and high levels of interest from Freesat users, the trial is now open to all Humax owners to give it a go.

Emma Scott, Managing Director of Freesat said;

Initial feedback of the trial has been really positive, with trial users able to make sure they didn’t miss some of the fantastic programming available over Christmas. For many, it was the first time they had accessed BBC iPlayer on the television, and there were high levels of satisfaction with the service itself as well how easy it was to set up and operate. I’m really pleased that we can now expand the number of Freesat viewers who can now access BBC iPlayer.

At the same time as releasing this statement, Emma Scott also confirmed that ITV Player would also make an appearance in the first half of this year;

With ITV Player also due to launch on Freesat in the first half of this year, we will be the only TV platform to offer catch up services from both major broadcasters on a subscription free basis and without the need to buy new equipment.

The ability to access on-demand is increasingly important to viewers, and Freesat’s exclusive ability to offer this to TV viewers without a subscription demonstrates our strategy of innovation and long term growth for the platform.

BBC iPlayer Launches In December

BBC iPlayer

Following on from the BBC iPlayer conference this morning, Freesat have announced the launch of the BBC iPlayer beta from 7th December 2009.

All existing Freesat HD equipment will be able to receive the service so consumers will not need to buy a new receiver or television; new products will roll-out over time.

Below is more factsheet information on the new service:

Welcome to BBC iPlayer beta on Freesat

A Beta version of BBC iPlayer will be available on Freesat 7th December, offering the BBC catch up TV service for the first time on a non-subscription TV service over open internet.

During the initial stage of Beta, selected journalists and partners will be able to access the service using a code. We hope as many Freesat viewers as possible will be able to use the service by Christmas and without the need for a code.

Watch what you want, when you want to

With BBC iPlayer on Freesat, you can catch up on your favourite BBC programmes from the last seven days or catch-up on whole series you may have missed, whenever you want and from the comfort of your sofa.

In the run up to Christmas around 450 hours of programming will be available each week, including popular programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing, Top Gear, EastEnders, Life, Gavin and Stacey, and The Gruffalo. And with the BBC’s full Christmas schedule still to be announced, Freesat viewers can look forward to even more great BBC programming being available whenever they feel like watching it.

The launch of BBC iPlayer on Freesat adds to the fantastic array of programmes already available on the platform including over 140 channels, with free HD from the BBC and ITV.

Easy set up

It’s easy to set up BBC iPlayer on Freesat. Simply connect your HD Freesat TV or HD box to your broadband via the Ethernet port using an Ethernet cable or homeplug.

Alternatively, you can arrange for a professional to connect BBC iPlayer for you, either as part of full install if you have just bought Freesat or separately if you already have Freesat installed.

Viewers will need an actual broadband speed of 1Mbps to watch BBC iPlayer or 2Mbps to watch in high quality. Because actual speeds can vary from those advertised, it’s best to first test your broadband speed. There are many ways to do this online for free using a site such as Speed Test.

You will initially be able to access the BBC iPlayer beta service by pressing the red button to get to the BBCi menu.

Emma Scott, Freesat’s managing director, comments,

We’re delighted to be able to offer BBC iPlayer to our viewers. All the HD receivers that have been bought and will be sold in the run up to Christmas will deliver BBC iPlayer so there’ll no need to buy any new receivers.

There’s a great schedule of programmes be available on BBC iPlayer in the lead up to Christmas with the likes of The Gruffalo, the EastEnders Special and Doctor Who.

BBC iPlayer has been fantastically successful online so being able to offer viewers the ability to watch it in their living room on a subscription free TV service for the first time will be transformational.

We’d like to thank the BBC for all their hard work bringing the service onto our platform.