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Virgin Media offers iPlayer via TV

Virgin Media offers iPlayer via TV

Virgin Media's deal with the BBC brings the iPlayer full circle, and back to the living room from whence it came.

If you're a fan of the BBC's iPlayer service but would prefer not to use peer-to-peer software and aren't exactly enamoured with the low-quality Flash streams available, then you might want to take a look at Virgin Media.

The cable TV company previously known as Telewest Blueyonder announced yesterday that it has teamed up with everyone's favourite public service broadcaster to offer the timeshifted iPlayer content via their own video-on-demand service free of charge.

The service, which went live yesterday, is available to all Virgin Media subscribers by pressing the red button while on any BBC channel. The cable company has stated that proper integration with the electronic programme guide is “due this summer.”

The CEO of Content at Virgin Media – now there's a job title – Malcolm Wall said yesterday that the company is “delighted to be the first TV platform in the UK to offer our customers BBC iPlayer as part of our on-demand service,” and attributed the success of the BBC's project to “the desire TV viewers have for viewing quality programmes at a time that suits them.

While the company hasn't quantified its statement proclaiming the service as “full quality” - i.e. whether they mean 'the same quality as the normal iPlayer application' or 'the same quality as originally broadcast' – it's unlikely that the programmes will have suffered any more degradation than they already do via the peer-to-peer iPlayer service.

Its interesting to see the iPlayer technology – which was originally a way to get TV out of the living room and on to people's computers – return to its TV-based roots. Ashley Highfield, the Director of Future Media and Technology at the Beeb, says that his company has “always envisaged BBC iPlayer on a TV platform and in the living room”, and claims the partnership with Virgin Media “takes us a step closer to transforming the way our audiences watch TV.

Which, now that the iPlayer is rapidly becoming just another on-demand service the likes of which Virgin Media – and Telewest Blueyonder before it – have been offering for quite a few years now, is perhaps overstating things just a tad.

Any Virgin Media subscribers here noticed the new content available, or are you still sticking with downloading your time-shifted content via your PC? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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9 Comments

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p3n 1st May 2008, 10:39 Quote
Is this only available to people with the 'samuel L' service?
mmorgue 1st May 2008, 11:24 Quote
Well, it's all nice that they're spending money on more services but.... couldn't they instead spend the ££ on getting the infrastructure updated and reliable? My 20mbit line certainly isn't 20mbit. And when it approaches speeds of near 20mbit, it's short lived and throttled during the times I use the net.

Personally, as a VM subscriber, I'd much prefer faster & more reliable bandwidth than extra services because, if you're infrastructure ain't there, what's the point?
Baz 1st May 2008, 11:56 Quote
I am (sadly) using Virgin ADSL, which completly blocks all Iplayer traffic, at all times of the day. Nice to see they treat thier users so differently dependant on which way you connect.
Bindibadgi 1st May 2008, 12:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
I am (sadly) using Virgin ADSL, which completly blocks all Iplayer traffic, at all times of the day. Nice to see they treat thier users so differently dependant on which way you connect.

Serious? We get iPlayer just fine.
Baz 1st May 2008, 12:37 Quote
cable or DSL though rich?
Bauul 1st May 2008, 15:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
cable or DSL though rich?

I'm on Virgin ADSL and I get iPlayer no worries. Are you sure you've not accidentally blocked it on your side, through your router for instance?
leexgx 1st May 2008, 20:21 Quote
20mb bb you cant expect the web site your downloading from or viewing to give you 2.5MB/s all the time (use an download manager that uses mutisource links to the download files) , speed depends on what the other end can send it at or if you downloaded/upload total 3gb (its combined) between 4pm and 10pm it sets off an 5mb bb speed limit for 4 hrs (from the time it is started so if you do it 1 min before 10pm you get the idea) you can still download +100gb even with this limit far better then BT with 2gb limts up to 60gb per month
mmorgue 2nd May 2008, 13:55 Quote
@leexgx - oh no, i fully accept that. Not every midget sex website I visit can send me the quality material at 2.5MB/s :) But, I do know that when I down load drivers frmo say Nvidia, Apple, or installables from other very popular, high end companies at my work, they come in a very fast speeds -- much faster than at home. And speed tests show that I rarely have the ability to rec speeds of what VM are charging me for.

I suppose my gripe is, if I pay for 20mbit speeds, I expect to have *unfiltered/uncapped/dethrottled* speeds 24/7. And if not, then VM should be spending their money on making sure I and everyone else does have that, as opposed to loads more services, some of which prolly only go to fill up the webbernet connection... :/
koola 2nd May 2008, 16:05 Quote
Virgin media is destroying web neutrality! I bet this is another sly attempt to get more companies on board before rolling out their "fast/slow lane" model nationwide.

See my sig link for more details.
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