Wii gets new-look iPlayer

Nintendo's console gets updated interface but no upgrade to streaming quality; PS3 coming soon, says Auntie.

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The BBC has been busy promoting its online video service since its launch in March. In the BBC's attempt to make its on-demand programming available to the masses, users can access the iPlayer through a variety of platforms, including phones, PCs, and, most recently, Sky Television's online service, Sky Player. Now, the broadcaster plans to further improve the service offered on the Nintendo Wii.

A new simplified iPlayer interface has been designed "that presents just a few options on screen at a time and nice big chunky controls - easy to aim at with a Wiimote," explained Anthony Rose, head of the online media group for the BBC, in the BBC Technology blog. Users will be able to access both TV and radio programmes on the console; however, despite the improvements to the interface, the quality of videos will remain the same as when the iPlayer was first introduced to the console in April.

The fact that the streaming quality was still lower than for PCs was described as "not ideal" by Rose, who mentioned the out-of-date Flash codec that the Wii ships with. He went on to say that the BBC was "very much looking forward to better quality video options" and said that something should be on the way that might help "over the coming months."

The iPlayer offers people in the UK the chance to catch up on their favourite BBC television and radio programmes via downloads or live streaming, up to a week after they've been aired. Once shows have been downloaded, however, the user has a maximum of 37 days in which to watch them.

"We hope, in time, to make suitable modifications which enable users of other gaming consoles and set-top boxes to use this user interface," Mr Rose said. In particular, he suggested that the BBC is planning to make the online service available for the Sony PlayStation 3. Once again Flash issues are holding the release back, specifically some compatibility problems with the PS3's latest update to Flash 9 that were currently being looked at by the broadcaster's Flash development team.

If you don't have a Nintendo Wii and you're curious as to what the new interface looks like, you can view the new look here.

Discussion

14 comments
puppiemaster
puppiemaster

I have iplayer on my Virgin HD box, so I no longer use my Wii for it.

MattHopeKids
MattHopeKids

I'm just glad the bbc is actually getting something right. It's getting it's act together and actually making some decent tv aswell.

xgalacticax
xgalacticax

iPlayer is cool. I use it when I miss certain shows like Top Gear. It will be cool for the consoles to have access to it but even if my Wii was still working, I would still use my laptop to watch it anyway...

TheArcade
TheArcade

Good for the Wii. News is boring today.

Generalmojo
Generalmojo

oh ffs! the damn 360 aint got 1! becuase its cheep atm if they add on int browsing then the frikin ps3 will be cheaper then the 360!

angelGP32
angelGP32

i wonder if it's anything like trying to view YouTube via the Wii web browser. I actually timed it. It took 38 minutes to watch a 7 minute video. fricking terrible, the wii is the biggest piece of crap ever manufactured.

CornishRocker
CornishRocker

I don't use BBC iplayer anyway, so it doesn't bother me.

khallaian
khallaian

The 360 doesn't need one, but for example, I use my PS3 to download various video shows, like the 1UP show and stuff from ZD and Revision3, which all offer .WMV files that the PS3 likes. Yes, the 360 does Media Center and file sharing, but some people don't have ready access to a PC they can set up that way, and even when they do (like in my case), it's still easier to just download it to the source. I'm deleting the stuff as soon as I'm done watching it anyhow, I just don't like dealing with occasionally spotty sharing connections over a network.

Kratos_OMEGA
Kratos_OMEGA

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

tuznecote
tuznecote

Yeah back when the last series of Dr who was showing my computer was crud at streaming so I switched to wii iplayer... it looked nasty. They better update that video quality or its just pointless.

ReggieNametaker
ReggieNametaker

Not much point, but the BBC kicks the anus off of ITV so i'll let it off ^^

pgmonkeeuk
pgmonkeeuk

So on BBC iPlayer can download or stream the last 7 days of TV or Radio, yes? But the Wii can't download, and streaming is awful - so what's the point? I don't think "big chunky controls" will solve things. Try sitting closer to the TV if you're having problems pointing a Wiimote. I would say, "Well - at least it's free." But then, we pay for the BBC in the 1st place, so bang goes that arguement.

stu_gamer
stu_gamer

Thats something ive, never really understood......why doesnt the xbox 360 have an internet browser? The PS3 has one, the Wii has one, the PSP has one, the PC has several so why not the 360?