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fact that the streaming quality was still lower than for PCs was described as "not ideal" by Rose, who mentioned the out-of-date Flash codec that the Wii ships with.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.