The first version of the BBC iPlayer designed for the MHEG-5 Interaction Channel is to go live on the Freesat platform later this month, the BBC has confirmed. It follows the extension of the API (Application Programming Interface) to include handling for internet video.
Writing on his BBC Blog, Rahul Chakkara, controller, TV Platforms, BBC Future Media & Technology, said he anticipated a beta deployment would commence by the end of November using Freesat-capable devices. The BBC has developed the new version using MHEG-5, a version of which has also been running on the DTT platform since its inception.
The MHEG version of the iPlayer has been in development for some time and was privately demoed during IBC 2009. Versions of the MHEG-5 IC were seen by Broadband TV News as far back as Anga Cable in April.
At the launch of Freesat in May 2008, BBC DG Mark Thompson famously pointed to the Ethernet port on the back of a Freesat box to indicate how the iPlayer would be delivered.
Chakkara also acknowledged the growing popularity of Flash in embedded devices and said a standard product in Adobe Flash Lite 3.1 is expected to debut in April 2010.