BBC iPlayer allows iOS users to download TV shows, movies

By on September 4, 2012, 4:00 PM

For the first time, the BBC will allow iPlayer users to download streaming media to their iOS devices for offline viewing. Media streamed by BBC's iPlayer has traditionally been exclusively streamable. Although current plans treat iPhone and iPad owners first, a future update will also allow Android users to enjoy the offline viewing feature.

Even more interestingly, downloads will be provided at no additional charge for "license-fee payers". The BBC license fee is essentially a tax collected from any U.K. citizen who owns a television or similar device. As such, iPlayer access is not available to other countries, including the U.S.

Many comparable services do not allow users to download streaming content or decidedly charge extra, presumably due to concerns of both profit and copyright. This makes iPlayer's offline viewing feature an unusual offering, but the BBC is in a unique position to offer it. 

As The Guardian points out, BBC's new feature is likely to evoke criticism by players in the private sector. iPlayer's allowance of downloading TV shows, for example, may prove to be disruptive for commercial rivals who charge an additional premium for DVR-like services.

Offline viewing should be particularly beneficial for mobile device users who are prohibited to stream iPlayer content via 3G. Traditionally, these users have been required to maintain a Wi-Fi connection at all times in order to watch iPlayer's offerings. Now, users can download their iPlayer favorites and take it with them on the train, plane or into the remote countryside and still enjoy it.

iPlayer for the iPad has proven to be a remarkably popular way to watch streaming video, coming in second only to the desktop player. Activity for the iPlayer service itself has inflated by 142% in just the past year to 30 million users while one-fifth of all U.K. adults access the service at least once a week.

User Comments: 4

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

I want it! BBC makes some of the best documentaries but I'm American. Damn.

Guest said:

The BBC dont bother with android, well why would they, when they've bought 1000s of apple devices with license payer money.

well heres 1 license fee payer, who still after a year cannot watch iplayer on the go on a non apple tablet, it works for apples, why not samsung,htc anyone else?

bbc is really crap the news is full of biased inane drivel (on jubliee boat thing a presenter "oo look theres my friend on that boat"), they wont invest in shows (sherlock whole season = 2 eps unless it invloves some washed up has been dancing around like a prick)

they sell off F1 contract 2 years before renewal and then lie to the ppl, all 20 races on bbc? no, only 10 live and 10 partial highlights.

its is bbc, its stinks of hippy dirt, it looks good, but wont work. and its only for the chosen few with apple devices.

gobbybobby said:

Wow BBC hate!

BBC are pretty good, the government has eaten into there budget, so they have less money to chuck about, the Olympics coverage was amazing, 25 Dedicated HD channels set up just for the Olympics,

They provide very good news coverage (I just with the news channel was in HD) and the bbc news website is the best source for news IMO.

Lurker101 said:

No. The Olympics coverage was a complete disgrace. I wondered if world peace had accidentally broken out during the Olympics, because I'd heard no news to the contrary. A full twenty four seperate channels dedicated to the Olympics were set aside and yet they still saturated the main BBC channels with wall to wall Olympic drivel.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.