May 01, 2009

BBC iPlayer HD on Virgin

Official press release:

The BBC and Virgin Media (NASDAQ: VMED) today announced the launch of High Definition (HD) content on BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media.

Virgin Media's TV customers are now able to watch some of their favourite BBC programmes, including Robin Hood, Friday Night With Jonathan Ross and Later… With Jools Holland, in HD and on demand [see Notes to Editors].

Virgin Media is the first TV platform to make BBC iPlayer available in full screen picture quality, directly to its TV customers. Demand for the service has been strong with over 100 million views since BBC iPlayer launched on Virgin Media in May 2008 and almost 15 million views in March alone.

Katharine Burns Rivington, Executive Director of Content Acquisition at Virgin Media, said: "As more households become HD Ready, we're keen to ensure that Virgin Media customers benefit from the most advanced digital TV service possible. BBC iPlayer has been a huge success on our TV platform and we're thrilled to be expanding the service with HD content. We're looking forward to increasing our line-up of broadcast HD channels over the next few months and combining the very best of HD and on demand TV."

Rahul Chakkara, BBC Controller, TV Platforms, said: "There's a real appetite for BBC iPlayer on TV screens and the addition of the BBC HD programmes further adds to its appeal. HD lets viewers enjoy their favourite programmes in exceptionally vivid colours and crisp pictures, perfect for the TV screen."

Upcoming highlights from the BBC HD channel, now available for catch-up on BBC iPlayer on Virgin Media, include the two remaining Doctor Who specials, the new series of Dragons' Den and children's show Kerwhizz.

UPDATE: There's a BBC Internet Blog post on the launch on Virgin, too.


Lee said...


Considering VM have an 'Executive Director of Content Acquisition' (and thus a Director and numerous assistants) to announce this 'new move' for a few programs, which bearing in mind as good as iPlayer is, it is a system that allows repeats at a time of your choosing, just doesn't work with this notion Katherine has of commitment to customers.

Are Sky a pain and holding things back? I'm sure (where is this blasted OfCom report??)
But still, VM execs clearly show that they believe what they believe, and customers who complain are just wrong and have no voice.

Also, with their latest advert it appears that they just keep going on about the internet, when really you cannot revolutionise the internet like you can TV signals.

Gosh...what a blurb, but it appears I'm tired of the "next few months" quotes (used in this press release, again) too.

I'm not going to sky, at all, I'm just bored of lack of customer focus from VM.

Afront said...

I love the bit that says:

"The older MPEG2 format supported by digital cable, however, needs 18mbit/sec for 1080i - a rate that is unthinkable on the open Internet today."

Nialli said...

Have to say the PQ is pretty good. Looking forward to South Pacific in a couple of weeks - hope they series stack BBC HD stuff in iPlayer

Anonymous said...

7 hd channels are testing acording to some blogs

Anonymous said...

"7 hd channels are testing acording to some blogs"

Then how about some details or a link? :)

Nothing anywhere obvious on my box and can't see anything other than repeated rumours in a quick google search.

Anonymous said...

go on virgin media twitter thn

Anonymous said...

OK I think the relevant little twitter conversation thread you're talking about is as follows:

virginmedia: RT @BBCiPlayer:BBC iPlayer HD now on Virgin Media: Fast on the heels of our launch of HD in BBC iPlayer...
xxbrockstarxx: @virginmedia maybe VM should be concentrating on the 7 HD channels being tested?
virginmedia: @xxbrockstarxx We certainly are... But many customers also appreciate the flexibility of TV on demand, so we focus on both

So that's not a denial.

If you actually know more details (like what "testing" means exactly, what channels are involved etc) or links then post them, that would be interesting. Not everybody reads every blog/twit/forum/etc, let us know what you're talking about!

Anonymous said...

the only one i know for sure history hd are in talks

Anonymous said...

Haha, I've just found this. I was xxbrockstarxx and how right I was, initially at least! @Wigan_Kev