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The BBC and Nintendo UK today introduced a new version of the popular BBC iPlayer on Nintendo’s Wii.
First made available through the console’s Internet Channel in April 2008, BBC iPlayer will now be available as a dedicated Wii Channel to provide Wii users with a new, richer experience of the BBC’s TV and radio on-demand catch-up service. The new Wii Channel is expected to be available from 12.01am on Wednesday 18 November.
A few weeks later than we predicted, the BBC today introduced new iPlayer software that lets Mac and Linux users download shows to their computers for offline viewing, a feature enjoyed by Windows users since the launch of the service.
If you are in the UK and connected to the internet you can already play programmes from the past seven days and watch them on the website through Click to Play (streaming). This works on Windows, Macs, Linux, Nintendo Wii and iPhones.
The BBC is serious about attempting to deploy its iPlayer video-on-demand technology as an industry standard, announcing new partnerships with ITV and BT, “to promote a common industry approach and consumer offer to deliver on-demand TV over broadband.”
Such a pan-industry approach may in future pit the BBC and partners against other existing online TV solutions, including iTunes in the UK and similar services elsewhere.
Following a negative judgment in the Project Kangaroo initiative, the BBC is now considering offering its popular iPlayer technology to Channel 4 and ITV.
The BBC, Channel 4 and ITV had been working together to establish Project Kangaroo as a one-stop shop for TV show streaming and downloads from the broadcasters. However, in a decision revealed this month UK competition regulators nixed these plans on fears they would stifle competition in the UK market.
For Apple TV users, of course, the big news is that after an extensive push by the hard-working developers behind the project, the new version of the software that’s compatible with the recently-software-updated Apple TV 2.3 is available now.
Seems not only media-junkies have been paying attention. Boxee recently revealed a $4 million investment from Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures which will see Bijan Sabet from Spark and Fred Wilson from Union Square join the Boxee board.
Programming from BBC One and BBC Two will be made available to watch live online simultaneously with their live broadcast from 27 November, Jana Bennett, Director of BBC Vision, announced today.
There’s been a whole hoo-hah about the BBC making it possible to download its TV shows to Mac and Linux computers – now it seems the broadcaster may be moving to launch the service, which is already available on Windows, and the launch could come this month, if a report’s to be believed.
The broadcaster has frequently gone on the record to say that it wants to make it possible to download shows from iPlayer to the Mac, but has castigated Apple for refusing to license FairPlay to the corporation in order to easily achieve this.
Developer Tapulous has introduced online multiplayer gaming support over WiFi or 3G, so now players can take on their mates.
In related news, a TechCrunch report claims the developers have sold “tens of thousands” of copies of the Trent Reznor-supported Nine Inch Nails version of the game and revealed that they have achieved three million users across all their applications.
You can pick up the updated version of the hugely popular music game here.
Apple’s “hobby” the Apple TV has a chance at becoming a ubiquitous household item, though the company may need to add support for non-Apple media services and implement many new features if it seriously intends making an iPod-level impact on this important growing market.
The reason Apple has the chance is visible in the growing momentum behind development of solutions to bring online video to the front room – a sector becoming quickly more intense.
Online video on-demand services such as iTunes or Hulu are hot properties, meaning many more devices – including TVs offering features similar to the Apple TV – should begin to reach market en masse starting next year. And even if Apple does not develop such solutions there will still be winners and losers in the race to offer the ‘iPod’ equivalent of the multimedia for the front room box.