BBC Announces iPlayer on Wii

BBC iPlayer on Wii

A few minutes ago the BBC announced that it’s done a deal with Nintendo to allow its Wii games console to stream iPlayer programming to TVs across the UK!  A basic version of the player is available TODAY with a more polished version to follow.

UPDATE Instructions for enabling the iPlayer on the Wii have now been published on the BBC site.  It appears this involves paying £3.50 to add the Internet Channel, although the BBC hope to find a way around this in the future…

“On your Wii, you’ll first need to install the Internet Channel, which costs 500 Wii points, or approx. £3.50 (unfortunately there’s no alternative to having to buy the Wii Internet Channel for iPlayer web site access at this time – but later we hope to be able to get iPlayer on Wii without this purchase being needed). After you’ve installed the Internet Channel, browse to www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer, find your favourite programme, and hit Play. The programme should play immediately”.  Read full instructions HERE

“The video download and streaming service that lets people catch up with BBC programmes will soon be a channel on the hugely popular game console.  Early versions of the service will be available from 9 April but more polished software will be released as the service is developed.  The news comes as the BBC reveals a steep rise in the numbers of people using the iPlayer.

Fast seller “The BBC’s catch-up TV service can now be accessed on an increasing number of different platforms – from the web and portable devices to gaming consoles,” said Erik Huggers, BBC’s group controller for Future Media and Technology, announcing the deal in a speech at the MipTV-Milia conference in Cannes.  He added that the iPlayer will also soon be available on television.

The iPlayer on the Wii is currently being tested and the BBC expects to release more test versions in late 2008. An early version of the service is available from 9 April. It is only available in the UK to licence-fee payers.

The iPlayer will be accessible via the internet channel on the Wii console. The BBC said a message would be sent to Wii owners to alert them to its availability.  The news comes as the BBC releases the latest viewing figures for the iPlayer.

In March 2008, more than 17.2 million requests to download or stream BBC programmes were made via the iPlayer. This is up 25% on the previous month and means more than 42 million programmes have been accessed via the iPlayer since its Christmas 2007 launch.

Nintendo’s Wii has rapidly become the world’s most popular console largely thanks to its innovative motion-sensitive controller.  In the UK it has become the fastest-selling console every shifting more than one million units in just 38 weeks after going on sale. The BBC is still at loggerheads with internet service providers (ISPs) about who should pay for extra network costs by the on-demand TV service.  ISPs say the iPlayer is putting strain on their networks, which need to be updgraded to cope.”

Source: news.bbc.co.uk [Thanks Steve]

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