BBC web video device?

The BBC is developing plans to bring its web video iPlayer catch-up service to television screens, in a move that would take its online ambitions to a new level and pit the corporation against technology groups such as Apple.

Mark Thompson, BBC director-general, told the FT it was “looking very hard at” forming an alliance to introduce “a very simple standard” for getting online video from computer screens on to standard televisions.

Similar devices such as Apple TV have been on sale for some time but have not gained a mass following. “There are many things out there in the market, but what we haven't yet got is a simple standard, to mean that you can get services like iPlayer and Kangaroo,” said Thompson.

As the BBC has demonstrated with Freeview and iPlayer, its universal reach and unmatched promotional power can take products that have been peripheral (like On Digital or numerous internet video players) and make them universal.

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