Advanced Television

Live Restart for iPlayer debut

June 20, 2012

The BBC has upgraded the iPlayer video service with Live Restart ready for its consumer launch.

Users can now either restart a live programme they are watching or rewind to watch programmes from the previous two hours. The BBC will bring the function to mobiles, tablets and Internet-connected TVs later this year.

Dave Price, head of BBC iPlayer said: “We all know how frustrating it is when you’re stuck in a traffic jam, or delayed on the tube, missing the critical start of your favourite BBC programme. Live Restart solves this by giving audiences control. With one simple click of a button viewers can skip back to the beginning of a live programme, ensuring they never miss a moment of their favourite BBC programmes.”

Instead of using a point-to-point streaming protocol such as RTMP as the corporation has done previously , the new method breaks up H.264 video into chunks and delivers them as HTTP packets in much the same way as text rich web pages are delivered.

The technology underpinning the new functionality is part of a wider strategic move by the BBC to embrace HTTP chunked streaming for delivering online video, seen as crucial in a year when it will be streaming more live video to more people than ever before with the Euro 2012 football championships, Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend, Wimbledon and the London 2012 Olympics.


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