Talk about duty of care. The BBC has announced that its updated iPlayer for BT Vision – BT’s crusty old IPTV service that’s since been replaced with YouView.
The new version of BBC iPlayer expands the old catch-up window from seven days to up to 30 and brings iPlayer exclusives like Adam Curtis’s Bitter Lake documentary and Frankie Boyle’s Election Autopsy.
Other new features that the BT Vision faithful will be able to enjoy include collections and Radio 1’s video channel.
BBC senior product manager Peter Lasko said: “If you have the BT Vision set top box at home you may have noticed that the version of BBC iPlayer you get has changed. This is a very significant milestone for the BBC as it marks the last major platform to move away from the old server stack we used to power BBC iPlayer with to the new version of BBC iPlayer.
“We’ve worked very closely with BT to help them improve the browser that runs on this device so it will run BBC iPlayer on TV.”
BT Vision, which launched in 2006, has been sidelined in favour of BT’s new YouView-based service. While existing customers will be able to carry on using BT Vision it’s been discontinued.
Like YouView, BT Vision is essentially a mixture of digital terrestrial TV – the same channels you’d get with a Freeview HD box – and on-demand options including selected Sky Sports channels (the football ones) plus movies and music videos.
While BBC iPlayer is present and correct on BT Vision it lacks YouView’s integrated and comprehensive suite of catch-up services.
One advantage that BT Vision had over YouView was that you didn’t need to have BT Infinity in order to get the Sky Sports channels.
Previously, any BT broadband connection delivering adequate bandwidth was the only requirement to get Sky Sports, but with a YouView-based BT TV box, you’ll need to be able to get an FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) service from BT.