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BBC iPlayer will stream all HD programmes in native resolution this year

The BBC has revealed plans for HD streaming on the BBC iPlayer. All programmes shot in HD should be available in HD this year. 

While we don’t have a concrete date for when this will happen, Alix Pryde director of distribution for BBC said in the comments on a BBC blog post that: “By the end of this year we hope that all programmes produced in HD will be available in HD on iPlayer, regardless of whether they have been broadcast on an HD channel.” 

BBC iPlayer will stream all HD programmes in native resolution this year
BBC iPlayer: If it’s shot in HD it’ll stream it. Eventually.

Read Recombu Digital’s guide to BBC iPlayer

Right now you can access some HD content on the iPlayer, but only if it’s been broadcast in HD or if there’s particular demand for a show. There’s a limit to the amount of HD content that can be produced for the iPlayer but the plan is that over the coming months anything shot in HD will be available in the iPlayer on HD – whether its broadcast on linear TV in SD, HD or whatever. 

Pryde added that in the meantime: “There’s a limit to the number of hours of programming per week that can go through that process, but over the coming months we will be selecting those programmes carefully to try to minimise disappointment.” 

This means that any future editions of Pramface or Lip Service on BBC Three or Charlie Brooker’s Screen/News/Weekly Wipe BBC Four shot in HD will be available to stream in glorious high definition on iPlayer. 

Of course, the ability to actually watch HD programmes on iPlayer will be determined by the connection speed you’re getting. You’ll need a download speed of at least 1Mbps to stream anything on iPlayer at all and a speed in excess of 5Mbps to comfortably stream anything in HD. 

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