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BBC updates iPlayer on more smart TVs but closes old Bigscreen iPlayer

The BBC’s latest iPlayer is now on more smart TVs, but it’s bidding farewell to the Bigscreen iPlayer service in September.

Launched more than five years ago, the Bigscreen iPlayer service is only being used by around one per cent of iPlayer users and runs on a completely different system to the current iPlayer service.

THe BBC said it has become too expensive to run and wouldn’t be an efficient use of the licence fee, while the average life of a TV set means even those who had a brand new TV when it launched will probably be looking to upgrade soon.

BBC Bigscreen won't exist from September
BBC Bigscreen won’t exist from September

Marcus Parnwell, executive product manager of the BBC’s iPlayer said: “With this in mind, limited resources, and new BBC iPlayer rolled out to over 85 per cent of users, we’ve had to make the tough call to retire the ‘Bigscreen’ version.

“This means that from next month (September 2014) some devices that are using this ‘Bigscreen’ version on some TVs, Blu-Ray devices and PCs connected to TVs will no longer have access to BBC iPlayer.”

The Bigscreen iPlayer was the BBC’s first user interface designed for TVs that would work with a remote control, instead of watchig close-up on a PC with mouse control.

There’s good news for smart TV users whose setup isn’t yet compatible with the new iPlayer application.: the Beeb will be adding support for almost 20 new TV makers, five Blu-Ray players and five set top box manufacturers.

This new version includes better recommendations, better search and better catch-up to make your streaming TV service all that much better.

TVs now supported

  • Bush (2014)
  • Celcus (2014)
  • Cello (2012)
  • Digihome (2014),
  • Finlux (2014)
  • Hitachi (2014)
  • JVC (2014)
  • LG (2014)
  • Linstar (2014)
  • Luxor (2014)
  • Panasonic (2014)
  • Philips (2014)
  • Polariod (2014)
  • Samsung (2010, 2011, 2014)
  • Sharp (2014)
  • Sony (2011, 2014)
  • Toshiba (2012, 2013, 2014)
  • Vestel (2012)

Blu-Ray players now supported

  • LG (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
  • Panasonic (2013, 2014)
  • Samsung (2011, 2012, 2014)
  • Sony (2012, 2013, 2014),
  • Toshiba (2014)

Set-top boxes now supported

  • Bush (2014)
  • Hitachi (2014)
  • LG (2012)
  • Tesco-Technika (2012)
  • Western Digital (2010, 2011, 2012)

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