The BBC iPlayer has been provided with a recent upgrade courtesy of an Adobe Flash upgrade. The upgrade has provided the iPlayer with a reason to encode its video content at a higher bit rate for its popular iPlayer VOD service.
At 800kbps and in H.264 format, the BBC promises better and sharper images which will be ideal for large size, HD ready screens and simultaneously, the BBC will start using AAC+ for audio.
This development also means that both the iTouch and the iPhone will be provided with better quality content via the iPlayer.
The move away from VP6 compression technology is due partly to the fact H.264 and AAC+ are fairly open platforms compared to the aforementioned one which was developed by On2.
Version of the iPlayer that are to be developed in the future will also detect which bit rate to stream automatically, enabling the new iPlayer to cater for a wide range of broadband speeds throughout the country.
“The advantage for the audience will be a noticeable improvement in audio and video quality. Furthermore, it should become easier for the media to simply work across a broader range of devices. While it’s not a magic bullet, it certainly is a significant step in the right direction.” - BBC director of future media and technology Erik Huggers
The Shelf has previous highlighted how Internet Service Providers had suggested that they should not carry sole responsibly for paying for the extra costs that come as a result of the popularity of the iPlayer’s success. (Titled ISPs vs BBC iPlayer)
Well, after this ISPs could be even more miffed, since it means that in effect, the bandwidth consumed by the average iPlayer user could jump by nearly 60 percent overnight piling pressure on them.