The BBC's much-maligned iPlayer online video player will be getting a companion streaming version later this year. Through a partnership announced this afternoon with Adobe, the BBC will begin offering streamed versions of its television programming via an online version of the iPlayer delivered in Flash format.
The BBC already uses Adobe's Premiere Pro and Production Premium as its desktop creative suite, so it will now be employing and end-to-end Adobe-powered solution for the creation and delivery of its online video content. I spoke to Mark Randall, the Chief Strategist for Adobe's Dynamic Media Organization, who told me that the company was excited to be partnering the world's largest content producer (the BBC creates over 14 terabytes of digital content per week), and that he thought this would be an excellent showcase of Adobe's end-to-end capabilities for digital media producers.
The choice of Adobe's Flash technology makes sense. According to Adobe, Flash is deployed on over 99% of Internet-connected computers and the latest version of the Flash player supports the H.264 codec. Further, the 1.0 release of AIR should also incorporate Flash's HD video capabilities, so should the BBC wish to bring Flash video to the offline version of their iPlayer, Adobe's runtime will support 1080p. I was told that the BBC will be evaluating the possibility of using Adobe's Media Player in the future.
iPlayer allows residents of the UK to watch the past 7 days of BBC television programming on their computers and store it for up to 30 days. For more analysis, check out the post at our network blog Last100.