While we keep waiting for the BBC to release a version of its iPlayer on this side of the Atlantic, it's already upgrading UK PlayStation 3s with a brand new interface. Designed to be navigated by any standard remote, the main focuses are personalization and enhanced navigation to avoid scrolling through long lists, as well as bringing over synced iPlayer Favourites from the PC. The new UI is built on HTML5 and CE-HTML with an eye towards rolling it out easily on other devices soon, but there's also plans for a version built with Adobe Flash and AIR technology. Check after the break for a quick video demo of the new features which sadly does not include a new episode of Top Gear (UK version) -- we checked.

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Date: 08.08.2011
Category: Online & interactive

The BBC has today launched a new version of BBC iPlayer for TV.

For the first time, BBC iPlayer on TV is personalised, specifically designed for the living room, and easy to use. The new version gives audiences the control they want directly on the TV, in a design custom-built for the living room, so the BBC iPlayer experience feels just like TV.

The new version is:

* Just like TV – a new, simplified, highly visual TV-friendly design that is as simple as flicking through channels when watching TV
* Easy to use – vastly improved search to help you find programmes with little effort, quick access to programmes you choose as your favourites, and recommendations to help you find something new to enjoy
* Personalised – make BBC iPlayer your own by choosing your 'favourite' programmes, viewing previous search results, and getting right back to the last programme you watched

BBC iPlayer is now available on more than 300 different connected TV devices, and this new version – launching initially on Sony's PlayStation 3 – will be coming to many more TV screens in the coming months as BBC iPlayer evolves beyond catch-up into a complete connected TV experience.

Daniel Danker, BBC's General Manager, Programmes & On Demand, said: "BBC iPlayer has been tremendously successful. With today's announcement, we're transforming iPlayer in its most natural home: right on the living room TV. By creating a product that's as simple and intuitive as flicking through TV channels, the BBC is bringing on demand television to mainstream audiences across the UK.

"Last week, Ofcom reported that 10% of TV sets sold in the UK are internet ready. But BBC iPlayer is already available on over 300 connected TVs and blu-ray disc players, which has resulted in a five fold growth of iPlayer on TV over the last six months alone. At this rate of growth, in the next few years we could well see over half of iPlayer use directly on the living room TV."
Notes to Editors

The BBC uses the term "connected TV" to define any device that can deliver programmes over the internet to the living room TV, including:

* IPTV (Pay-TV) platforms (eg Virgin Media, BT Vision, Sky)
* Games Consoles (e.g. Nintendo Wii, PlayStation3, XBOX)
* Freeview HD, YouView, Freesat HD set-top boxes
* "Smart" internet-ready TVs (eg Samsung, Sony, Panasonic)
* Other connected devices (eg Boxee, blu-ray disc players)

Statistics

* Ten per cent (1 million) of all TVs sold in the UK 2010 were internet-ready (Ofcom's Communications Market Report 2011)
* Predictions suggest that almost 36 million TVs with built-in internet capability will be installed in UK homes by the end of 2016. (3 Reasons Ltd, Spring 2011). NB: This number projects sets technically capable of connection; numbers of actual connected sets will be lower, depending on broadband penetration, consumer behaviour etc
* BBC iPlayer programme requests on connected TVs increased more than five-fold from December 2010-July 2011, growing from 579,000 to 3.1 million requests in July
* Many licence-fee payers use games consoles to access BBC iPlayer – with 10 million requests for programmes in July 2011
* BBC iPlayer's usage statistics are published monthly on the BBC Internet Blog

BBC iPlayer, the BBC's video on demand service, launched on the web on Christmas Day 2007 and it's since evolved to add radio, live TV channels, HD and social functionality. As part of the BBC's commitment to increase the availability of BBC iPlayer, the service is now available on hundreds of platforms and devices, including TV platforms, internet-connected TVs, mobile phones, tablets and games consoles. For a full list of devices, see the BBC iPlayer Help Site.

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BBC iPlayer app gets a new look on the PS3 now, other devices later