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BBC details iPlayer's open source TV Application Layer

Ben Drawbaugh
03.28.13
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The modern challenge for any content distributor is maximizing its reach. That means doing everything -- within reason -- to get your content in front of those who might want it. That's easier said than done, no doubt, and the BBC's plan is to do whatever it takes to get iPlayer on every connected device you own. To that end it's created the TV Application Layer (TAL), which uses the latest web technologies, like HTML5, to do as much of the heavy lifting as possible for would-be hardware makers. The TAL provides a layer of abstraction that takes care of any difference in devices capabilities or controls, so that software built using it will continue to run on anything added to the BBC's certified list without the need for a new version.

This in and of itself is admirable, but the BBC has taken it one step further and put the source code out there for all to see and use. The hope is that this will motivate others to contribute to the Layer, help other content owners reach their viewers, and increase the return on investment of all those TV taxes. The BBC currently uses the TAL for its iPlayer, BBC News and BBC Sport apps, as well as new connected Red Button experiences. The code is live at the source link below if you'd like to take a look.

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