The BBC teased us with stories of a new, improved iPlayer nearing the end of the last year, and today we're seeing the first part of that go live. Arriving today on the web and smart TVs, the "completely re-built" iPlayer has a simpler, image-focused UI that'll be consistent across all platforms when tablet and smartphone apps catch up in a few months. The desktop client is not set to change, if you were wondering, as it's primarily a download manager these days.
You can switch between the various BBC channels using tabs near the top of the page, with quick access to categories and favorites on the same level. A revised category list should make it easier to find things to watch that suits your tastes, and suggestive search should help you find those shows you already know you like. Similarly, new themed "collections" will give offer eyeball food that revolves around the same topic. If you're still not sure what to watch, there's always the A-Z program and recently watched lists for inspiration. A new playback page doesn't need to reload when you move onto the next episode (or something else from the recommendations), and you can add programs to favorites straight from the player.