BBC iPlayer launches on Freeview HD

The BBC’s catch-up service BBC iPlayer is now available in HD over the UK’s Freeview DTT service following deployment of the connected TV variant of MHEG, the MHEG Interaction Channel (MHEG-IC). The move was welcomed by IMPALA, the International MHEG Promotion Alliance, as evidence for gathering momentum behind MPEG-IC.

The BBC’s recently broadcast content can now be accessed from new connected TVs and set-top box receivers that conform to the latest Freeview HD specification, known as D-Book 6.2.1. This relies on MHEG-5, the same technology that powers BBC iPlayer on Freesat HD boxes and long used to deliver red-button interactive services on Freeview and Freesat.

The first product able to access the service is a new Freeview+ HD PVR from Sony, with other manufacturers soon expected to follow suit.

MHEG-IC is designed to provide seamless viewing of broadcast content alongside OTT content delivered over IP as an extension of the channel or network. It gives access to streamed on-demand video content in addition to traditional text and graphics.