iPlayer Gets Social

Imagine travelling forward from 1999 to 2010. It’d be a hell of an eye opener. Huge HD televisions with crystal clear images, mobile phones that go way beyond just texting and calling people, Internet connections that mean it doesn’t take half an hour to load up a website and Doctor Who, back where it should be – BBC One on Saturday. But surely one of the best things would be finding BBC iPlayer. Not only can you watch television on your super fast internet connection, but you can watch it whenever you want! Two in the morning and you want to watch Flesh and Stone? Well there it is, waiting to be loaded up! Totally mind boggling and guaranteed to make any 1999ers feel right out of place.

Doctor Who - on the new social iPlayerThe BBC obviously feel that they haven’t done enough to make these poor time travellers confused enough and so have upped the stakes. The corporation will soon be releasing “social television” for iPlayer. This means that you can log in on your Windows Live Messenger account through iPlayer (if you have one) and actually message people whilst your favourite show together even if you’re miles apart!

You can recommend shows to your friends and even “Shout out” when something exciting happens (which let’s face it-is every week in Doctor Who). Rory Cellan-Jones, the BBC technology correspondent, had this to say:

“This step is more significant than say 3DTV. On-demand broadcasts in the wider context of the broadcasting industry allow users to build our own television schedules. And with the sharing web, there is a prominent socialization around TV – sharing our likes and dislikes, and there’s an infrastructure already in place to allow this to happen now.

“On-demand television won’t replace ordinary broadcasts. But there will be a tipping point for the younger generation where on-demand becomes more popular, but there is no time limit on when this could be.”

The ZDNet.com report also credits Doctor Who as one of iPlayer’ most popular programmes on the network.

Don’t worry, people from the past, the future’s bright!


What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

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