BBC enhances speed performance on iPlayer  

BBCUK pubcaster BBC has announced it has launched new enhancements to its video-on demand service BBC iPlayer to boost speed performance for content delivery. 

The ‘pseudo VOD’ tech product was launched by the broadcaster to improve the speed content delivery on the platform. The BBC noted that there was a significant delay before a programme became available on the on-demand platform after it was broadcasted on its linear channels. This was due to the time to process programmes into a high quality on demand video after they’ve been broadcast.

Longer programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing and Match Of The Day faced the most delays, according to the BBC. Pseudo VOD will reuse the live segments of video viewers see when watching live on iPlayer to create a temporary on demand video instead, which can be published as soon as the programme ends.

The PSB has also reduced the streaming latency of live programmes on iPlayer by 20 seconds via a modernised system used to process live video which takes a shorter and more predictable amount of time to prepare each segment.

Prior to the update, lagging was about 80 – 120 seconds behind the TV broadcast. The new enhancements will enable content to be streamed on the iPlayer around 60 seconds behind the TV broadcast.

Henry Webster, BBC head of product, media services said, “This plugs the gap, while we work on processing the high quality on demand video as we did before, and once this is ready replace the temporary video.”

He added, “This reliability of viewing experience has always been and remains our top priority and is what has previously held us back from cutting latency. However, while keeping reliability as the top priority, there are still improvements we can make to reduce this 60 second lag even further.

“All of which means you no longer need to worry if you miss the end of a show, as you’ll be able to watch it on iPlayer within a matter of minutes of it ending. And if you do manage to catch it live – you’ll be seeing it much closer to real-time than you were before.”

The BBC said it will introduce further improvements to the iPlayer in the next coming months.

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