The PS3 is a brilliant games console. The BBC iPlayer is a brilliant catch-up television service.
And now that the two have been seamlessly combined, both are reaping the benefits as a result – with increased sales and increased viewing numbers respectively.
Online Video On Consoles
I’ve long argued that games consoles are an important point of contact for the IPTV industry. Here are Internet-enabled set-top boxes hooked up to HDTVs and used by generally technically-minded younger people. What more could you ask for?
And now comes proof that games consoles have the capacity to increase the volume of viewers and scope of options available to purveyors of online video. And it comes courtesy of how the BBC iPlayer is being consumed by PS3 owners in the U.K.
The PS3 has recently had a redesign, with a new, slimmer, lighter version being released. This coincided with a price cut and a new firmware update, v3.0. This update made a few changes, but one of the biggest for U.K. residents is the integration of BBC iPlayer into the XMB (XrossMediaBar).
While the BBC iPlayer has been available to watch for over a year now, thanks to the BBC releasing a version viewable via the console’s built-in Web browser, this update sees the iPlayer actually show up as part of the system. One click and you find yourself on the site and ready to watch programming.
New Improved PS3 iPlayer
I’ve actually been using my PS3 to watch BBC programming on the iPlayer for months now, so this update hasn’t made a great deal of difference to me. But for those who weren’t sure how to get to the iPlayer through the browser, it has now become an easy option for online television viewing.
Watching the BBC iPlayer on the PS3 is as simple as it is on a computer. The obvious advantage being that it’s delivered in high quality and looks great on a large television. The interface is simpler and navigation is optimized for use with a controller, and these changes make for a pleasurable viewing experience. In the same way that YouTube XL does.
Increased Viewing Figures
The BBC is already seeing results of iPlayer integration from firmware v3.0, claiming that the PS3 now accounts for a massive 10 percent of all iPlayer viewing. Which makes it the second most popular platform for the service after the PC, with it leapfrogging the Mac (8.5 percent) in the last 10 days.
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