BBC iPlayer goes HD!

BBC iPlayer Logo

The BBC has finally released HD streaming and downloads of some of their programs. The quality is pretty amazing, but the requirements towards your Broadband connection, and as important, zou computer are rather impressive and will certainly be an issue for a lot of the users these days.

To quote Anthony Rose:

It should be noted that glitch-free HD playback requires a fairly recent computer with a decent graphics card – older computers won’t be able to handle the CPU-intensive decompression & rendering and may drop frames, leading to jerky playback. To get the best HD experience always play back in full-screen mode, and if you don’t have enough bandwidth to stream try downloading instead.

The HD content is delivered in form of an h.264 stream/file with a bitrate of 3200kbps for the video and 192kbps for the audio track.The video resolution is 1280×720!

Anthony doesn’t forget to add a warning for people who are using a braodband connection with a moderate bandwidth cap:

For users on bandwidth-capped internet connections or who otherwise might want to override the adaptive bitrate system and use only our lowest bandwidth (500Kbps) stream, we’ve provided an option to do so (right).

The BBC also added a nice and simple diagnostics page, allowing users to check their bandwidth.

The results can be seen below:

BBC diagnostics

BBC diagnostics - click the image to see in n full resolution

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