The BBC plan to launch a video on demand service, iPlayer, later this year. The service has been previously trialed and allows viewers in the UK to view TV and radio programmes from the last 7 days at any time on their computers. P2P technology is used to distribute the files. The programmes are protected with DRM so they only last for 7 days and to stop them from being shared.
Although Auntie hasn’t launched the iPlayer service, it has been experimenting with video on demand for quite a while. You can listen to programmes from the last 7 days of radio and more recently BBC Two has started putting a lot of their programmes online.
I remember watching the whole series of The Apprentice on the BBC Two website a few months ago. I wrote, "The videos are streamed in Windows Media format at (400×224 pixels) 242 Kbits/second so they’re not fantastic quality but still very watchable."
Whats to watch?
The must-see is season 2 of Ricky Gervais’ comedy, Extras. It’s shown on BBC Two at 9pm on Thursday but you can watch it again on the BBC Two website.
This week’s episode was fantastic and featured Orlando Bloom slagging off Johnny Depp, Keith Chegwin and Barry from Eastenders hoarding tons of food. If you missed it, check it out in the next few days.
Dragon’s Den is another interesting programme. The programme has some entrepreneurs trying to persuade investors to part with their cash. I remember watching it once a few years ago and loved it but haven’t watched it since. Since its now on the BBC Two website, I’m gonna check it out. You can watch every episode in the current series there.
Also worth investigating, Best of Top Gear.
Coolest thing about the VoD service? It’s legal, it doesn’t burn up tons of upload bandwidth, and it’s free. It’s what we pay the license fee for.
On the other end of the VoD spectrum is Youtube, the home of people lipsyncing to random songs and tons of pirated video content. I wrote about Youtube before so I won’t babble on again but Youtube really would be nothing without it’s copyrighted content.
Via Slashdot, I saw an article on Youtube being sued by Universal:
Universal Music Group CEO Doug Morris said the wildly popular Web sites YouTube and MySpace are violating copyright laws by allowing users to post music videos and other content involving Universal artists.
"We believe these new businesses are copyright infringers and owe us tens of millions of dollars," Morris told investors Wednesday at a conference in Pasadena.
I really do wish that media companies would be more open to video sharing sites like Youtube and rather than sueing them, exploit them for media promotion.