bbciplayerThe one-size-fits-all iPlayer strategy is bad for consumers and the BBC says the maker of hybrid Freeview box FetchTV.
The approach – also under fire from Sky and Ofcom – makes for a poor consumer experience and will restrict use of the catch-up service, claims Netgem.
The BBC Trust wants to restrict the iPlayer to three ‘standard’ applications which manufacturers must find a way to integrate into their own products.

Netgem supplies more than a million hybrid broadcast/broadband products to retailers and TV platforms worldwide annually, and provides software for the FetchTV Freeview hybrid PVR in the UK.
Netgem’s latest interfaces combine both broadcast and on-demand TV in a single interface which blurs the line between broadcast TV, recordings, catch-up and on-demand.
Yann Courqueux of Netgem said platforms which move to a single user interface have seen on-demand usage triple in some cases.
‘Some content owners don’t get it,’ he said. ‘The BBC UI is not the most innovative in the marketplace. ‘I would say the BBC’s approach is a mistake if they are trying to get the most uses of the iPlayer.’
His comments were echoed by David Bloom, commercial director of FetchTV manufacturer IP Vision, which features the iPlayer in its standard Big Screen application.
‘It’s not actually true to say that the best thing for the consumer is for the broadcaster’s content to be provided through the same user interface on every product,’ he said.
‘It may be easier and cheaper for the BBC, but that’s not necessarily in the best interet of the public. Staying within the look and feel of whatever platform they are most used to is good for the user.’

Under the BBC Trust’s provisional proposals, the BBC will only produce bespoke versions in ‘exceptional’ circumstances.
And it won’t let manufacturers or platforms connect directly into its servers to provide BBC content through their own interfaces.
Sky has accused the BBC of denying iPlayer to more than five million homes with Ethernet-ready Sky+HD boxes if the new policy goes ahead.
Ofcom’s competition partner Stuart Mcintosh has also said the online syndication policy might not deliver the best results for the consumer.

‘This appears not to allow for the possibility that there might be instances where a better consumer proposition and greater public value could be delivered through bespoke development,’ he said.
The BBC Trust is expected to make a final online syndication policy decision this summer.

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By Expat