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September 8, 2016

BBC iPlayer adds Live Restart to mobile and tablet apps, other huge changes coming soon

by John_A

The BBC will shortly roll out Live Restart to its BBC iPlayer mobile and tablet applications, bringing them in line with the TV and set-top-box versions.

Live Restart was introduced as a connected TV feature in August last year. It allows you to start a live programme from the beginning if you only join partway through. The Beeb is soon to add it to the iOS and Android apps too, so you can ensure you catch a whole episode of your favourite show, even if you’re late coming to the live feed.

It shows further appreciation by the broadcaster that more and more viewers are watching live TV on iPads, iPhones and Android devices these days.

The new feature follows recently added controls to pause and rewind live TV on mobile, so will give complete control over your viewing habits after the forthcoming update.


Other changes coming to BBC iPlayer include HD streams becoming the default option for computers and connected TVs that support adaptive bitrates, and visual seeking when scrolling through a programme. This presents a second, Netflix-style picture-in-picture box that gives a preview of the action as you scroll through the time bar on a show.

The latter feature will be launched on the BBC iPlayer website first and then be added to other versions in “the coming year”.

HD streams, the BBC confirmed, will be presented in 720p 50fps.

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