Open-source group to meet BBC over iPlayer

The Open Source Consortium wants confirmation on whether the broadcaster is committed to a cross-platform version of the on-demand television service

The Open Source Consortium is to meet with the BBC Trust — the broadcaster's independent governing body — to discuss concerns about a cross-platform version of the BBC's iPlayer.

iPlayer is the BBC's online on-demand television service, which was launched last month. It will be available for public download on 27 July — but only for Windows XP users.

Mark Taylor, president of the Open Source Consortium, said the open-source industry group wants clarification on whether the BBC is committed to the iPlayer being cross platform and, if this happens, how it is going to be achieved.

Taylor said: "We want to know actually is it going to be cross platform and, if so, how do they [the BBC] intend to do that if the technology is based on a single platform? It would not be significantly more difficult to produce a cross-platform iPlayer than to have one locked into a single technology stack."

Taylor said: "We don't want to be complaining about it. We think the BBC [is] terrific. We think the iPlayer is a great idea and we'd like to see it cross platform."

A BBC Trust spokesman said it has always been committed to the iPlayer being platform neutral and is "very keen that this happens as soon as possible".

He added that platform neutrality was a condition of iPlayer approval and the Trust is running six-month reviews on the project, "in order to ensure that we move towards platform neutrality as soon as possible".


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