BBC iPlayer Enhancements: Faster Access for Content through Pseudo-VOD and Reduced Latency

BBC’s iPlayer now delivers live shows faster post-broadcast and has reduced the streaming delay

BBC has recently rolled out a couple of technical enhancements to its iPlayer platform, ensuring users can access newly aired programs much more swiftly than before. 

Watch Immediately with Pseudo-VOD 

This innovative approach, termed “pseudo-VOD,” promises to minimize delays for popular Saturday night broadcasts like “Match of the Day” and “Strictly Come Dancing.” 

In the past, if audiences missed the conclusion of a program, they had to endure a significant delay before the on-demand version was ready. This wait time has been dramatically shortened, with shows becoming available just minutes after their live broadcast concludes.

Henry Webster, the Lead for Product at Media Services, elaborated on this development. Instead of waiting for the entire program to conclude before processing, the iPlayer will utilize live video segments to generate a temporary on-demand version. 

This interim version will be available immediately after the live broadcast ends and eventually be replaced by the high-quality version that users are accustomed to.

Reduction in Streaming Latency 

Furthermore, the BBC has successfully reduced the streaming latency for live broadcasts on iPlayer. 

Earlier, live streams lagged by about 80-120 seconds compared to TV broadcasts. This delay is intentionally incorporated in all live-streamed content across various platforms to guarantee a smooth viewing experience for the audience. 

However, with the recent system enhancements, this lag has been reduced by 20 seconds, thus taking the delay to 60 seconds from the live streaming. 

Webster added, “In collaboration with our R&D team, the BBC is committed to further reducing this delay, aiming to offer an experience as close to real-time TV broadcasting as possible”. 

Ragul Thangavel
Ragul Thangavel
Staff Writer

With over nine years of diverse professional experience, Ragul has made significant contributions across various domains, including Media Operations, OTT Technologies, Video Production, Ecommerce, and Social Media.

Holding an Engineering degree, Ragul's career took an unconventional turn when he discovered his passion for writing, leading him to begin his journey as a content writer.

His career has been exclusively dedicated to the growth and development of startups, where he has played a pivotal role. His unique blend of technical knowledge and creative prowess has enabled him to drive innovation and success in every venture he has been a part of.

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