The science fiction reality
BBC iPlayer app arrives on Xbox LIVE
The BBC and Microsoft have taken the wraps off the eagerly-anticipated addition to Xbox's entertainment services.
Any UK user equipped with a Xbox 360 console and free Xbox LIVE membership will be able to watch live BBC TV or catch up on the last 7 days of BBC programmes. Depending on the speed of your internet connection you will also be able to enjoy BBC programmes in sparkling HD (hi-definition) video.
The best BBC content
The BBC has seen 433 million requests on TV devices in 2011 - so one in four iPlayer requests originate from thehumble TV. The release of the BBC iPlayer app on Xbox means it is now available on all of the major game consoles in the UK.
The BBC iPlayer app is a simplified, visually-rich TV experience designed to be sympathetic to the metro-stylings of the Xbox, but one that will instantly resonate with regular iPlayer users.
42% of Xbox LIVE members are watching one hour per day of video and TV content.
Users are free to browse the iPlayer's video-on-demand content by; categories, most popular, featured, channel, and search.
The search function is especially powerful (and will be familiar to anybody who's used any of the other Xbox entertainment services): just input a couple of characters and the app will quickly find what you're looking for.
There is also an option to add a series (or programme) to your favourites, which means new episodes will be ready and waiting for your perusal after they have aired.
Xbox 360 users with Kinect will benefit from enhanced functionality. For the first time it is possible for BBC iPlayer
users to discover and play programmes using hand gestures and voice recognition.
Stephen McGill, Director of Xbox and Entertainment for Microsoft, said: "The way people interact with entertainment content is changing. Xbox LIVE is the only service in the world where you can search, discover and control TV, movies, video and music using voice and gesture via the power and magic of Kinect."
Watch your favourite BBC shows on your Xbox console in stunning HD.
How to get it
You should see promotions for the BBC iPlayer app on your Xbox LIVE dashboard from today. Alternatively You can add iPlayer to your dashboard by downloading a free app from the 'Apps Marketplace'. The marketplace can be found on the 'apps' screen.
BBC's iPlayer app differentiates itself from the rest of Xbox's on-demand entertainment offerings by being the only
service that is truly free for all. To watch iPlayer on your Xbox you don't need an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription, instead anybody with an Xbox LIVE account in the UK can watch and enjoy BBC's content.
New entertainment services on Xbox
The BBC iPlayer is the latest entertainment provider to be added to the Xbox 360 dashboard experience and into living rooms the world over. More on MSN: Xbox adds new TV services
We attended a briefing in Central London to mark the BBC iPlayer announcement, here we learnt some interesting facts about the success of the new TV and video services Xbox have introduced thus far.
We traditionally think of game consoles as conduits for gaming, but as technology evolves they are outgrowing this mould and instead becoming hubs for our media.
Xbox usage statistics tell us that people are spending more time than ever on their console, and interestingly more time consuming TV and video content on the platform. This usage is not at the expense of gaming, instead it is incremental and just means that people are investing even more of their time into their favourite console.
42% of Xbox LIVE members are watching one hour per day of video and TV content. The average Xbox user watches approximately 30 hours on a monthly basis.
Since the release of Xbox's first TV and video apps last October - 4oD, Netflix and LoveFilm have all proved especially popular. Zune also remains a firm favourite with the Xbox LIVE audience.