News Article

BBC To Launch New Dedicated iPlayer Wii Channel

Posted by Damien McFerran

Enhanced version of the popular TV streaming service coming to Wii on the 18th November

British Wii owners have been able to watch TV programs using the BBC iPlayer since 2008, but the veteran broadcaster has announced that it is releasing an updated version of the service which will function as a dedicated Wii Channel.

The new version will be available for download from the Wii's online shop from 18th November, and will be offered entirely free of charge. You'll need a broadband connection to use it though, and it's only going to be accessible to UK-based Wii owers.

The excellently-named Erik Huggers, director of Future Media and Technology at the BBC, describes the new iteration as a "faster, high quality and improved viewing experience".

Thanks to Nintendo Life reader TheThorn for the tip!

[via news.bbc.co.uk]

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User Comments (59)

warioswoods

#1

warioswoods said:

Not of much use to me being where I am, but it's great news insofar as it raises hopes of other partnerships and dedicated channels, perhaps for Netflix, Hulu, or one of the others.

RaylaxStaff

#2

Raylax said:

Awesome, was wondering when this was due.

Although I'm not the first to point it out (I think it may have been Awkward Zombie who made the comic relating to a similar thing), isn't technology wondrous? We can now watch TV on the internet on our TVs :D

Machu

#3

Machu said:

YES! :O

I have been desperate for this ever since the early rumours. But now it's real!!! Can't wait to see what the quality is like. This is amazing news!! :D

Machu

#4

Machu said:

License payers only dude. :( Soz.

edit: dontcha hate it when people delete their comments, now I look like I'm talking to myself

mrlimbo

#5

mrlimbo said:

yes yes yes , a long time without it since nintys update killed the previously working online one , its been a real pain without it , but a dedicated Wii channel really makes up for it , a BIG yahoo to the BBC :)

drdark

#6

drdark said:

It was hardly a rumour it was coming. Their 'temp' page since the Internet Channel was updated has always said "a dedicated iplayer for wii is coming later this year". They just didn't mentioned the word "channel"; was it so hard to work out? In any case, having a date is nice, now I can watch Mock the Week in my living room again. I'm guessing the quality will now be closer to the Nintendo Channel rather than the previous iPlayer or YouTube pages were/are.

@Machu: You don't need a TV Licence to use the iPlayer. On a PC or otherwise. The rule is literally "you need a TV Licence to watch LIVE TV".
But yes, you have to be UK-based :).

Sean_Aaron

#7

Sean_Aaron said:

Excellent, I'm really pleased to see the BBC putting in the effort. If it's broadcast quality it will definitely get used in my house.

Machu

#9

Machu said:

@drdark: OK, but you know what I meant. :)

I hadn't assumed anything regarding an iPlayer channel, what with the complete lack of communication between Nintendo and The Beeb around the time of the update. It's great to see they are friends now though. Yay! I hope they stick with the shiny black interface, mmmm.

Eek! /me feels bad for TG, and all the other folk who won't get this. :/

OldBoy

#10

OldBoy said:

Hmmm.Sounds good. I shall reserve judgement till I use it though.I've been let down by Nintendos channels before. Hope it's better quality than it has been in the past.

MattL

#11

MattL said:

Excellent news!! :) We've missed using the iPlayer in our home through the Wii. We'll be using this lots, no doubt.

invmat

#12

invmat said:

I'll change my country settings to UK or I'll use a proxy. Would be nice to watch something when I'm bored. And maybe I'll get a pass for English this time xD

Raptor78

#13

Raptor78 said:

I get the BBC iPlayer through my BT Vision box but this will be usefull to my son who also has a wii, as he has trouble picking up freeview channels on his TV and has been having to make do by watching YouTubeXL via the internet channel... well that or DVDs.

Ristar42

#14

Ristar42 said:

Thats good news - the loss of the I-player was annoying.
I belive BBC had approached Nintendo with the idea of a dedicated channel before so that was probably the delay in relaunching it after the update was found incompatible. Sounds Great!

motang

#15

motang said:

Wow that is cool, you guys are lucky.

I hope Nintedo Life would have a review of it. ;)

Lassenwolf

#17

Lassenwolf said:

the us cable industry doesnt want streaming tv . this is why companies like comcast are now capping by the gigabytes. watch how this will happen for all us able companies. they also own most of the tv shows. so if your a gamer or have netflix you could be playing for the extra bandwidth. This is not bullcrap. I worked for time warner cable for years. look it up online as the 3 big cable companies are alreay doing this or are testing it in cretain markets

Machu

#18

Machu said:

@lz: Don't be silly, we'll just find something else to complain about.

Sean_Aaron

#19

Sean_Aaron said:

I doubt changing your Nintendo country setting would be good for anything but allowing you to download the channel. The iPlayer on the web filters according to destination, so I'd expect any Nintendo Channel version to do the same.

MayhemStaff

#20

Mayhem said:

Yeah, your IP needs to be in the UK to use the iPlayer fullstop. I have a US Wii so I won't be getting the channel, but at least I can use the iPlayer website through the Opera browser...

Angelic_Lapras_King

#21

Angelic_Lapras_King said:

Ah, thought after months of no news, this wasnt happening, but glad to see that it is.

Now, I wonder how Dr Who the Waters of Mars will look on this? =D

Croz

#22

Croz said:

Hopefully this should be good, nintendo's website says. 'this new version of BBC iPlayer for Wii has been designed to deliver a better and higher quality experience, with a new full screen user interface allowing the whole family to catch up on TV and radio together in the lounge.'

V8_Ninja

#23

V8_Ninja said:

While I would rather like the Hulu Player to come to Wii, I will support this (if it comes out in the US). I'm pretty amazed that more free TV streaming programs haven't come to consoles, since they seem like a perfect match (the ability to play games & watch free TV = epic win IMHO).

RaylaxStaff

#24

Raylax said:

@V8 Ninja: Yeah, I'd like to see more channel-streaming too. For now, iPlayer Wii will do just nicely though. I think the reason that thus far only the BBC has taken the initiative on this is because the big ISPs started having a hissy fit about the bandwidth costs when iPlayer first took off on more platforms than just the PC, and there was some big argument about whether the ISPs or the BBC should pay for upgrading the hardware so it didn't negatively impact everyone's internet connection. Not sure who ended up paying for it, but I suspect the other channels don't want a similar backlash.

Unca_LzStaff

#28

Unca_Lz said:

Oh ho ho?! Is that so? Hey that rhymed! :D

Why don't you go sip some tea and eat fish and chips. Btw, it's FRIES, not chips. Silly Brits and their non-American names for food. :P

Maybe Hulu will make it to the Wii. I hope so. TV is so boring nowadays

Machu

#30

Machu said:

lz: I am cooking FRIES as I type, they are completely different to chips, fries are thin and pathetic, where as chips are chunky and awesome, like Britain. :D

shall we take this elsewhere ;P

EDIT: @Eggmeister: Nintendo Channel dude, I'm still waiting for the new shiny one! :(

warioswoods

#32

warioswoods said:

@Machu

"... where as chips are chunky and awesome, like Britain..."

Hey, everyone knows that Americans are the chunkiest. How dare you.

James

#33

James said:

That's awesome news - now I won't have to faff about connecting my netbook to the TV just to watch Heroes or whatever.

Machu

#34

Machu said:

@warioswoods: McDonalds has ushered in a few generations worth of fat asses, we are catching you up, slowly.

@Prosody: I can't watch Heroes anymore. They killed it! :( Friends tell me I should start re-watching, but it's too late for that now.

AVahne

#38

AVahne said:

Nintendo really does seem to favor the Europeans more than the Americans.....

ToneDeath

#41

ToneDeath said:

Cool, but will we ever be rid of the TV licence?
Anyway, to tie in with this I suggest a Top Gear special where they try to recreate a Mario Kart style race.

Sean_Aaron

#42

Sean_Aaron said:

@Koto: Well, this is the BBC creating a program to run on the Wii. It's like a similar service in Japan, the name of which I cannot recall. Nintendo has nothing to do with either, other than making them available through the Wii shop. I think it's a worthy use of my license fee money to be sure. It means I don't need a video recorder to check out old shows and I can watch them on the TV rather than a laptop. Ta Auntie!

Atlantis1982

#43

Atlantis1982 said:

I would say Hulu should follow the bandwagon, but I am not sure if anyone is going to care once they start charging their users to watch videos in 2010.

KnucklesSonic8

#44

KnucklesSonic8 said:

Wow. Excellent news. Hope other companies take note of both this and what Ubisoft has done with the Rabbids Channel and take advantage of making their own Wii Channels.

YorkshireNed

#45

YorkshireNed said:

Very pleased about this as neither of the computers in our house have enough memory to make the BBC iPlayer work properly. Also we only have a TV connection in the spare room so now we can watch some TV on the big TV in our main living room. It's not like there's much decent on that isn't BBC anyway

container1024

#47

container1024 said:

The iPlayer app on the PS3 is awsome. I think this is a great step forward for the Wii. Hopefully it'll encourage the more casual (read: people who don't have a clue) users of the Wii to finally start making the most of it's online features.

Pj1

#48

Pj1 said:

How much will it cost? no body knows... but I'm hoping some one here will know.

Altkey

#50

Altkey said:

That's weird watching TV with your Wii on your TV. Why don't they do that on the DSi?

MattL

#54

MattL said:

This is super fast and top quality stuff. Well worth waiting for. No recogniseable loading once your program starts either. This far exceeds the previous version through the internet channel :) Nice one Beeb and Ninty.

nix

#55

nix said:

just finished watching, Horizon on black holes, 1 hour long, only twice it buffered for a second. Picture quality has vastly improved, with not too much dithering of colours, eg. horizon lots of bw and grey scale. Great to see the i-player turn into a dedicated wii channel, all we need now is channel 4, 5, and itv to step up.

Glayva

#58

Glayva said:

@Mayhem: how do you get iplayer to work through Opera? I can get to the iplayer website but norhing plays. Advise please. I have US wii too and wonder if there is a way to get iplayer to recognise that it is in the UK.

colmtheperson

#59

colmtheperson said:

Maybe they'll bring an rte [irish national broadcaster] player to irish wiis soon... Maybe we're better off without it actually

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