BBC iPlayer goes HDBBC iPlayer to offer online HD TV streaming

20 April 2009

BBC iPlayer interface

You can download and watch shows on iPlayer up to seven days after they air on TV

The BBC's iPlayer online TV service is to start offering high definition (HD) TV programmes.

Viewers with an HD television or PC monitor will be able to watch streamed BBC iPlayer HD content online or download HD programmes to watch later.

You can read our online guides to high definition television and online TV, or click to compare Which? Best Buy HD LCD and plasma TVs.

BBC iPlayer HD TV shows

BBC shows including Doctor Who, Kerwhizz, and Dragons' Den are all planned for HD release. 

The next three Doctor Who specials will also be available to watch in HD on the iPlayer.

The service is only available on the BBC iPlayer online at present - but the BBC plans to offer HD programmes to viewers watching through a Virgin Media set top box or PlayStation 3 at later date.

HD download dangers

HD files are larger than standard definition programmes so experts are warning consumers to be careful they don't exceed any download limits set by their broadband provider.

Which? has surveyed thousands of broadband customers about their service - find the best packages and compare broadband download limits in our broadband review.

You'll also find advice for boosting your broadband speed here.

New iPlayer features

The updated HD iPlayer also offers a diagnostic tool that switches streaming options to give the best possible picture quality based on the user's internet connection.

Other new features include a new internet speed diagnostic page, the full release of the new BBC iPlayer Desktop, and a cross-platform manager that allows Windows, Mac and Linux users to download BBC programmes, including those in HD.

Which? news RSS feeds

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste this link into your newsreader: . Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to news feeds.

Sign up to the weekly Which? tech email

Sign up to the Which? technology email

Keep your finger on the pulse of digital technology with the weekly email from the Which? Technology team

Every Tuesday we'll send you the latest news and reviews of MP3 players, mobile phones, cameras, high-definition TVs and other gadgets. 

Packed with the latest product launches, First Look reviews, expert advice and some incredible deals - can you afford not to be the first to find out?

Plus there are regular prize draws - we've already given away a 32GB iPod Touch and a Sony PS3.