BBC launches iPlayer for iPhone

BBC launches iPlayer for iPhone

A beta test version allows users to stream shows to their devices via WiFi

The BBC's iPlayer catch-up TV service has entered the mobile video market, with the start of support for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

A new version of the service allows Apple users to freely stream TV programmes to their devices via a WiFi connection. The beta application offers most but not all of the BBC shows available to desktop users, although the broadcaster says the full catalogue will soon be made available.

The BBC currently favours making the iPlayer available to mobile devices that can support web browsers, according to Anthony Rose, head of digital media. In cases where a browser is unavailable, supporting the player requires a tailor-made program to be coded from scratch.

"Creating these custom apps is time-consuming and expensive, so for now we're focusing on browser-enabled devices," said Rose.

"We started with iPhone because it is the device most optimised for high-quality video currently available."

Last month the BBC revealed that more than 17 million shows had been streamed through the iPlayer during its first seven weeks of operation.