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iPlayer brings Live Restart to Xbox One, YouView and tablets

BBC iPlayer resume

Host of new features added to BBC iPlayer across different devices

The BBC is bringing a raft of new features to the iPlayer, including Live Restart across almost every device and the ability to pick up where you left off on different devices. The summer revamp of the iPlayer sees many of the features that have been available on the desktop version of the iPlayer brought to set-top boxes, consoles and mobiles. 

Live Restart was first introduced to the iPlayer website during the 2012 Olympics, allowing you to start watching from the beginning if you join mid-way through the broadcast. It’s now being added to YouView, Roku, Sky’s NOW TV, Amazon Fire TV, the Xbox One and a “range of connected TV sets”, as well as the iPlayer mobile and tablet apps “in the coming year”. The BBC says it will be adding Live Restart to more “TV devices” throughout the year, with the Sky+ box and the Virgin Media TiVo being the two most notable absentees from the current list.

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A related but brand new feature is cross-device resume. This will allow you to, say, start watching a show on the train home from work on your smartphone and then pick up where you left off on your PC when you get home. This requires viewers to be registered and logged in to the iPlayer on all of their devices, and will be initially available on computers, tablets and mobiles, with TV devices coming later. 

Another feature that’s long been a part of the desktop website is being brought to other platforms. The My Programmes section keeps a track of your viewing habits, informing you when new episodes of a series you’re watching become available. That will be added to the iPlayer mobile apps this week and the TV platforms “in the coming year”. 

The BBC has to overcome a number of regulatory hurdles when it adds new features to the iPlayer, with the Corporation under pressure not to harm commercial rivals such as Netflix, Sky and Amazon Prime TV. Last year, the BBC extended the iPlayer catch-up window from seven to 30 days, after winning approval from the BBC Trust.  

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