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BBC iPlayer launches new features in time for new autumn programmes

Wednesday, August 19th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

BBC iPlayer has launched a new feature allowing viewers to pause a show on one device and resume watching on another.

Cross-device resume is one of a number of new features for the catch-up service being rolled out this week.

As long as viewers are signed in with a BBC ID, they can start watching their favourite show on their mobile and continue where they left off at home.

Another new feature – live restart – will allow those watching on a TV connected to the internet to jump back to the beginning of a programme if they have missed the start.

Previously, viewers had to wait until the programme had finished before they could watch it on iPlayer.

Programmes that have been started but not finished will appear in My Programmes, a new section on iPlayer that will also store the shows that viewers have favourited and the next episodes of series they are watching.

In future, My Programmes will also recommend programmes based on viewing habits.

The new features have been launched in time for the start of an autumn schedule that sees the return of series including Doctor Who, Sherlock and Strictly Come Dancing.

'Greater control'

BBC iPlayer has also recently updated its mobile apps and made audio description available on iPlayer on TV platforms.

Audio description is already available on computers, mobiles and tablets and all pre-recorded programmes are available on iPlayer with subtitles.

The BBC said the iPlayer now has the most widely available audio description service of any video on demand provider in the UK.

Dan Taylor-Watt, head of BBC iPlayer, said: “This raft of new features promises to give users even greater control over their iPlayer experience, ensuring they’re never late for a BBC TV broadcast again and providing easy access to the programmes they’re enjoying on BBC iPlayer whether at home or on the move.”

The announcement builds on a hugely successful year for BBC iPlayer which saw a record 2.6bn TV requests across 1,700 devices and platforms in 2014, the catch-up window extend from seven to 30 days, and a host of exclusive content including Adam Curtis: Bitter Lake and Frankie Boyle’s Election Autopsy.

Cable.co.uk reported last month that a loophole allowing people to watch iPlayer without a TV licence is to be closed as the government looks to modernise the licence fee to cover public service broadcast catch-up TV.

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