BBC iPlayer available on Freesat TVs by end of November

Watch 'Stenders on your TV after it aired, without the need for a computer

Later this month something very exciting will become available on your Freesat-enabled TV - namely the BBC iPlayer. Ok, it won't be that exciting to Virgin Media customers, who got iPlayer support several months back, but with over 600,000 customers it's bound to make a difference to a good number of people's lives.

The BBC's Future Media and Technology controller, Rahul Chakkara, wrote on the BBC's Internet blog and ushered in the news. Describing the technology behind the iPlayer, he wrote that "MHEG-5 is a standard that has been used for developing and presenting interactive television in the UK for nearly a decade. Recently, the Digital Television Group supported by BBC R&D has extended the standard to use the interaction channel for handling Internet video."

"This standard has been adopted by Freesat and incorporated into the DBook 6.1 used in Freeview HD devices. We have been developing BBC iPlayer using this standard. I expect to start a Beta deployment by the end of November using capable Freesat devices."

Freesat, the satellite TV service, has over 140 TV, radio and interactive channels, including over 70 hours of peak time HD shows from the BBC and ITV as of May 2008. Supporting the iPlayer push will be a major advertising campaign starting this Saturday, which will see Mick Hucknall's cousins watching Strictly Come Dancing on Freesat (pictured).