00.01 Europe/London, August 8, 2011 By Julian Clover

The BBC has launched a new version of its popular iPlayer, especially crafted for the living room, adding further personalisation. The TV edition will for the time being sit alongside the existing ‘Big Screen’ version. It is making its first appearance on Sony’s PlayStation 3, with plans to rollout on other connected devices, as part of wider plans to extend the iPlayer beyond its initial brief as a catch-up TV service.

Daniel Danker, BBC’s General Manager, Programmes & On Demand said: “BBC iPlayer has been tremendously successful. With today’s announcement, we’re transforming iPlayer in its most natural home: right on the living room TV. By creating a product that’s as simple and intuitive as flicking through TV channels, the BBC is bringing on demand television to mainstream audiences across the UK.”

The ‘TV-friendly’ user interface is designed to make the process of looking through the iPlayer as simple as surfing channels. Favourite programmes can be saved and previous searches viewed. It is also possible to return to the last programme watched.

Danker suggested that in the next few years half of iPlayer use would be directly through a connected TV.

The iPlayer is currently available on over 300 connected TVs and Blu-ray players, resulting in a five-fold growth over the last six months.