Virgin adds HD to its BBC iPlayer

BBC HD content has been added to Virgin Media’s cable version of the BBC iPlayer. It is a welcome boost for the free area of Virgin’s on demand catalogue and the 521,500 homes that have Virgin’s HD-compatible V+ receiver.

“As more households become HD Ready, we’re keen to ensure that Virgin Media customers benefit from the most advanced digital TV service possible,” said Katharine Burns Rivington, executive director of content acquisition at Virgin Media. “We’re looking forward to increasing our line-up of broadcast HD channels over the next few months and combining the very best of HD and on demand TV.”

The majority of free HD content on Virgin is already supplied by the BBC and includes series of The Blue Planet, Cranford and Torchwood. The new agreement will add current hits including Robin Hood (pictured), Friday Night With Jonathan Ross and Later… With Jools Holland.

The BBC iPlayer launched on Virgin Media in May 2008 with 15 million views in March alone. The success has come without any direct promotion from the corporation itself, which feels unable to highlight the availability of the only TV version of the iPlayer, because Virgin only covers 50% of the country.