BBC iPlayer is a great service for watching TV on demand and the desktop version is an essential addition
As broadband connections get better and better, catching up with TV online is easier than ever. The BBC iPlayer website is one of the best available here in the UK and, along with the online version, there is an excellent offline version – BBC iPlayer Desktop.
A quick download from the BBC iPlayer website, the desktop version of the service is simply a way to enjoy TV and radio programmes even when you're not online - it'll even work when you're in another country. Once installed, navigate to the iPlayer website and find a programme you want to download to watch later.
The download option will display an option for iPlayer Desktop, along with the size of file you are going to download. There is also a Series Record option so if you always want to catch an episode of your favourite programme, this can be done with one click.
While it might take some time to download an hour-long programme (depending on the speed of your connection), once downloaded you won't suffer from any buffering or connection issues as the file is stored on your computer.
The interface on the iPlayer Desktop application is very similar to that of the website, with programmes clearly listed under tabs depending on their current status: Available now, Coming soon, A-Z and Expiring.
There are also options for Live Radio and Live TV. While both work fine, there is no full-screen option for live TV, which is something of an oversight.
Also, while most programmes on the online version of BBC iPlayer are available for download, there is the occasional exception such as sports programmes and films.
BBC iPlayer is a great service and being able to enjoy content from it while offline is an essential extra. The live TV and live radio features are also great added extras. If you use the BBC iPlayer already, then the desktop version is a must.
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