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BBC launches update to iPlayer TV interface

by RXTV-newsdesk
BBC iPlayer new interface

Subtitles and playback have been improved in the latest update to the TV version of the BBC iPlayer.

A new, simplified interface awaits TV users, with a streamlined progress bar and a new top-left menu to access various accessibility options. In the top left of the screen, users will also find extra controls to find more episodes or change settings. The plus icon adds a programme to the ‘watch later’ list.

Play/pause button abolished on iPlayer for TV

The changes also mark the end of the dedicated on-screen play/pause button. This reflects the fact that on TV, play/pause is controlled by remote control buttons. The play/pause button will however continue to appear on other versions of the iPlayer across desktop and mobile devices. On TV, play/pause icons will briefly appear in the middle of the screen when pausing or resuming.

Meanwhile, visual stills will now be available on TV to help viewers rewinding or fast-forwarding a programme. The stills will help viewers identify where they are in a programme, and when to press play.

The changes were announced by the BBC iPlayer product manager Andrew White. Roll-out of the new interface on various TVs and receivers began on Wednesday.

Subtitle changes

Following the update, the default size of subtitles will be smaller. But users can now choose from five different subtitle sizes, to make them even larger or smaller than before. Initially, this choice will be available on on-demand programmes only. A further update to allow viewers to change subtitle sizes on live streams will follow soon. To improve readability, subtitles will be displayed in the BBC’s Reith Sans typeface with a black background.

Andrew White added: “The new position of the subtitles and settings menu makes it easier than ever to turn subtitles on or off, as well as making it easier to choose the audio described and signed versions where available; plus, we’ve also added the ability to change and control the size of the subtitles.”

“The subtitles are also now positioned to take account of what’s on-screen, so they will no longer be covering important information.”

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