BBC Is Creating Voice Assistant That Understands Accents

The BBC is developing a voice assistant named Beeb that it promises will understand British accents. Other virtual assistants have struggled with regional accents, but the BBC team will be recording staff voices from multiple U.K. locations to address that issue. While there are no plans to introduce a standalone CE device similar to Google Home or Amazon Echo, the BBC plans to debut Beeb next year to help people interact with online services offered via the company’s website and its smart TV iPlayer app. The assistant’s software will also be available to manufacturers interested in including it in their own consumer devices. Continue reading BBC Is Creating Voice Assistant That Understands Accents

The World Cup Is Finally Available in 4K HDR in Your Home

For the first time, the FIFA World Cup is available in 4K HDR in your living room. Those interested in viewing the world’s single biggest sporting event this way have several choices. Via the Fox Sports World Cup app, cable subscribers can view 4K HDR streams on Hisense’s H6E, H8E or Laser models. Dish is offering 56 of the 64 games live in 4K HDR, and DirecTV is broadcasting all the games that way. Layer3 TV/Altice is also broadcasting in 4K and Comcast Xfinity X1 subscribers can watch 4K HDR on demand the next day. Continue reading The World Cup Is Finally Available in 4K HDR in Your Home

BBC iPlayer Peak Times Vary Between TV and Mobile Viewers

BBC’s iPlayer streaming service shows that Britain’s TV viewers have different consumption habits than Netflix customers here in the U.S. The iPlayer service, which offers live and on-demand shows for viewing, indicates viewership habits that reflect traditional TV viewing, with varying peak times. The majority of BBC’s viewers still watch traditional television, but the definition of “prime time” changes along with the shift to streaming. Continue reading BBC iPlayer Peak Times Vary Between TV and Mobile Viewers

BBC iPlayer Expands Internationally with New iPad App

  • The BBC’s popular iPlayer is an on-demand broadband television and radio service that has been available in Great Britain for four years.
  • As of last week, the service is now available through an iPad app to 11 countries in western Europe (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland) — with plans to launch in the U.S., Canada and Australia by the end of the year as a pilot program.
  • The app will allow users to stream programs over 3G and Wi-Fi, with the option to download for later viewing offline. International users will have access to some content for free, while full access will be subscription-based.
  • Luke Bradley-Jones, managing director of, describes iPlayer as a VOD service: “We will have content from the last month, but also the best from the catalog stretching back 50 to 60 years.” He added, “What we’re trying to test in the pilot is the ability to drive exploration and discovery through a programming approach rather than an algorithm-based approach. We’re not trying to compete against a Netflix or a Hulu. This has to be tailored and hand-crafted, so we can create a tone of voice.”