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The Pros and Cons of BBC iPlayer

The BBC iPlayer is the jewel in the corporation’s on-demand TV service. It means you can watch and listen to BBC shows for a set period of time after they have aired.

As a new update to the iPlayer app launches to much fanfare among technology fans, we take a look at the pros and cons of the BBC iPlayer.

Pros of the BBC iPlayer

On Demand TV at its Best:

The iPlayer is a great and modern piece of technology that the BBC was undoubtedly right to roll out. It has transformed for many people the way they watch TV and expanded the reach of BBC programming to a whole new audience. The device has also had a positive impact on commercial TV stations and how they roll out their on demand services as well as having encouraged a whole new consumer base to become more tech savvy.

BBC iPlayer App Appeal:

The iPlayer app now lets you stream over all of the UK’s 3G mobile networks.The iPlayer for iPhone app has had an upgrade and is now compatible with iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S, bringing with it a channel switcher allowing you to flick between TV and radio channels. Android phones are restricted to wi-fi – for the time being, but you can be sure that it will be available in 3G for these handsets soon. It is a cool new upgrade that is delighting the tech world as it means you watch and listen to BBC shows wherever you are. What’s more the AirPlay compatibility for Apple means you can stream to your Apple TV and send programmes to your TV on the move.

Cons of the BBC iPlayer

Data Issues for App Streaming

The new app may destroy your data limits on your mobile handsets. “Most smartphones come with a data cap of around 500MB or 1GB per month, so considering that an hour of TV viewing through iPlayer will set you back around 300MB there is serious potential for some nasty bill shocks at the end of the month,” comments Michael Phillips, product director at

Is BBC iPlayer Unfair to License Payers?

The iPlayer is currently free. There are no adverts on the iPlayer in the UK and if you can show that you never watch any live TV, or own a TV at home, you can watch the iPlayer without the need for a TV license. Is this fair? Especially when you consider that anyone with a TV at home is expected to fork out £145 a year for a colour TV license to help fund the BBC.