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Wednesday, 16 January 2008

BBC i-Player is good but whatever happened to Project Kangaroo?

Over on the BBC Internet Blog Ashley Highfield has written about the 'marketing' launch of i-Player, the BBC's on demand streaming of the last 7 days of television.

He seems pleased with progress so far and I reckon it's one of the first tangible steps of the long-predicted demise of appointment television.

One of the great things about i-Player is the search facility. It allows you to easily scan the last 7 days of television for anything that interests you, rather than constantly keeping track of the television listings.

So last week, I searched 'Iraq' and discovered an interesting interview with General Sir Mike Jackson, (Head of the British Army 2003-6) on Hardtalk - a News 24 programme I'd never heard of.

Channel 4 also has an on demand service. What some bright spark needs to do is bring these 'On Demand' services together on one website...

Hang on, I thought that was the point of 'Project Kangaroo'. This was a joint project between ITV, Channel 4 and BBC to launch a joint website where you could download TV programmes in the same place.

It would mean that rather than just searching the BBC's programmes, I could search the output of a number of television channels in one go. I haven't heard much about this since this article in the Guardian. I'll post on the BBC Internet Blog and see if I get a response.

UPDATE: Project Kangaroo seems to be in the early stages. It was only announced in November 2007 though this press release suggests it should be up and running in 2008. Nick Reynolds, Editor of the BBC Internet Blog, has pointed me to Ashley Highfield's post on the project.
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Random Bonus Observation 1:
I've since discovered that Hardtalk has been running for ten years(!). But if you broadcast at 11.30pm and 4.30am on a channel that needs at least a freeview box nobody ever finds out about your programme.

RBO2: Part of what I do is comparing news coverage of an event. Now that ITV's evening bulletin is at 1opm rather than 10.30pm, comparing the BBC and ITV has once again become rather difficult.

What would be really useful is if both organisations could stick their news bulletins up on demand so I can compare coverage by watching them one after the other. This would be much better than the current alternatives - channel hopping or trying to watch two televisions at the same time.

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