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New look for Wii iPlayer

PS3 version in the works.

The BBC has redesigned its iPlayer video streaming service for the Nintendo Wii.

The service has been available on the Wii for six months now, but only working through the standard iPlayer website design, which is too large to fit comfortably on the Wii's browser display.

The new version is optimised for the Wii's display resolution and pointer control, with a simplified interface and larger buttons.

You can see screenshots and read more about it in a blog by developer Anthony Rose on the BBC website.

You can even sample the navigation on your computer by going to BigScreen version of iPlayer.

One of the major problems with the previous version of iPlayer on Wii was that it was impossible to play back in full-screen mode. The new version is "designed with that in mind", taking you automatically to a much larger, non-windowed playback display.

However, the BBC has not been able to improve the video streaming quality over the original version. "That's not ideal - but, alas, the Wii ships with Flash 7 which uses the older Sorenson Spark codec that gives lower video compression and poorer quality than the more recent On2 VP6 and H.264 codecs used in later versions of Flash found on your PC," said Rose.

"We're very much looking forward to better quality video options on these devices - stay tuned for possible further developments on this front over the coming months," he added.

As a footnote, Rose added that a PS3 version of iPlayer was in the works.

"We're also working on bringing BBC iPlayer to Sony PS3, but we're not quite there yet as the PS3 uses a slightly older version of Flash which doesn't support some of the features used in our media player, and the very promising Flash 9 update now available on PS3 has some compatibility issues," he said.

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Oli Welsh

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Oli was Eurogamer's MMO Editor before a seven-year stint as Editor. He worked here for a colossal 14 years, shaping the website and leading it.

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