The UK’s very popular BBC iPlayer has started to offer HD video streams and downloads of many of their new programmes.
As many people in the UK do not have Sky HD / FreeSat HD, or general access to HD content, it will be the first time it’s available to them.
The free service launched at the end of 2007, and has since had over 387 million request to stream and download content.
The new iPlayer also features a diagnostic tool which calculates the users Internet speed, and automatically switches to the best stream. BBC say the quality is nearly twice as good as the previous high quality format.
I did a little sniffing around, and found the quality to be very impressive indeed. It runs at a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution (720p HD), using h264 codec at 3200kbps (3.2Mb).
You will need a relatively fast computer and Internet to get the best out of the HD streams.