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BBC iPlayer HD coming this month

Exec reveals plan for online high-def TV

The BBC's iPlayer could be available in high definition later this month, according to a BBC executive.

Although the news has yet to be made official, Jana Bennett, director of BBC Vision, revealed plans for iPlayer HD at the Financial Times' Digital Media conference in London.

iPlayer, now available on Mac, Linux and Windows, has proven a huge success for the BBC, as has the broadcaster's high-definition channel, BBC HD.

BBC HD currently broadcasts for eight hours a day between 5pm and 1am with extended hours at weekends and for live events that are in HD.

However, offering that HD content online could prove unpopular with ISPs, which have already warned that providing more free video content via the internet could encourage users to exceed their monthly download limits.

When the BBC began broadcasting BBC One and BBC Two shows live online in November, price comparison site BroadbandChoices said those regularly watching internet TV would see their data usage surge.

"As a public service broadcaster the BBC has a responsibility to clearly inform users of the potential impact to their broadband service and punitive charges they might incur through accessing high quantities of this content," said Michael Phillips, product director of BroadbandChoices, at the time.

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