BBC iPlayer may pre-download shows in the future
Interestingly the BBC does not seem to have given up on the download version of the iPlayer. The last stats showed that over eight times as many shows were watched via the streaming player than the Kontiki based download version. The latest developments mentioned on DigitalSpy.co.uk centre around plans to allow people to book downloads in the future, with a scheduling system to allow the user to determine the optimum time to download.
Scheduling for iPlayer downloads offers potential to spread out the load from the service. Whether this would be enough to assuage the concerns of broadband providers over the growing use of video on broadband connections is another matter. For people using a broadband service that provides unmetered overnight usage, it would be a good way to remain on a lower price tariff while using iPlayer.
Shifting a lot of traffic to the overnight off-peak period sounds attractive, but how many of the general public will leave their computer on overnight to download a TV show? If this were built into FreeView boxes then it would be a lot more popular and could be done in a low power mode avoiding the 100W or more an hour of electricity that a computer will use.