As the first subscription free TV route to watching the BBC's hugely successful video on demand service, iPlayer will be available on Freesat from December 7th.
The Freesat implementation of iPlayer will arrive in 'beta' version, available initially to a selected group of households. The service will build up to a planned 450 hours of programming each week for the 600,000 or so Freesat enabled UK homes (expected to reach 1m by March 2010).
Freesat viewers will also have access to ITV's catch-up service, ITV Player, during the first half of next year. The service is scheduled to become available before the 2010 world cup. If you would like to find out more about the service you might like to read our Freesat Guide
The Freesat version of iPlayer uses the MHEG 5 interactive TV standard (adopted by Freesat) to select and present internet sourced video streams; the good news for Freesat users is that they will not have to modify their existing equipment.
Indicating the success of the iPlayer in general, and its integration onto other platforms, the BBC revealed that October was the most popular month yet for iPlayer, delivering 97.2m TV and radio programmes, 26 per cent of which were watched through Virgin Media's catch-up service.
The BBC have also revealed that there is a version of BBC iPlayer planned for November which is designed to work with any standard HTML browser. It will use a media playback API that is compatible with HTML4 as well as HTML5.