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BBC iPlayer iPad app lands in the UK App Store with live and catch-up TV and radio

BBC iPlayer iPad app
We told you it was coming, but as of today the BBC iPlayer app for the iPad is officially available for free via the UK iTunes App Store. The app basically packages everything you know and love from the BBC's iPlayer into a slick, iPad-optimized app with impressive streaming quality.

You can view over 400 hours of content from the last seven days of BBC broadcast, as well as stream both TV and radio live with a slight delay. The iPad app allows you to pin shows to a favorites tab too, meaning you can drag and drop a collection of your favorite shows together for easy navigation. However, you can't save a program for offline viewing, which isn't a surprise, but is a real blow to the usefulness of the iPad app when travelling.

With our brief hands-on we can safely say that the BBC has done a fine job with the iPlayer iPad app. The interface mirrors that of the iPlayer on the desktop, but with a touch-friendly, iPad optimized spin. Streaming quality was excellent, even for live broadcasts over Wi-Fi, while VOD content has a HQ (high quality) toggle for when your connection isn't the best. The program guide is useful, allowing you to see what's coming up on the BBC live stream and what's available for catch-up already.

BBC iPlayer iPad app

While the BBC iPlayer app is currently only available in the UK -- the US will have to wait till June -- it turns your iPad into a portable, wireless, BBC-TV for free. So, if you're in the UK and you happen to own an iPad, you'd be remiss not to download the app. Just be sure to stick to Wi-Fi, because streaming of that nature is going to juice through any limited 3G data allowance in no time.

Update: Even if you can download the BBC iPlayer iPad app from the UK App Store, it won't stream anything outside the UK. Not great if you happen to be travelling, or want a bit of BBC VOD from overseas, but not surprising either. Thanks Richard.

Tags: apps, BBC, hands-on, iOS, iPad, iPlayer, media, video