BBC has added “Live Restart” to its iPlayer app. This will let Brits hit a button to rewind live TV up to two hours. Thus, if you miss the beginning of a live show you can just skip back to the beginning.
This handily closes the gap between live streaming and the watch-later service that lets you go back and catch TV shows aired in the past two weeks.
The new service is accessed by hitting a dedicated button, and although it looks simple, it is the result of big changes on the back end. Instead of the old RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol) streams, iPlayer now uses HTTP streaming. The H.264 stream is broken into chunks that can be served from any HTTP server, and adaptive streaming tailors the video for your available bandwidth, hopefully ensuring a continuous stream whatever your connection.
Right now, the new service is desktop (and laptop) only, but will be coming to your iOS devices “later this year.” And if you’re outside the UK, then you’re out of luck – live streaming is only available in Blighty.