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If you live in the UK then you’ve undoubtedly heard of BBC iPlayer. This is a free service that lets you watch live shows and movie broadcasts, or rewatch them at a later date. Whilst you can’t download movies, there is a limited choice and the quality isn’t often high definition, BBC iPlayer Films has some of the best films produced, plus a range of excellent TV shows with the BBC stamp of quality.
First, let’s think about the movies on offer. As we mentioned, there aren’t a great deal to choose from. In fact, this site is severely limited in comparison with many of its peers, however they are all available for free. You’ll find a good mix of art-house and modern blockbuster, and the quality overall is pretty good.
The site is well maintained and organised so it’s fairly easy to find what you’re looking for and you’ll be introduced to a few movies you may never have seen before. There’s no ratings system on this website, so it can be hard to know what to expect from a movie and the synopses given are often quite short. It would really improve the user’s experience if the BBC could include more information on each movie they provide and potentially even link you to other movies which they think you might enjoy.
The great advantage for users who live in the UK is that all of this is free. However if you wish to watch a live show then you are meant to own a TV licence. You can find movies and TV shows based on their category (Science, History, Entertainment and so on) and explore other areas of the BBC, which has a great wealth of news information. One of the BBC’s policies is that it should educate and you’ll find that a great number of its videos aim to do this, making it a useful resource for children and adults alike.
The player is browser based so you’ll need to be on the internet to watch any movie. It’s also quite basic, allowing you to pause, play, change the volume and size. This size adjustment option is a new feature and means that the film will choose the size of the screen depending on how large you make your browser window. This is very useful if you plan on watching a movie on one half of the screen whilst doing something else on the other half. Downloads are not possible, although you can make an inquiry if you wish to get a hard copy of a BBC show or film. These tend to be very expensive as they have to be brought out of the archives and duplicated, so it’s often cheaper to buy them in a store if they are available.
You don’t have a lot of movie-watching choice on BBC iPlayer Films and if you’re looking for recent releases then this isn’t the site for you. However, the films they do show tend to be quality productions and the choice of television shows is excellent. What’s more, this is all free to UK users so there’s really nothing to lose!
Click on the button below to check out BBC.co.uk iPlayer for yourself...