BBC plans to launch 4K Ultra HD content on iPlayer

The BBC's head of technology, Andy King, said that the BBC was working hard to get Ultra HD content to consumers, and that when it did, it would likely launch on BBC iPlayer.

Speaking to Advanced Television at the MIPCOM programming market, King said that the BBC would take an "Internet first" approach to 4K content, as the task of broadcasting 4K shows over digital terrestrial TV was proving "difficult".

King also confirmed the BBC is increasingly producing new programmes in HDR, including the upcoming Planet Earth II series, with HDR increasingly seen as a crucial factor in differentiating 4K content from HD and SD.

King also mentioned that he would like to see serious improvements made in "object based audio', such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, saying: "As an industry we need not to forget the sound stuff!” Hear, hear.

MORE: BBC shows-off holographic TV experiment

Broadcast 4K content is currently being delivered by BT Sport Ultra HD and Sky Q, while streaming services including Amazon, Netflix and YouTube also offer Ultra HD video.

LG and the BBC demonstrated 4K HDR broadcasts earlier this year, having originally aimed to be broadcasting 4K standard by 2016.

It now looks much more likely we'll be watching 4K iPlayer, but presumably not until some time in 2017.

MORE: What is 4K Ultra HD? Everything you need to know

Adam was a staff writer for What Hi-Fi?, reviewing consumer gadgets for online and print publication, as well as researching and producing features and advice pieces on new technology in the hi-fi industry. He has since worked for PC Mag as a contributing editor and is now a science and technology reporter for The Independent.