For several years BBC iPlayer has offered viewers access to a slew of recently-broadcast TV programming, usually the last seven to thirty days worth. If you wanted to watch something older than that you were out of luck. But from today things are changing at iPlayer HQ, because the Beeb has launched a brand new section called 'From the Archive'.
Kicking off the new section are a selection of 450 programmes from the BBC's long history. Well not all of it, so far only content from as early as 1946 will be making it online. On offer are the likes of Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends, early documentaries from David Attenborough, The Great War Interviews (a series of interviews with veterans and civilians about WWI), and other content that hasn't been seen since it was first broadcast.
Presumably 'From the Archive' won't include content that still has plenty of commercial value, like classic episodes of Doctor Who. But lack of commercial interest doesn't mean all this stuff is completely worthless, and I assume that's why the BBC is making sure people can access it. It was, after all, paid for with public money.
Dan McGolpin, Controller, Programming & Daytime, says:
"For millions of people, BBC iPlayer is a reliable place for finding something good to watch whenever they choose to look. It will now provide an even richer choice of quality BBC programmes with this new category, From The Archive, making available hundreds of gems from the past including some historic documentary series and interviews with cultural and sporting icons."
You can access the From the Archive section in your browser or using one of the many BBC iPlayer apps. If you're having trouble finding it, just click the Categories button up top. There's a link in there. Oh, and remember to register an account if you still haven't done that. [BBC]