BBC Creates Open Source TV Application Layer

The good old BBC’s created a new application layer to distribute content to as many different devices as possible. What’s more, it’s Open Source and available on GitHub!

TAL (TV Application Layer) uses the latest and greatest technologies such as HTML5 to deliver television to many platforms. TAL minimises the amount of work required to get iPlayer working on a new device or platform, hopefully creating a uniform experience no matter what you’re using it on.

TAL was developed internally within the BBC as a way of vastly simplifying TV application development whilst increasing the reach of BBC TV applications such as iPlayer. Today all of the BBC’s HTML-based TV applications are built using TAL.

There are a number of reasons we’ve decided to share TAL as an open source project:

  • Sharing the code allows other parties to contribute. Hopefully making the product better for everyone who uses it

  • Sharing TAL should make building applications on TV easier for others, helping to drive the uptake of this nascent technology. The BBC has a history of doing this and we are always looking at new ways to reach our audience.

  • The BBC is always looking at ways in which it can partner with the wider industry. Sharing TAL is a great way to allow application developers to reach a large range of Connected TV Devices. Equally it helps device manufacturers increase the number of applications for their devices.

Well done BBC. Making this software Open Source is refreshing, most large organisations rarely make their work public. The hope is that using GitHub, the Layer can be improved, meaning a better experience for everyone. [engadget]