The BBC is adding a new functionality called Live Restart to its BBC iPlayer online TV platform, the institution announced today on its Internet Blog, insisting it is a first in the UK.

Thanks to this new feature, you will now be able to rewind and restart live TV on BBC iPlayer on your PC – that is, even before the program you are watching is over. In addition, you will also be able to ‘scroll back’ to watch programs from the previous 2 hours.

At the moment, this functionality is only available on computers, though the BBC will bring it on mobiles, tablets and internet connected TVs later this year.

EastEnders Live alt2 520x423 You can now rewind and restart live TV on the BBC iPlayer

According to Dave Price, Head of BBC iPlayer, Live Restart is about handing back control to the users:

“We all know how frustrating it is when you’re stuck in a traffic jam, or delayed on the tube, missing the critical start of your favourite BBC programme. Live Restart solves this by giving audiences control. With one simple click of a button viewers can skip back to the beginning of a live programme, ensuring they never miss a moment of their favourite BBC programmes.”

On a higher level, the corporation acknowledges that this new feature reflects its strategy of moving beyond catch-up. Not only has it become an online TV destination of its own, but the BBC also wants to use it to improve the live experience itself. As a matter of fact, a growing number of users are watching live TV online, with live requests making up over 22% of total BBC iPlayer requests on the PC in April 2012 – an increase of 18% on April 2011.

Image credit: m0gky