The BBC iPlayer is to offer the same service for Mac users as PC owners by the end of the year.

The corporation's director general Mark Thompson made the commitment in a blog posting on the BBC's website promising that a download version of its iPlayer online video service will be available for Mac users by the end of 2008.

"I hope this good news is evidence of the hard work that the BBC is committing to supporting other platforms", he wrote.

The BBC faced a furore, including a Downing Street petition, after it launched the service with biases towards PC users.

Explaining the decision to launch for just Windows users, Mr Thompson said it had been about "making the service available in the shortest time frame to the greatest amount of users".

He wrote: "Were we to choose to not develop any systems or services until they could be received by every single individual licence-fee payer, our capacity for development and innovation - in the interest of serving those who fund our services - would be severely limited".

The Mac version is currently paired down and does not offer, for example, the facility to download programmes to watch at any time within a 30-day window, while the Windows version does.