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BBC to trial online TV service.
Contributed by: G3nu1n3, at 5/18/2005 12:05:00 AM.

The BBC is moving toward the launch of an ambitious online media service that will let viewers watch shows such as EastEnders on their computers, with the opening of a 5000 person trial this September.

The publicly funded broadcaster's interactive media player, or iMP, will allow broadband Internet users to download selected BBC television and radio programmes.

Hoping to mimic the success of Apple's popular online music store, BBC director of new media and technology Ashley Highfield said iMP "could just be the iTunes for the broadcast industry".

The trial will offer the ability to search and filter about 190 hours of TV programmes and 310 radio programmes, plus local content and selected feature films. Shows such as Holby City and Top Gear will be available for seven days after they have aired.

IMP will function as a peer-to-peer network, so that content will be exchanged between users, and a digital rights management system will be put in place to ensure that only BBC licence fee payers can watch and listen to programmes.

The BBC is funded by a tax on all UK television householders, which brings in about stg2.5 billion ($NZ6.58 billion) a year.

The broadcaster has also recently announced plans for a Creative Archive, which lets licence fee payers download and alter selected material from its vast catalogue of content, as well as BBC Backstage, which provides publicly available data feeds of BBC content.

The iMP trial is being conducted in a partnership with Siemens, BBC Broadcast and Kontiki Inc.

Source: Link

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