BBC to test online TV service

The BBC will launch an online media service for PC users in the fall
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The BBC will launch of an ambitious online media service that will let viewers watch shows on their computers, with the opening of a 5000 person trial this September, Reuters reported.

The publicly funded broadcaster’s interactive media player, called “iMP,” will allow broadband internet users to download selected BBC television and radio programs.

The trial will offer the ability to search and filter about 190 hours of TV programs and 310 radio programs, plus local content and selected feature films. Popular shows 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 license fee payers can watch and listen to programs.

The broadcaster has also recently announced plans for a Creative Archive, which lets license fee payers download and alter selected material from its vast catalog 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.

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