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BBC Launches Market Trial of iMP

The BBC announced that it has begun to trial a new program download technology in 5,000 U.K. households that could pave the way to endless TV repeats -- The BBC said it hoped to deliver its interactive Media Player (iMP), or "iTunes for the broadcast industry", by year's end, allowing viewers to download any shows from the previous week. Once up and running, the service, currently in its second stage, will make around 190 hours of TV shows and 310 hours of radio programs available for legal downloading across the U.K., the BBC said. "iMP will allow our audience to access our TV and radio programs on their terms -- anytime, any place, any how," said Ashley Highfield, BBC director of new media and technology. "We'll see what programs appeal in this new world and how people search, sort, snack and savor our content in the broadband world." Increasing numbers of people are using the internet to access audio visual material, but Mr. Highfield has warned that take-up may stall without the necessary content to attract audiences.

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