Later this month, the BBC will launch a pilot project that could lead to all television programmes being made available on the internet. Viewers will be able to scan an online guide and download any show. The plan is to make all television programmes from the previous week available on the internet, using a programme guide similar to that already used on digital television.
Programmes would be viewed on a computer screen or could be burned to a DVD and watched on a television set.
The iMP project is driven by research showing that people increasingly find it difficult to align their highly valued free time with fixed television schedules. Homes with personal video recorders (PVRs), like Sky Plus, already “time-shift” 70 per cent of the programmes they watch to more convenient viewing times.
“The fundamental shift in the music industry and the audio-radio industry to people consuming what they want, how they want, when they want, has given us a pretty clear idea that this is something that’s going to happen to video.”
By launching iMP, the BBC hopes to avoid being left at the mercy of a software giant such as Microsoft, which could try to control the gateway to online television.
Now we just need the commercial channels to find a way of doing the same thing