Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The BBC plans to show repeats on demand

When you flick the channel hopper and find those hidden shows of yesterday you often realise many were not as good as you fondly remembered.

But there is about to be even more of them made available as the BBC opens up its archive in an on demand trail to some 20,000 homes in the UK. The pilot is part of the BBC's plans to eventually offer more than a million hours of TV and radio from its archive.

The corporation's ambition is to ‘enabling any viewer to access any BBC programme ever broadcast’. Broadcasters around the world are grappling with the shift to on-demand media. Channel 4 has launched its on-demand service via the net and cable services, while networks in the US are shifting content to platforms such as iTunes and the web.

At the recent media event in Cannes the BBC announced an iPlayer service, offering catch-up TV via the web and cable TV, re-engineered to work with Apple Macs and eventually rolled out to digital terrestrial TV (DTT) and set-top boxes. In addition they aim to trail hybrid set-top boxes which are connected to the net and can record TV to access BBC archive material.

The BBC iPlayer is expected to be launched later this year but is still subject to approval from the BBC Trust. If launched, it is designed to offer a seven-day catch-up service for viewers who can download content onto their computers.
This interesting as it comes at a time when it is reported that overtook Sky as the main way of watching TV in the UK homes ad now is in more than 11 homes. It will be very interesting to see the impact of the PC reception as more and more PC s are now sold with integrated TV Freeview reception.