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The BBC is extending a trial it ran last summer to test its interactive Media Player (iMP) which will let UK residents watch repeats of TV and radio programmes.

2004 saw a technical pilot used by 1,500 people. The new trial will run from September until December and 5,000 people will get access to a wider range of BBC content.

A BBC spokesman told the Reg: “We had to check the technology worked and the digital rights management worked. Now we want to offer it to a wider range of people to see how they use it and what market impact it has.”

The spokesman added there were no figures available for how much iMP will cost but its peer-to-peer infrastructure should keep overheads down.

iMP, which the Beeb describes as “iTunes for the broadcast industry”, will let users download a selection of programmes from the last week’s schedules. The application will let you search programmes and download some for later viewing.

After seven days the files will be deleted. Users will have access to 190 hours of TV and 310 hours of radio content. The BBC already makes much of its radio content available online. The trial is limited to UK internet users.

The BBC is working with Siemens Business Services, Kontiki and Geo-IP on the service.

Any Reg readers interested in taking part in the trial should send an email including their name, age, contact details and postcode to imptrial@bbc.co.uk

BBC press release available here. ®

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