The BBC will launch a 5,000 person trial this September of an online media service which will allow users to watch television shows on their computers.
IMP, interactive media player, will allow users to download selected BBC television and radio programs. BBC director Ashley Highfield says IMP might become the iTunes for the broadcast industry.
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. Shows such as "Holby City" and "Top Gear" 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.