In the UK, the BBC is set to begin trials of a TV downloads service, which will make TV shows available over the Internet. You can definitely see TV heading this way; cable TV and Satellite features that allow on-demand viewing are currently in their infancy, but obviously have potential. Internet based TV is the logical next step. From September of this year, the BBC will hold three months of 'intensive trials' of its interactive Media Player (iMP), where it will make TV shows available for up to seven days after broadcast. Any downloaded media will have a limited life, and will have technology in place to prevent illegal copying of copyrighted material.

Unlike the BBC's current online content - radio stations streamed via its own Radio Player application or Real Player - the new system will require users to download programmes. These will have embedded DRM software that will tell the iMP to delete them once their seven days have expired. The same DRM will prevent programmes from being shared or burned to disc.

Broadband users who would like to be considered for a place on the pilot should send an e-mail to including their name, contact details, age and postcode.