The BBC will launch its iPlayer TV-on-demand service on 27 July, allowing viewers to watch programmes over the internet up to seven days after broadcast. The software has been tested by some 15,000 users already, and will initially be available as a public beta test version to ensure a controlled rollout, before a full launch in the autumn. The system has been developed by BBC's technology and broadcast outsourcing partners Siemens and Red Bee Media.
BBC director of future media and technology, Ashley Highfield, says the iPlayer will eventually be available on Windows Vista and Apple Macs, and will be rolled out to other media platforms too. 'Our vision is for the BBC iPlayer to become a universal service available not just over the internet, but also on cable and other TV platforms, and eventually on mobiles and smart handheld devices,' he said. Programmes from the past week can be downloaded to a PC and watched up to 30 days afterwards, before the file deletes itself.