The BBC's iPlayer service has been given the green light by the BBC Trust after consultations with 10,500 individuals and organisations via a public value test. The service, which will launch later this year, allows viewers to watch programmes online for seven days after their first TV broadcast and to store some episodes for up to 30 days. Viewers will be able to watch shows streamed live over the Internet but will not be able to download programmes from other broadcasters. Classical recordings and book-readings are excluded from iPlayer to the dismay of BBC director general Mark Thompson. 15% of all content offered by the service will only be made available until a week after transmission of the final instalment. The iPlayer computer application will only be initially available to those with Windows PCs in the UK.
The trust has asked the BBC to ensure that the iPlayer computer application can run on different operating systems within "a reasonable time frame". Earlier this month BBC Future Media boss Ashley Highfield said the corporation was committed to rolling out the iPlayer on Windows PCs first of all, and then cable TV services, Apple Macs, and eventually Freeview boxes. But the BBC said it could not commit to a two-year deadline to achieve this goal, saying it was up to the third parties concerned. However, the BBC Trust said it would audit the BBC's progress against this objective every six months to ensure that members of the public not using Windows PCs would not be disadvantaged.