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16/12/2005

BBC announces extension of broadband iMP trial

Christmas has come early for the 5,000 broadband users participating in the BBC's integrated Media Player (iMP) trial, as the BBC announced a two-month extension of the service.
It will mean that those participating in the trial will now have access to iMP until 28 February 2006.
iMP lets people legally download BBC TV and radio programmes to their PC once they have been on air, and watch or listen to the programme for up to seven days after the original transmission.
The trial has been running since the end of September, but the BBC hopes that the extra time will allow the broadcaster to gain more data on user needs and how people use the service.
Tony Ageh, BBC Controller, Internet says: "We really want to understand the benefits that iMP can bring to our audiences.
We know that there is likely to be a 'honeymoon' period of a few weeks, when our participants are likely to use iMP more often than normal. The data from the extra two months should really help us to comprehend what users want from the service and how they are using it. This will be invaluable for us in making our case to the BBC Board of Governors for a full roll out of iMP."
Extending the trial over the holiday period means that missing the festive favourites should not be a problem even if unexpected guests come a-wassailing.
As part of the weekly 500 programmes available through the service, they will be able to choose from TV traditions like the Queen's speech or Christmas at Kew, and seasonal specials of Casualty @ Holby, Doctor Who, French and Saunders and My Family & Other Animals.
Across radio, iMP seasonal goodies will include Radio 3's A Bach at Christmas and The Goon Show: A Christmas Carol, which is being broadcast on BBC Radio 7.
iMP is based on the BBC's highly successful RadioPlayer, which uses digital rights management software to delete programmes seven days after the programme has aired on TV.
The pilot is being used to assess the demand of particular types of programmes and determine whether iMP has an impact on the commercial market.
(SP)
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