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BBC receives 'phenomenal response' as thousands volunteer for iMP TV trial

The BBC has had a phenomenal response to its call for volunteers for the second phase of its iMP (integrated Media Player) trial, which begins rolling out to volunteers this week.
Some 30,000 people to date have registered and 5,000 have been chosen to participate in trailing the player, which offers catch up TV and Radio through the internet for seven days after the original broadcast.
Tony Ageh, BBC Controller, Internet, comments: "This response has been fantastic. There was a sense from the first technical trial that a catch up TV and radio service would be extremely popular with people.
"This has been confirmed in these numbers; the public have been quick to realise the possibilities that iMP will bring them.
"It has the potential to truly revolutionise the way that people watch and listen to programmes."
The BBC will phase roll-out the service to the shortlisted 5,000 over the next fortnight.
Each triallist will receive a confirmation email which includes a link to download the application to their computers.
iMP volunteers have been chosen as a representative sample of the UK.
They will be able to search for programmes across TV and radio filtering programmes by channel and, in the case of some series, to collect and watch episodes that they would have otherwise have missed.
By mid-October, triallists will also be able to watch downloaded programmes with subtitles.
The BBC will be monitoring the volunteers' viewing habits and recording their views on iMP until the end of the year.
The purpose of the trial will be to gauge the public interest in iMP as well as to evaluate the public value of such a service, and any potential market impact. The information gathered will help the BBC Board of Governors make a decision on whether to approve iMP for a full roll out.
The first iMP technical trial ran for three months during the summer of 2004.
The BBC's integrated Media Player (iMP) is a new application in development which will allow users to download TV and radio programmes from to their PC or laptop and watch or listen to them for seven days after the transmission date.
The pilot will use digital rights management software (DRM) to delete programmes seven days after the programme has aired on TV and users will no longer be able to watch it.
The software will also prevent users emailing the files to other computer users or sharing it via disc.
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