The BBC is exploring the creation of an all-BBC-based personal
video service using computer hard drive technology.
A personal video recorder recently developed by German company AXCent
and its UK subsidiary AXTechnology will be adapted to link together all
BBC TV content, including terrestrial and digital channels, as a trial
Personal Video Recorders (PVRs), such as the TiVO system recently
released in the UK, take advantage of the size of hard drives to allow
viewers to record programmes without the hassle of tape. Up to 40 hours
of programmes can be stored on 40 gig hard drives.
Interfaces make it easy to find specific programmes from within the
range of digital TV content currently available, and allow easy
AXTechnology's MediaTV recorder combines the features of a digital
satellite receiver with those of a digital hard disc recorder.
It is being marketed in Germany under the Grundig brand and is due to
launch in the UK later this year.
Vicky Burke, BBC project manager (personal television), stressed the
agreement was for a technical trial only: 'We're not planning on making
this service commercially available,' she said.
'This is an evolving technology which will change the way people watch
TV. We have to keep our fingers in as many pies as possible,' she
The BBC hopes to have the technology ready for the IBC technology show
in Amsterdam in September.