Last week BBC launched its flagship online TV service, offering viewers the chance to download their favourite programmes from the last seven days.

The online video service, available at is free, but people will not be allowed to save permanent copies to their computer. The programs are stored on the computer in what they called BBC iPlayer Library, and they will be deleted after viewing or after 30 days. Copyright protection software prevents the copying of shows. This player only works with Windows XP, Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player 10 (or later). The fact the iPlayer is only available for Windows XP has caused some controversy, with non-Windows users feeling they have been excluded.

Viewers can choose from 400 hours of programs, between 60 and 70 percent of the total TV output, including hit shows as Planet Earth.

Here is a step by step guide to joining the BBC iPlayer Beta and installing the BBC iPlayer Library .

Related news: ZDNet UK


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