The BBC is testing technology to allow fans of its TV shows to download and watch programmes on their home PCs.
Called interactive Media Player (iMP), the technology is designed to allow viewers to download and view programmes through media player software on their home computer for up to a week after broadcast.
Users can also programme the player to record shows up to a week before they are aired.
Paul Cheesbrough, BBC head of technology production and technology direction, said: "It's something other media companies are probably being more hesitant in looking at because of the potential rights issues."
BBC programmes can be downloaded in an encrypted digital format and viewed with specialist PC media player software based on off-the-shelf peer-to-peer technology.
By using rights management software to give users only a two-week window in which to view downloaded programmes, the BBC believes it can avoid potential copyright and piracy issues.
The right to watch a programme is activated once it is broadcast, and deactivated seven days later.
The BBC expects 1,000 people to trial the iMP over the next three months. If the trial is successful, iMP will become part of the Corporation's 'Public Value' strategy to digitise production, shut down the analogue broadcasting signal in 2010 and encourage more digital viewers.
BBC chairman Michael Grade and director general Mark Thompson unveiled the service at the end of July, alongside other new BBC initiatives for delivering on-demand, personalised digital TV services to licence-fee payers.
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