If you are living in the United Kingdom, have a broadband Internet connection and are at least 16 years of age you can apply to become a beta tester for the BBC Archive. The BBC is looking for 20000 testers that use the system for a period of six months exploring the vast archive that will be available for download (probably means streaming). Testers will have to take surveys from time to time to improve the service during the test.
"The pilot is part of the BBC's plans to eventually offer more than a million hours of TV and radio from its archive. Our audience increasingly want and expect to dictate how, when and where they get our services," he told the conference." said BBC's Future Media boss Ashley Highfield. He said the corporation's end ambition was "one day enabling any viewer to access any BBC programme ever broadcast via their television", and highlighted the need to bridge the divide between TV and content with online connections.
The test phase will make available about 1000 hours of content from various TV and radio programs. About 50 hours will be made available to the public to give everyone a sneak peak at what is to come.
I think that this is a great opportunity for everyone living in the UK to get some free TV on the computer and eventually help shape the service into a viewer friendly one. The trial will also be used to determine the line between free and paid content. If you thought everything will be available free you must have been a bit delusional.
Apply at the official BBC Archive site if you like.
Update: The beta test is over and the archives seem to have been opened now for all visitors from the UK. Shows are country-locked which means that you can't access them from other countries unless you use a proxy server or VPN to do so.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.