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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 October 2005, 11:17 GMT 12:17 UK
ITV trials broadband TV service
Screen grab of the ITV local broadband TV service
ITV will roll service out to other regions if successful
One of the UK's leading terrestrial broadcasters is to throw its hat into the broadband TV ring.

ITV will trial a TV service via the internet, which will offer people the chance to create their own schedules and broadcasts.

Local content, including classified advertisements, will be key to the new service.

Using high-speed net connections to deliver TV content is capturing the imagination of broadcasters and telcos.

The three-month trial will initially be aimed at viewers in Brighton and Hastings, although ITV plans to extend to other regions if it is deemed a success.

Viewers will be invited to upload their own reports and budding film-makers will be able to showcase their films as part of a drive towards citizen-led TV.

Local TV

ITV sees the broadband service as a chance to reassert its commitment to local services.

TV set

"ITV has been proud of its regional services for 50 years, but until now we haven't had the delivery systems to provide a truly local service," said Lindsay Charlton, managing director of ITV Meridian.

"The rapid advance in the number of broadband homes in the UK, combined with improvements in streaming technology, has transformed the opportunities for local broadcasting," she said.

Broadband TV - formally known as internet protocol TV - is set to transform broadcasting, making TV more web-like with a choice of millions of shows to download.

Experts predict that, within five years, many households will have both a conventional broadcast signal delivered via satellite, aerial or cable as well as TV via their broadband connection.

The BBC is also experimenting with broadband TV and is currently conducting a three month trial of its so-called Integrated Media Player (iMP).

The application, utilising peer-to-peer technology, allows people to download TV and radio programmes they may have missed up to seven days after it has been broadcast.

Broadband TV puts the control of what content is watched and when in the hands of the viewer and already enterprising individuals are using the technology to create their own TV channels.

In Italy one man uses broadband TV to deliver news to the rest of his apartment block, while in Norway the technology is used to tune into live traffic camera streams.

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