The BBC is reported to be backing research on a new personal video recorder (PVR) that would need no programming, and could instead record every show broadcast on Freeview over a seven-day period.
Broadcast magazine said the BBC was helping to fund the project by technology firm Promise TV to develop a PVR that could outperform rival devices such as Sky+. This week BSkyB revealed it now had 880,000 Sky+ customers, a rise of 118,000 on the previous quarter.
The BBC's interest apparently centres on how PVR users navigate through stored shows.
Broadcast said work on the prototype—codenamed Pandora—was being funded by BBC Research and Development. Promise TV's Dominic Ludlam told Broadcast: "This could well herald a change in the way we watch television.
"The freedom from advance programming means that TV programmes need never be missed, even if they are only heard about after they've aired."
Meanwhile, the BBC's controller of corporate strategy, Simon Walker, told Broadcast's HD Guide 2005 that Freeview may never transmit in high definition unless the Government allocates more bandwidth to the platform.
"DTT is capacity constrained," said Walker. "If we as a nation believe that HD is something we want to have and should be universally available at switch-over, then capacity that comes available must be redirected.
"We'll need the support of government, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Ofcom if HD over DTT is to happen."
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