On the heels of a fairly successful BBC online test, Ioko has announced plans to create the UK’s first independent broadband TV network. Dubbed ib.tv, the network will roll out in October 2006 in Britain and invade the rest of Europe sometime in 2008.
The service will offer something a little different than many broadband viewing options in the United States at this point: a “try before you buy” feature will enable customers to check out content on a smaller scale before they download high resolution versions to their PCs or other compatible devices.
Positioned between existing broadcast TV and internet search-based services, ib.tv will offer viewers a range of content genres, including documentaries, short form videos, podcasts, comedy, comic strips, film trailers, short drama, mobile video contributions, community-based interaction, celebrity endorsed products and retail services.
ib.tv makes use of peer-2-peer (P2P) technology from Kontiki, termed the Grid system. The system enables users to legally download content to their PCs.
Any of the country’s estimated eight million broadband subscribers will be able to use the service. There’s still no word on when (“if” is likely not a question here) the BBC will take the results of its online test and turn them into full-time offerings.