Nah, it's not quite ready for your iPhone (or OS X at all, to be frank), but the BBC iPlayer has officially launched. The online TV service will go head-to-head with rivals 4OD and ITV, and according to director general Mark Thompson, the launch of iPlayer "is as big a milestone as the arrival of color TV." All exaggeration aside, the service will allow viewers to "download a selection of programs from the last seven days and watch them for up to 30 days afterwards," and of course, all files are not only laced in DRM, but will automatically delete themselves after they are viewed or after 30 days have passed. Currently, a fixed number of people will be able to sign up, with the numbers increasing throughout the year, and while it only operates in Britain on Windows XP systems using IE 6 or later, the BBC's Ashley Highfield has stated that hopes are for the iPlayer to "become a universal service available not just over the internet, but also on cable and other TV platforms, and eventually on mobiles and smart handheld devices."

[Via BBC]

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BBC launches iPlayer online video service