BBC teams up with British universities to research new TV interfaces and systems

When the BBC asked "Where next?" most of us assumed that online-only programming and all-HD channels would be the extent of the broadcaster's ambition. Not so, now that the corporation has signed a deal with six British universities to research new ways that TV can be created, distributed and navigated. Buzzwords like "content" and "audience focused innovation" seem to mask an initiative to develop a new IP broadcasting system, work on user interfaces beyond gestures and research into how elderly, young and disabled viewers can get around 999-channel TV guides. The project will initially last for four years, by which time we're hoping that the BBC can just beam episodes of Doctor Who straight into our brains -- that's not too much to ask, is it?