The BBC has announced that it will be testing its Interactive Media Player in five thousand homes in the UK to see if offering legal downloads of our favourite programmes via the internet will change the way we watch television.

Randomly drawn from applicants around the country, with the only stipulation being that they have high-speed internet access, they will be the first to experience the BBC's so-called interactive Media Player, or iMP.

The trail will take part for three-months from September, during that time the BBC says it has made around 190 hours of TV shows and 310 hours of radio programmes available for downloading.

"iMP could just be the iTunes for the broadcast industry, enabling our audience to access our TV and radio programmes on their terms - anytime, any place, any how," said Ashely Highfield, BBC director of New Media & Technology.