The BBC is planning to launch a user-friendly set-top box that will rival the likes of Apple TV and possibly Sky.

Described as a "device that transfers web video such as its successful on-demand iPlayer service onto TV screens", the FT reports that it would be an easy-to-use IPTV offering.

Mark Thompson, BBC director general, told the FT: "There are many things out there in the market but what we haven't got is a simple standard, to mean that you can get services like iPlayer and Kangaroo".

He said the corporation was "looking very hard at" forming an alliance to introduce "a very simple standard" for getting online vids from computer screens to TVs.

At early stages, and requiring BBC Trust approval yet, it's said the Beeb is understood to be talking to content owners and hardware manufacturers.