Microsoft are going to start offering full length TV shows for streaming for free from MSN video in the UK. The service will include 300 hours of TV shows from the BBC Worldwide and ALL3MEDIA. According to the report on BBC news the shows will be available in WMV and Flash (and not Silverlight) and DRM free. If its WMV content then it should work on Extenders if Microsoft or a developer could create a Media Center addin for it. So come on Microsoft how about a Windows Media Center enabled version!

The site should be up next week.

MSN Video Player screenshot (Microsoft)

Details from the BBC:

Microsoft has announced a UK service that will stream full-length videos of television shows for free.

The advertising-funded MSN Video Player will be available from next week and will include over 300 hours of shows.

Microsoft said it will continue to extend the service, adding content by working with broadcasters and studios.

The "beta", or trial, service features material from the BBC’s commercial subsidiary BBC Worldwide and ALL3MEDIA, including Peep Show and Shameless.

Ashley Highfield, Microsoft’s managing director and vice president of consumer and online, said the firm is hoping to use its "unparalleled reach" to offer content to the 23% of UK consumers who watch video online.

Programmes will be streamed without DRM (Digital Rights Management) copy protection but will only be available to people with a UK web address.

The service will go head-to-head with other catch-up services such as the BBC’s iPlayer and Hulu, which is expected to launch in the UK later in the year.

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