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After weeks of beta testing, the ABC has moved deeper into online operations with the launch of iView, a free streaming video service which provides full-screen, high-resolution content from popular shows, news and documentaries, delivered via the Internet.

After weeks of beta testing, the ABC has moved deeper into online operations with the launch of iView, a free streaming video service which provides full-screen, high-resolution content from popular shows, news and documentaries, delivered via the Internet.

Shows available shortly after their broadcast TV screening include the currently popular Hollowmen, The Gruen Factor, Foyles War, Dr Who, The New Inventors, Lateline and Business Lateline, The 7.30 Report, At The Movies with Margaret and David, and First Tuesday Book Club.

They’re presented via five “channels”: CatchUp, News, Kazam (a children’s channel), Docs and Arts. More channels, and more shows, are promised for later this year.

The new iView service comes on top of the limited program downloads ABC has been offering for some time, but offers better full-screen viewing to anyone with a broadband connection. It also threatens to cut into sales of DVDs of shows like Dr Who at ABC shops.

Developed in-house by ABC Innovation, iView has its own in-built video player, which means people don’t need to download any additional software, says Ian Carroll, head of ABC Innovation and Development.

 Internet service provider iiNet said its customers would be able to use iView without affecting their monthly download quotas. The ABC’s Carroll welcomed that development and said the ABC planned to hold discussions with all Australia’s ISPs about similar free access deals. The new service is at www.abc/net.au/iview.

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