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Microsoft launches free TV service with BBC

Free Peep Show? Free Shameless? What about other free stuff from BBC Worldwide? That's what you'll get at MSN Video's new UK TV-streaming Web site, and it went live today

You'll have seen this news mentioned last week, unless you're inbred and don't read this site on a daily basis. It's the news that Microsoft's MSN Video site (yes, such a thing exists) will start streaming BBC Worldwide and All3Media TV shows for free. And today, it has launched.

Shows include Fameless, Ultimate Fork, Plague of Gentleman, How To Look Only Moderately Good Naked And Be Exploited By A Douchebag, and a bunch of other shows spanning comedy, documentary, drama and more. Shows are ad-sponsored.

Sadly for MSN, visitors will probably forget it exists after watching the one series that interests them on their first visit. Too little content from too few producers makes it appear like a quick experiment to see if something will stick, before Hulu launches next month and dominates the market.

Ian Morris, our home cinema expert, agrees: "I just don't see the point of it." And he's an expert, people. That means if he's wrong, he's contractually obliged to kill himself.

Worse still, video quality is poor in comparison with BBC iPlayer, though it streams on both Mac and PC using Adobe Flash format.

A product like this is both a great idea and also perhaps the future of TV. But there's probably too little to watch at launch for most people to remember it even exists. Could be a big shame for MSN.

Check it out at this memorable address: