The BBC iPlayer has been downloaded more than 120,000 times, according to the MediaGuardian . The BBC's own figures estimate that 500,000 people will be using it after six months of it being in open Beta. The Beeb also reckons 11 per cent of catch-up viewing will take place over the network by 2011.

The iPlayer boasts similar technology to that used by Channel 4's 4OD service. Kontiki forms the Peer to Peer (P2P) underpinnings, while Verisign and Red Bee Media (formerly the commercial BBC Technology) are behind the iPlayer project.

Channel 4 says it has 2.5 million unique users and 20 million show downloads since its launch last December.

The iPlayer also uses Microsoft's Windows Media DRM technology, which is why the platform is currently only available on Windows XP.

The BBC's iPlayer forums suggest a generally positive view of the player's launch, but with some reservations about the quantity of content available.

Blog: BBC iPlayer - the verdict