Broadband Content Bits: Orange TV; C4 On iTunes; Blinkx Desktop; EU Leads US

Orange TV: Orange’s UK IPTV service still shows no signs of emerging from testing. The service already operates in France, Poland and Spain and had promised a 2007 UK launch but that was pushed back to this year. At last week’s IPTV World Forum, digital TV director Tim Pearson (NYSE: PSO) could only point to the idents released last September and say: “Full roll-out will be some time this year” (via Light Reading). “French consumers are different to those in the UK, so the service needs some finessing.”

Channel 4: Nevermind Kangaroo; C4 is putting shows like Black Books, Spaced and Peep Show on iTunes Store to download at a cost of around £1.89 each. Why anyone would want to pay that much for archive episodes, when C4 has of late experimented with both ad-supported online and free VOD TV, is a worthwhile question, but this expands the available UK programming on the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) service that had been sorely lacking it until BBC Worldwide’s recent similar additions.

Blinkx Beat: Although most of the video space is moving to the web, web video search index Blinkx is launching Blinkx Beat, a Windows desktop client that shows viewers the news, entertainment, sports, business and other video in its catalogue. The video, from Blinkx’s 220-plus content partners, can comprise personalisable channels. Release.

EU connections: Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg and France all lead the US on broadband penetration, according to the European Commission