Mashable exclusively reveales NBC's new online service:

NBC Direct, the free service from NBC that lets you download full episodes of The Office, 30 Rock, Scrubs, Heroes and more, has gone live on the NBC site.

Currently in beta, and originally scheduled to launch in October, the new video viewing service allows you to download the latest episodes of NBC shows directly to your computer for viewing in a special player. Getting set up to do this is rather annoying. First off, it’s Internet Explorer only, then once you download the player, if you don’t have the latest .NET framework, you’ll be downloading that also. Next: Windows Media needed a security update on top of it all. On a Mac? Sorry, can’t help. Outside of the US? You’re out of luck too.

Once you’ve jumped through all of their hoops, you can start choosing videos to download. All episodes are available for only seven days after they initially air, and once you start watching your video you only have 48 hours to view it before it deletes. You can choose to subscribe to your favorite shows so you’ll get the new episodes automatically each week. All the shows contain video ads which cannot be skipped.

Very interesting. Will need to play with this, as I've already missed a number of new episodes of various shows this season.