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BBC Trust delays Project Canvas
Thursday 04 June 2009 13:09:19 by John Hunt

The BBC trust has delayed Project Canvas, a joint venture between the BBC, ITV and BT to provide a catch-up TV service via the Internet to set-top boxes. Canvas is set to provide an iPlayer like service for the Television by developing open standards and allowing content providers and service providers to work together to provide a platform that will deliver this.

The BBC executive had applied to the BBC Trust for approval of the service in February, and the trust were carrying out two consultations from stakeholders, the second of which was supposed to close by July 24th. This however has been delayed until after the Trust acquires more information about Canvas from the partners. A new time frame has yet to be defined.

"Many expressed concern over a lack of detail in some key areas of the Executive's application. These included the choice of technical standards to be adopted by Canvas and the way in which the BBC would work with industry bodies; control of the Electronic Programme Guide; governance arrangements for the joint venture; and the use of editorial controls. Some stakeholders argued that, without such detail, it was difficult to assess fully the potential public value and market impact of proposals."

"The Trust does not now intend to publish a decision on the 24 July. We intend to delay the second consultation until after the Executive has returned with further detail in support of its application. This additional information and a revised timetable to complete our assessment will be shared with stakeholders in due course."

Statement from the BBC Trust

With over 800 submissions from stakeholders which were broadly in support of the idea of delivering TV over broadband, it is hoped that the project will not get dropped. Canvas was previously warned by Ofcom that they could be subject to a competition investigation which was what lead to the downfall of Project Kangaroo, a previous joint venture on-demand TV service between the BBC, ITV and Channel4.

BSkyB for one have already indicated that they would like a full market assessment test from Ofcom as they do not believe that there is sufficient justification for Canvas.


Posted by TonyHoyle over 7 years ago
Or, to translate.. Sky don't like it because it would affect their monopoly, so it must be stopped.

Ofcom will of course bend over... because to them Sky monopoly = good, Open standards = bad.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
Exactly :)

Sky - "We do not believe there is any justification to take away any of our revenue, so please don't"
Posted by mikeblogs over 7 years ago
Delay is ok. They need more partners and they need a more detailed spec.

BT only would probably tie us into BT 21CN design for assured and premium bandwidth services - which needs to be challenged.

An open EPG, SDK for a client, and an open SIP comms stack is probably need.

Some hardware parters are needed.

Gov departments like the NHS and care services should some cash in to tune the comms stack for health consultations.

The consult doc begged as many questions as answers.
Posted by GMAN99 over 7 years ago
It will be interesting to see how they deliver it to the home. BT Vision only works as it uses the HomeHub and QoS. Not all ISP's will/can guarantee QoS and at the home router end they could be using anything - not many home routers support QoS
Posted by Fuzzlewoof over 7 years ago
Interesting to see that Sky helped block Project Kangaroo and are trying to block/delay Canvas, but recent reports say Sky are now launching their own IPTV service within a year. Maybe the BBC should get Ofcom to investigate Sky.
I hope Canvas works with existing freesat boxes like project Kangaroo should have.
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 7 years ago
> I hope Canvas works with existing freesat boxes like project Kangaroo should have.

It won't. The idea is the box and software on it are tuned to support the service with Freeview/Freesat as a bolt on. It will most likely require some kind of storage much like a Sky+ box and hopefully will have multiple tuners as well.
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