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IPTV platform to take on big media

Richard Halton, director of Project Canvas at the BBC

The doors opened Tuesday morning on the 2010 IPTV World Forum, with keynotes from Richard Halton, director of Project Canvas at the BBC, and Richard Young, director of business development at BT Vision.

Recent research by the BBC Trust suggests that Project Canvas would accelerate growth in the UK market for connected TV devices by as much as 70 per cent by 2015, which according to Halton, leaves the project in a position to get to market by this time next year.

During his presentation, Halton said the BBC sees Project Canvas as an evolution of Freeview and Freesat, as the next expression of free-to-air TV in the UK. And responding to recent criticism by Sky and other pay TV operators, he said the intentions of Canvas is to open up three to four million homes in the UK to interactive TV services. “One way in which IPTV and connected TV is entering the public consciousness is through discussion in the mainstream media, which is really starting to understand its potential,” he said.

In the past year, Project Canvas has added a number of new partners, including TalkTalk, Channel 4 and Channel Five, as well as communications infrastructure and media services company Arqiva. There have been three periods of consultation in the past 11 months, with more than 800 stakeholders involved, and key incentives for consumers to buy Project Canvas devices have been identified through audience research by the BBC Trust, including access to linear services, local storage, catch-up TV and a range of internet services.

Following on from Halton, BT Vision’s Richard Young said that BT sees the initiative as having the potential to become the biggest media brand in the UK. “We believe the project has benefits for pretty much every company involved – it is about the perfect marriage of skills and technical aspects. For BT, it is the coming together of the internet and TV,” he said.


One comment

  1. Antony Watts 28/03/2010 @ 7:33 am

    Canvas should be a technology ONLY, not a brand and not with its own marketing.

    We need a technology platform, aligned to Eu or global standards (not just UK). But is should stop there.

    Then we can expect entrepreneurs to come forward and fill in the gaps. It is wrong to start with a groups of insiders who will dominate and control the delivery channel.

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