The BBC has been given the go-ahead for Project Canvas which could be a major step in the evolution of full internet TV and is likely to be called YouView, a hybrid of YouTube and Freeview. A partnership between the BBC, ITV, BT, Five, Channel 4 and TalkTalk is to develop standards and will see a range of set-top boxes available to access on-demand TV services such as iPlayer and ITVplayer. Users with a broadband connection will be able to access a wide range of on-demand content including BBC iPlayer, free of charge, through their TV sets. However as always there are a number of conditions the BBC trust has imposed such as ensuing all viewers are able to watch BBC programmes without a subscription and allowing other broadcasters and content providers to have have access to the platform.
However, rivals BSkyB and Virgin Media still question whether the BBC should be involved in such a commercial service and there could still be a challenge to its status under competition law and other legislation. They claim that Project Canvas will restrict competition and innovation and ultimately this will harm consumers and also that the BBC's involvement is an unnecessary use of public funds.
We welcome the move forward on Canvas and see the need to create a common platform and architecture to support the online on demand TV of tomorrow. Can we have 3D thrown in too!
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