Feeds

Ofcom leery of Beeb's uber-set-top box

Regulator notes its problems on Canvas

Security for virtualized datacentres

Ofcom has warned that the BBC's set-top box project - dubbed "iPlayer in hardware" - could eventually be halted by the regulator.

Project Canvas is a Linux-based box that's an attempt to update Freeview with PVR functionality, home networking, IPTV, and access to web material. The BBC won't manufacture Canvas boxes, but wary of falling too far behind Sky, wants to set a specification that other broadcasters can use. It's also promised not to aggregate content for the box, or give preferential treatment to BBC content in the Canvas spec - but that's not enough to allay potential problems, the regulator has warned.

"Commercially-led propositions which seek to compete with Canvas should not be unfairly prevented from accessing BBC content," Ofcom wrote to the Trust, as a part of the latter's public consultation which ended on April 17. It's also worried about technical standards, the UI (the equivalent of the EPG), the BBC's partnerships with other broadcasters, and quality standards for programming.

The BBC Trust has yet to determine whether to permit the BBC to proceed - a decision is due by 24 July. If it then meets regulatory approval, Canvas boxes go on sale next year.

"There is a danger television viewers could ultimately be divided into two groups - those with internet connected functionality and those without," the BBC's Richard Halton told IPTV World Forum in February. "The BBC would like to ensure that, as before, there is a choice in TV between those who wish to take a subscription and those who don't."

ITV and C4 programming will be piped through the box, but with a big investment in broadband, Sky doesn't feel it needs to be part of Canvas.

Bootnote

Here's a curious fact: as well as receiving BBC programming, Canvas will provide access to material such as NHS Direct. A sort of all-purpose "Government Information Unit", then? ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.