Feeds

OFT to examine BBC's Canvas

World domination placed on pause

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Office Fair of Trading is to examine Project Canvas, the BBC's strategic Sky-f*cker next generation set-top box.

The BBC Trust looked at Canvas and decided that its strategic goals of screwing over Murdoch and Branson furthering BBC content were not incompatible with the Trust's charter.

The Beeb argues that complete control of the EPG a common standard is necessary for manufacturers and content companies to grow on-demand TV in the future. This came as something of a surprise to the TV industry's own standards group - the DTG, or Digital TV Group - which is platform agnostic, and has been setting standards since 1995. So far Canvas has won support from a number of manufacturers including Cisco and LG.

Canvas is a secretive project, and Broadcast magazine reports that the BBC stalled the DTG's request for specifications for six months.

The Canvas spec is a Linux set-top box with ethernet I/O, and will run web apps as well as premium TV content. It's variously dubbed "Freeview on steroids" or "the iPlayer in hardware".

Critics include pay-TV operators Virgin and Sky, who say that since Canvas controls the UI, it can exclude their content with impunity. The fears appear to be justified, with Canvas controlling all the important aspects of the user experience.

The Guardian in hardware:
Canvas sample UI

Ofcom, which nominally has the right to intervene on EPG (electronic program guide) discrimination, ducked the issue and failed to carry out an impact assessment. The OFT investigation gives Canvas' critics another crack.

The BBC said that transmission company Arqiva has joined, and outlined a shareholders' agreement. While Canvas is new technology, you can tell the thinking comes straight from TV's old guard.

In a section titled 'Cost Recovery', Canvas states one of its goals is "to develop ways in which the Company can recover certain operational costs which shall include, without limitation, charging for EPG listings, licensing of the Canvas trademark and any possible commercial exploitation of data".

You can see why they want to control the EPG. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.