Feeds

OFT to examine BBC's Canvas

World domination placed on pause

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

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
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
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
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
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
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.