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Five pulls out of Project Canvas

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Channel Five has pulled out of Project Canvas, a bid to define a standard framework through which hardware manufacturers can implement internet TV services.

Five isn't making money, and when asked to cough up £16m toward the £112m that Project Canvas is expected to cost to finalise, it apparently said no.

Five chiefs said: "We continue to support the objectives of Project Canvas and despite withdrawing our interest in the venture we believe it will be a critical part of our strategy for reaching consumers in the future."

Canvas members include the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, BT, TalkTalk and Arqiva, the company that owns the nation's terrestrial transmitter infrastructure.

While Reg Hardware's sister site has a different view of Canvas, we see it as broadly a good idea that, if it delivers as promised, will allow hardware makers to implement a wide range of catch up services, such as BBC iPlayer, without having to build versions of them specific to their devices.

Online telly services likewise can produce a single interface that will run on every Canvas supporter's kit. Anything that makes it easier - by making it cheaper - to get more services on more hardware is a good thing, we believe.

The proof, as they say, will be in the Pavlova, but let's give Canvas a chance to get its specification out before rushing to judgement, or complaining that no one else is supporting it yet. ®

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