The BBC Trust has approved the Project Canvas internet-connected TV joint venture, subject to a number of conditions.
Following a period of consultation over the past year, the Trust has told the Canvas partners to engage with industry on the technical specification and the final core technical specification will be published no later than eight months before launch of the first set-top boxes.
According to the Trust, users should always be able to access Canvas free-to-air but may be charged for additional pay services such as video on demand.
Other conditions include a requirement for accessibility and usability features to be incorporated into the technical specification and minimal access to the platform for content providers and ISPs.
BBC Trustee and Chair of the Trust’s Strategic Approvals Committee, Diane Coyle, said: “The Trust has concluded that Project Canvas will deliver significant public value for licence fee payers – people 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. We have however applied a number of conditions to the BBC’s involvement in the venture in recognition of the potential impacts on the market if Canvas is successful.”
The DTG welcomes the Trust decision and is currently working with the Canvas partners and Virgin Media, Sky and DTG Members to develop the UK specification for Connected TV devices and services which will form the 7th edition of the DTG D-Book.
“Following today’s decision the DTG is pleased that the Project can now move forward and is excited to be working with the Canvas partners and our membership to make Connected TV a reality for UK consumers,” said Richard Lindsay Davies, Director General of the DTG.
The DTG and industry will build on 10 years of groundbreaking work in digital terrestrial television to take Connected TV products and services to the highest level of interoperability, always ensuring consumers receive the best experience possible,” he added.
The Trust will review the BBC’s involvement in Canvas against the conditions of its approval, twelve months after the Canvas launch.
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