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Welcome to projectcanvas.info

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Richard Halton Richard Halton | 11:55 UK time, Thursday, 3 December 2009

We launched projectcanvas.info today, a hub for the partners (BBC, ITV, BT, Five) to host information about the project.

The BBC Internet blog has been an important outlet for us but as canvas has a broader audience (and is not just a BBC project) we wanted a neutral space to communicate; its content reflects the views of the partnership.

With Freeview going past 10m homes this week, and Freesat continuing to make strong progress, it's a timely reminder of the importance of the UK's free-to-air platforms. As shareholders in both of these ventures, the BBC sees project canvas as critical to keeping them relevant.

We've done a lot of work over the past six months to address a number of concerns and misconceptions about the project: and while a lot of information has been public, getting out there and talking it through has helped people better understand what we're trying to achieve. We hope this site will help even more.

The BBC's involvement in the project is of course still subject to approval by the BBC Trust and we're hopeful that the trust's emerging conclusions (that we hope will arrive soon) will be positive and move us closer to a full approval in the new year.

Pending approval, what's largely a project on paper will take bigger steps towards becoming something real. We've already started work in developing a standard with the DTG, and if the emerging conclusions permit us to do so, our intention is to start build the technologies that power the open platform, form the venture, build the user-interface, and start to turn project canvas into a real consumer proposition.

For this project to succeed, the venture also needs manufacturers to build devices (we hope to generate further support through our work with the DTG) as well as content companies to develop the applications to make content available on the platform. To that end, we intend to make technical specifications and SDKs for developers available on the canvas site, as and when we've written them.

We hope that this is site will become a focal point and that you find the site useful - if you have any questions please do get in touch via the site and we'll try to help.

Richard Halton is the Director of Project Canvas.

Keep in touch with project canvas:


  • Comment number 1.

    It's difficult to see why the BBC is involved (especially with BT, whose role in bringing low grade broadband to Britain was "kicking and screaming", without an ounce of enthusiasm or desire until all the hard work building the markets had been done for them) in this commercial enterprise after the experience of Kangaroo and others.

    Over the past 13 years we in the UK have become dangerously conditioned to creeping nannyism where cabals of cartels feel they can get together and dictate terms to the rest of the industries where their wills are imposed. This must suit our centralist government - who feel it is easier to exert control over a few large and mostly inert organisations than a diversity of smaller and more vibrant and enterprising operations who might not feel the need to "play ball" in quite the same way.

    Sky's recent submission to the BBC Trust on Canvas (https://corporate.sky.com/documents/pdf/press_releases/Sky_Response_to_BBC_Trust%29 pretty much nailed down the lid on the issues that have caused the independent industry such concern.

    This is not something the BBC should be doing, and the amount already spent on this project (and iPlayer) is quite disturbing. The BBC clearly has the unique luxury in this industry, of having more money than it knows what to do with.

  • Comment number 2.

    Good website - very informative.

    It's just a shame its RSS feed doesnt work at all. Either the RSS link in the right sidebar on the News page and the feed icon that appears in the address bar of your browser both not working.

    Not too good - thats how I like to keep up to date.

    Also when you click the X icon on the Share this pop up layer it reopens immediately.

    Using: Firefox 3.5.5 on Windows 7 32bit Professional.



  • Comment number 3.

    Please make project canvas capable of 1080p50. In fact please make it capable of any resolution and frame rate/format so it is not restricted to any one.

  • Comment number 4.

    Finally something that bridges the gap between the PC and TV. will it include RSS feed content and website content?

  • Comment number 5.

    Mark Young - thanks for your feedback which I have passed on to the person in charge of the Canvas site.

  • Comment number 6.

    >Finally something that bridges the gap between the PC and TV.
    >will it include RSS feed content and website content?

    FetchTV is already doing this - and more! The BBC does not need to spend our money on a consortium with BT and some foreign hardware vendors to do it all again and reinvent yet more "standards".

    Please just go away and make some decent programmes, eh?

  • Comment number 7.

    The BBC are an innovative and forward thinking organisation who are quick to bring their ideas to the public, the excellent BBC Website, the very useful I-player - Freeview Freesat etc etc. And now the Project Canvas which will make TV over the internet a viable alternative to the current methods of reception.
    This ties in nicely with the rollout of Fibre optic Broadband being made availiable to large numbers of households this summer- there are swarms of 'openreach' vans in my area right now.

    one hurdle to the Canvas Project that I can see is that the cost of going to fibre for the consumer- £25 pounds a month- £300 a year for unlimited access (essential for several hours tv per week) when compared to keeping my current upto 20mbs for £10 per month and tv from Freesat.

    There needs to be an incentive to switch for the consumer, what will be the driver- not choice- there is plenty of choice availiable now-
    not cost- it will be more expensive - perhaps it will be quality, there
    are large numbers of people with HD screens who are poorly served at present- who choose not to pay over £500 per year for the established Satellite provider.
    If the BBC Canvas project were able to give the consumer a wide range of HD channels with an equivalent to the 20Mb/s picture which made Freesat such a success before it was neutered by a 40 % bit rate cut, then I think there would be a stampede to internet TV.
    Does the BBC have a policy of platform equality or will the the internet
    service get a better picture than the Freesat- Freeview systems.
    it would be interesting to hear the views of those in charge.

  • Comment number 8.

    John, you might not be so far off the mark. Hear what The Digital TV Group, (Samsung, Sony, Pace, Dixons, etc. has said in a submission to the BBC Trust:

    "The DTG's membership continues to raise concerns regarding the Canvas project, especially regarding the joint venture's commitment to engage with the industry,"

    "There remains widespread concern in the industry that there is a parallel process in place with a Canvas specification being developed by the joint venture and its innovation partners separately from, and regardless of, the DTG's Connected TV specification work,"

    Nick has ticked me off for asking Andy Quested to answer your final question over on another Blog. Following his advice I request that Richard Halton responds to you. Does the BBC have a policy of platform equality or will the the internet service get a better picture than the Freesat-Freeview systems?

  • Comment number 9.

    John1961, further to my last. After your interesting theory at #7, from which I deduce that you suspect that FTA HD delivery may have been deliberately "nobbled" (satellite bitrate reduction) to make way for an alternative TV future, I've been reading a few biographies of BBC staff.

    I wondered, does Kerstin Mogull, COO of BBC Future Media & Technology, (https://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/biographies/biogs/controllers/kerstin_mogull.shtml%29 and a renowned strategist, have fingers in both pies, i.e. both Project Canvas and in current BBC HD delivery. If so, might she be the driving force behind reducing the so-called "unsustainable" bitrate for BBCHD?

    Richard, I take it from your silence here that John is either way off the mark, or, he has got it spot on. I've mentioned on Blogs before that I'm not generally an exponent of conspiracy theories, but I think there are some interesting things going on here.

  • Comment number 10.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 11.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?


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