Speaking at the IPTV World Forum today, Richard Halton, Programme Director, IPTV at the BBC reiterated and slighty clarified that corporation's intentions for Project Canvas. Halton emphasised that the BBC's plan is to facilitate the bringing of content to viewers, not to be a standards regulator governing how this is done.
Hilton explained: "This is not an attempt at a new standard. We want to bring together the standards bodies and the broadcast side." Of course, that the BBC is the most notable pioneer in moving to an IPTV distribution model - thanks in no small part to the iPlayer - should give it a fair bit of weight to throw around in deciding how Project Canvas proceeds.
Halton also pointed out that Canvas will bridge the gap between free and subscription TV services in the UK. Giving Sky and Virgin a quick name-check, Halton explained that Project Canvas: "is about allowing the free to air part of the market to continue to evolve and to continue to have the functionality for its audience which it already has for people who have paid for television services." Undeniably, there's a huge scope for license-fee funded TV to offer services to compete with the likes of Series Link on Sky+ not to mention adding a much broader HD range of HD content.
Currently the BBC Trust is still evaluating whether Project Canvas will actually get he go-ahead or not. All going to plan, Canvas won't suffer the same fate as Kangaroo.