Following on from previous talk about the potential for the BBC to share the iPlayer's technology, the BBC Trust has launched a public consultation on the BBC's "proposal to develop a joint venture partnership to help enable the delivery of internet protocol television (IPTV)."
The proposal, if approved, would see the BBC forming a set of standards regarding the distribution of BBC, and other public-service broadcasters' products, over the internet. Devices meeting these standards would provide both internet and the more traditional broadcast methods of satellite and aerial. In simple terms: Freesat, Freeview and iPlayer all in one device. The intention would also be for devices to offer PVR functionality.
It isn't just BBC content that would be accessible, though. The proposed set-top box standards could also facilitate the distribution of other broadcasters' programmes, or even media and information from government organisations such as the NHS, or DirectGov.
The BBC hopes to have devices on sale in 2010, in the £100-200 price bracket and reckons its contribution to the development of these IPTV set-top boxes will cost in the region of £6 million over the next five years. Good value for money? We'll have to trust in the judgement of the Trust on that.