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BBC Wants Sky Canvas Partnership

Gordon Kelly


BBC Wants Sky Canvas Partnership

We're big fans of the BBC's Project Canvas distribution system and with ITV, Channel 4 and Five all aboard it seems the Beeb is also still keen to land Sky...

Speaking to the Independent, BBC director of future media and technology Erik Huggers (pictured) admitted "Sky are very happy to put Sky Player on the Xbox, there's no reason why that exact same arrangement couldn't work for Sky and Canvas." On the other hand, whether Sky would be willing to back any broadcaster based technology which could threaten sales of its digiboxes is another matter entirely. It's behaviour so far isn't encouraging.

Ultimately, the bigger question will be whether Sky sees its future as an end-to-end solution provider or a primarily as a broadcaster looking to get its channels shown on as much hardware as possible.

Sky or not however Huggers was keen to talk up Canvas, which for the uninitiated is a set of hardware and software standards for IP-distributed content - think of it as next generation Freeview. "If we can get to a world where there's agreement across the industry for a single approach that can reach critical mass what you then get is economies of scale and the price of the devices will go down," he explained.

Of course the BBC Trust will soon rule over whether Canvas will get the go ahead for this open approach and Huggers says rejection would be hugely damaging. "The risk is complete fragmentation of the market place. For consumers what this will lead to, in a nutshell, is complete confusion."

Huggers also added that a third generation of BBC iPlayer will launch in Q1 2010 with added social networking functionality that will enable users to see what their friends have watched. "We will do it with Twitter, Bebo, Windows Live, Facebook, wherever our users happen to have a social network."

Go on BBC Trust, don't blow it... again.


via The Independent


December 14, 2009, 8:11 pm

Really hope this goes through, everything under one roof just seems such a good idea!

Also, there is a spelling error:

"Go one BBC Trust, don't blow it... again. " should read "on"

Jay Werfalli

December 14, 2009, 8:28 pm

@Stelph - Typo fixed!


December 14, 2009, 10:01 pm

The Beeb need to do something on standards, or is it protoculs?, I read "elswhere" (oh how I wish I could do that blue link thingy under the word) that two transmiters, Crystal Palace and Manchester, are/will be sending HD 1080i requiring completely new Freeview boxes (DVB T2) for anyone who wants to partake, assuming I understood correctly the item I read.

Crap copy & paste link below.



December 14, 2009, 10:22 pm

@Frank: You are right, Freeview HD will require all new boxes but it's going to be a standardised nationwide thing anyway.


December 14, 2009, 10:44 pm

Thanks Ed, much obliged.

Could the implication of this (DVB T2) be that the BBC will be less dependent on Sky for promoting it's (better) HD transmissions ?

Trying to keep it in context with this article, I had always assumed, despite Freesat, that Sky was the main driver for the growth of HD TV, now I'm less certain, given that one will get 1080i from a standard ariel.

Things are looking up, let us look up with them.


December 14, 2009, 10:55 pm

That's precisely the implication, which is why it's so exciting. From what I recall, once the switch over is complete there will be enough bandwidth for all the five channels to have an HD channel each. Hopefully they use it wisely and we don't just end up with X Factor and I'm a celebrity.. HD.


December 15, 2009, 5:49 am

&#8220Good ideas&#8221, &#8220standardisation&#8221 and &#8220Consumer&#8221 are secondary to PROFITS. Could Rupert or his little Prince James Murdo' be backing the Tories be as the "Prince of Darkness" Mandelson sayeth?

If Granddad Murdoch had gone into TV broadcasting when TV was invented would he have complained about the BBC moving from radio to tv?

I wonder is the BBC dragging its heals on introducing BBC-HD proper to give Sky a head start? After all the take up of Sky-HD is doing very nicely without any competition!!!! Now that's what I guess the Murdochs call 'free market'.

Perhaps, Encyclopedia Britannica could learn a thing or two from the Murdochs' school of business and have Wikipedia banned or something!

&#8220Movie-goers make 2009 a record box office year&#8221 {http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/...}

&#8220Beatles still saving EMI after 40 years" - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/....

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