BBC Trust green signals Project Canvas

MUMBAI: The BBC Trust has given its provisional approval to the BBC to participate in the proposed joint venture ‘Project Canvas‘ that is set to bring internet access to TVs via a set-top box.

The joint venture of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five, plus BT and Carphone Warehouse aims to develop and promote a common standard that would allow viewers with a broadband connection to watch on-demand services on their television sets, such as the BBC iPlayer or the ITV Player and other Internet content and regular linear content. 
Set-top boxes with the new software are expected to be available late next year.

The Trust has proposed some conditions on the BBC‘s participation in the venture to secure public value and lessen any adverse impact Project Canvas might have on the wider market, where possible.

There will now be a period of consultation on the provisional conclusions closing on 2 February after which the Trust will reach its final decision.

Said chairman of the Trust‘s strategic approvals committee Diane Coyle, "One of the BBC‘s aims is to bring the benefits of emerging communications technologies to the public. After careful consideration, the Trust has provisionally concluded that Canvas is likely to benefit license fee payers. We believe Canvas could be an important part of the way in which the BBC delivers its services in the future.  
"Our provisional conclusions include some conditions on the BBC‘s involvement. These conditions are designed to help secure the public value we identified and to help minimize, where possible, any potential harmful effects on the market. We will now be consulting industry and the public on our provisional conclusions. The last stage of the process will be to consider the responses to that consultation before reaching our final decision."

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