Project Canvas, the BBC-led IPTV offering for a Web TV future, finally got BBC Trust approval in December. But it still faces an uphill struggle to succeed, especially with the number of other connected TV platforms currently emerging.
Project Canvas is the innovative and ambitious endeavor that emerged from the death of Project Kangaroo. The BBC is heading the charge, with backing from the likes of ITV, Five, Channel 4, BT, and TalkTalk.
Canvas is a user interface and set of Internet TV protocols that could provide a standard for everyone in the future. There are also plans to release an Internet-connected set-top box by the end of this year.
The problem for Canvas is that it’s by no means the only effort to provide a standard for on-demand Web TV viewed from the sofa in your living room.
TV On Demand On TV
CES 2010 has seen the launch of DivX TV, DivX’s latest attempt at reinventing itself. Rather than a set-top box, DivX wants to be the premiere Web TV platform on all manner of different devices.
Vudu has also announced a streaming movie service available on TV sets and Blu-ray players from the big-name manufacturers such as Sanyo, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, and Mitsubishi.
And let’s not forget Boxee, which has just entered its full public beta. This is the open source offering that already has a massive range of content, although most of it is geo-blocked outside of the States.
I’m not suggesting it’s too late for Canvas to establish itself. Certainly, in the U.K. at least, it stands a very good chance of doing so. I just wish the BBC worked in a slightly different way so that everything didn’t have to go through committee after committee to get approved. Vital months have been lost as a result.